Freddie Hubbard: "Bundle of Joy" (Wounded Bird) 2009
First-ever CD reissue of Hubbard's "Bundle of Joy" album for Columbia, now reissued by the Wounded Bird label through a deal with Sony Music. It would be unfair to compare it to any of FH's superb CTI dates like "Red Clay," "First Light" and "Sky Dive". So, just try to enjoy it with no prejudice.
I love "Bundle of Joy" - produced, arranged & conducted by Bert DeCoteaux - for several reasons, including a personal one. The first time I drove in a LA freeway, its title track, a delightful and very hip tune composed by Hubbard, was playing on the radio. Really an unforgettable sensation.
But the highlight is a haunting version of "Portrait of Jenny," on which the leader's impeccable flugelhorn is backed only by Dorothy Ashby (harp) and David Garfield (celeste). Beyond words.
The album also includes the soul-ballad "I Don't Wanna Lose You" (by Thom Bell & Linda Creed, my favorite composers of the "Sound of Philadelphia" era, having written such songs as "People Make The World Go Round" and "Betcha By Golly Wow," both previously recorded by Hubbard during his CTI days) and two more FH originals: "Tucson Stomp" (tenor sax solo by the underrated Azar Lawrence) and "Rahsann" (tenor sax solo by Ernie Watts). The large cast of musicians includes Brazilian percussion master Paulinho da Costa on congas & timbales, David T. Walker & Jay Graydon on guitars, Carlos Vega & Ed Green on drums, George Bohanon (miscredited Bohannon on the CD booklet) & Garnett Brown (mispelled Garnet) on trombones.
"Rainy Day Song," including a nice Fender Rhodes solo by keyboardist Dave Garfield, and "From Now On" are two very pleasant "jazz-disco" moments.
So, have fun and daaaaaaaaaance!!!
Doug Payne's insightful comments, borrowed from his Sound Insights blog, follow: