Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vinyl Reissue of the Month - "Freddie Hubbard: Red Clay"

Vinyl Reissue of the Month
Freddie Hubbard: "Red Clay" (CTI/ORG Music) 2-LP set

Rating: ***** (musical performance and remastering)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder
Remastered by Bernie Grundman
Recorded January 27, 28 & 29, 1970, at Van Gelder Studios (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey)
Cover photo by Price Givens
Album Design by Tony Lane
Featuring: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet & flugelhorn), Joe Henderson (tenor sax & flute), Herbie Hancock (Fender Rhodes electric piano & Hammond organ), Ron Carter (electric bass) & Lenny White (drums)

Mastered from the original tapes at 45rpm by Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180 gram audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas in Germany, the original 33rpm single-LP becomes a 2-LP set and THE essential audiophile pressing of Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay!"

As the label’s first release, "Red Clay" established the soul-jazz-funk template Creed Taylor’s CTI imprint would follow for the next decade. Joined by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Ron Carter and Lenny White, Freddie Hubbard lays down bluesy hard-bop epiphanies, turning in one of his most memorable albums as a leader; my very favorite one remains "First Light," to be reissued on a limited numbered audiophile LP by ORG next month.

In addition to standing as a career-defining affair, the landmark 1970 effort also marks Hubbard's break from his Blue Note era and signals the fusion-minded direction he and other players would further investigate in the years to come.

"Red Clay" includes four great tunes composed by Hubbard: Besides the title track, which became a contemporary jazz standard, includes three other gems: "Delphia" (a gorgeous ballad dedicated to his mother, with Herbie moving to organ and Henderson playing flute), "Suite Sioux" and the explosive hard-bop "The Intrepid Fox."

Credit ORG Music for reaching beyond the 50s and 60s and beginning to mine the rich well of the 1970s for jazz treasures that give us audiophile enjoyment.

No comments: