Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Freddie Hubbard - The Black Angel

Freddie Hubbard released The Black Angel in the same year as the landmark Miles Davis album Bitches Brew. Its obvious Hubbard wanted to appeal to the emerging crossover rock/jazz crowd of the era. The presence of bop, however, still permeated Hubbard's playing, unlike Miles who had long since dropped the form. The opening Hubbard composition "Spacetrack" contains fiery avant garde interplay between Hubbard, James Spaulding on alto and Kenny Barron's electric piano. Thanks to Spaulding and bassist Reggie Workman, much of the playing here maintains intensity. The other Hubbard penned originals, "Gittin Down" is an urgent hard swinging boogaloo and the ballad "Eclipse" features Spaulding on flute and Barron on piano. "Coral Keys" written by Walter Bishop, Jr. and Barron's "Black Angel have a Latin tinge highlighted by Spaulding's soaring flute and the congas of Carlos "Patato" Valdes. An enjoyable session leaving the impression Hubbard was preparing to take a different musical direction. - by Al Campbell, AMG

Recorded in 1970, this date by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard--with saxophonist-flutist James Spaulding, a young Kenny Barron on acoustic and electric piano, John Coltrane's bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Louis Hayes, and percussionist Carlos "Patato" Valdes--reflects a number of influences. The aural image of Miles Davis's In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew is imprinted on the 17-minute fusion excursion "Spacetrack," an electrically charged, multitempoed sound collage. The other tracks are more conventional. Barron's title tune swings with nice Afro-Cuban percussive tinges, as does Hubbard's "Gittin' Down" and "Coral Keys," written by piano giant Walter Bishop Jr. This pleasing set unveiled Hubbard's neglected jazz standard "Eclipse," a moving, moody tone poem highlighting Spaulding's plaintive flute lines, Workman's supple tones, Barron's beautiful piano comping, and Hubbard's overlooked ballad artistry. - by Eugene Holley Jr., Amazon.com

Artist: Freddie Hubbard
Album: The Black Angel
Year: 1970
Label: Atlantic (1998)
Runtime: 45:35

1.  Spacetrack (Freddie Hubbard) 16:56
2.  Eclipse (Freddie Hubbard) 8:18
3.  The Black Angel (Kenny Barron) 8:19
4.  Gittin' Down (Freddie Hubbard) 6:40
5.  Coral Keys (Walter Bishop Jr.) 5:20

Freddie Hubbard (Trumpet)
Jimmy Spaulding (Alto Saxophone and Flute)
Kenny Barron (Piano and Electric Piano)
Reggie Workman (Double Bass)
Louis Hayes (Drums)
Carlos "Patato" Valdes (Congas and Maracas)


  1. Thank you itr, very nice album. It sounds good to me.

  2. This will be interesting to compare with Backlash. Many thanks.



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