Freddie Hubbard -||- SKAGLY –Mp3– [Columbia Records, 1980 | Review]
Perhaps, like a lot of you, the eighties were a transition point musically and thankfully, my taste matured significantly and began to evolve beyond the dreadful late seventies “disco” era.
On this occasion, I have the pleasure to review the esteemed and legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard who began his career in the late fifties and early sixties with brothers Wes and Monk Montgomery. One of the most distinguish moments of his career are based around his Blue Note recording days. They’re probably his best, they say, at least from a jazz purists perspective. However, for those of us who aren’t as deep have a diverse platter and believes that some of Freddie’s contemporary recordings are of importance as well.
Honestly, until recently, I had not heard “Skagly.” Freddie recorded this project in 1979 on Columbia Records. “Skagly” is a portrait of an amplified prototype of contemporary jazz that’s cured with remnants of classic jazz around the edges.
On the first spin, the opening piece “Happiness is Now,” is or should be a trumpeter lovers delight. The bright, and up-tempo elements are reverent to his training ground as he gathered a cohesive unit of players like Hadley Caliman – tenor & flute, Billy Childs – piano, Larry Klein –bass, Carl Burnett– drums and George Duke makes their humble contribution to the first of six splendid pieces.
The Indianapolis, IN native changes direction on the second cut with the classic “Summer of ’42.” As beautiful as is, you get the gist of were Hubbard’s tone is going on this jewel. Breathe taking, and oh how sweet it is!
A tune called “Cascais,” is next, it flows effortlessly with authority featuring the gifted reedman Hadley Caliman on flute. The title, “Skagly,” follows as it’s reinforced by the basic essentials of a funk topped off with Freddie’s razor-sharp trumpet playing!
Freddie continues to strut their stuff with a harmonious tune titled “Rustic Celebration,” this swinging head-bopper’s voice intercedes in the particulars of fusion and classic jazz. The talented ensemble raises the bar of excellence on “Rustic” featuring one of my favorite keyboardist the upcoming [at the time] Billy Childs on piano.
Regrettably, the last composition is not listed. Nonetheless, the exquisiteness of the piece inhabits the artistic amenities of classic jazz balladry at its finest. Sadly, the jazz community has often criticized Mr. Hubbard for recording projects of this nature, particularly his Columbia recordings. For those of you, who dig contemporary jazz, well this one’s definitely for you. —Rob Young | Urban Flux Media
*** This review was done before Skagly was re-issued ***