Saturday, July 25, 2009

CD of the Day - "Freddie Hubbard: The Baddest Hubbard"

CD of the Day
Freddie Hubbard: "The Baddest Hubbard" (CTI/Wounded Bird) 2009

The first CD reissue ever of a compilation released in 1974 by CTI Records, soon after Freddie Hubbard left Creed Taylor's stable to sign a millionaire contract with CBS. Ironically, Sony now controls all the CTI catalog from the '70s, and licensed this compilation to Wounded Bird.
The CD booklet reproduces the original front & back cover arts, but not the liner infos. It means that Ira Gitler's text was deleted, as well as Fred Valentine's b&w liner photo. Most surprisingly, Don Sebesky, who arranged half of the material ("First Light," "In A Mist"), is not mentioned anywhere on the CD. Rudy Van Gelder (who engineered ALL tracks), Fred Valentine (who also did the front & back cover pics) and Bob Ciano (responsible for the album design) either...
But the names of several musicians who didn't play a single note on any of the tracks (Bob Bushnell, Ed Shaughnessy, Richie "Pablo" Landrum) are!
I don't know from where Wounded Bird collected such crazy infos, but certainly it wasn't from Douglas Payne's fabulous CTI website, the most reliable and most compreensive source about CTI Records on the web.
Despite all these mistakes, the musical content is top class, including the title tracks from the albums "Red Clay" (Hubbard's debut at CTI) and the Grammy-winning "First Light", magnificently arranged by Don Sebesky, who also scored Bix Beiderbecke's intriguing "In A Mist" (from the "Sky Dive" sessions).
"Here's That Rainy Day" completes the program. It's a track from the "Straight Life" LP, on which Hubbard is backed only by Ron Carter and George Benson; however, other four players (Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Richard "Pablo" Landrum, Joe Henderson) are wrongly listed among the sidemen on that tune. Couldn't the Wounded Bird guys give a call to Creed Taylor or Doug Payne to check the infos? Or simply take a look in the original LP issue? Jesus!

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