Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

Vinyl of the Month
Freddie Hubbard: "Red Clay" red vinyl issue (CTI/Barnes & Noble Consign 538110)
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Release Date: February 10, 2017

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studios. Recorded January 27, 28, 29, 1970.
Cover Photo: Price Givens
Album Design: 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)

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.

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." A CTI classic!

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