Freddie Hubbard
Straight Life


4.5
superb

Review

by Zappa USER (12 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 12 replies | 3,815 views


Release Date: | Tracklist


This is an album that you simply do not hear enough about in the world of post-1970 jazz. Originally recording in November of 1970, it's got a very unique sound, while still cuing up memories of other recordings. It's also got an amazing lineup, and 3 top-notch tunes.

If you have a fairly decent knowledge of jazz history, several of these names should ring a bell, and hopefully jog your curiousity. For those of you less initiated in the jazz world, Hubbard, Henderson, Benson, Hancock, Carter, and DeJohnette are all master musicians, who in addition to being some of the best, have recorded with many of the very best. Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette and Ron Carter are all graduates of Miles Davis' band (a huge resume item), and Henderson and Benson are both excellent playesr who have enjoyed success elsewhere, and on this album.

Track Descriptions
1. Straight Life - This starts the album off, and concludes the first side at the same time. It also defines the sound of the band. If you've heard the album "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis, you know DeJohnette's style. Very expressive and loose. The rest of the rhythm section goes this way as well. What's interesting, though, and what sets it apart from "Bitches Brew" is the bombastic melody parts. The heads are basically hard-bop styled on top of fusion rhythm sections. Unlike the dark Miles record, it's upbeat and melodic, but not overly poppy or cheesey like some fusion. On this tune, everyone but Carter gets a nice beefy solo(s), and the improvisation is quite a treat. When you get great improvisors like you have on this record, and wonderful rhythm section like Carter, Benson, Hancock, and DeJohnette, the improvisations can go on for 17 and a half minutes and engage you the whole way through.

2. Mr. Clean - A very similar long jam to the first. A nice hard-boppish head over a fusion rhythm section. Wonderful solos from all.

3. Here's That Rainy Day - This one shows why Hubbard is the bandleader (if the others have not secured that in your mind already). His meloncholic flugelhorn on this tune is haunting and beautiful, and a great contrast to the last two selections. The rhythm section is sparse but suggestive, and George Benson's guitar especially adds a lot to the mix. As I've said, the focus is Freddie's horn, though.

Suggested for:
Fans of hard bop who are looking to get into fusion, fusion fans in general, fans of "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis specifically, trumpet players.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Sheltering Sky
April 25th 2004



2 Comments


Wow, this I must check out. Interesting band.

Zappa
April 25th 2004



355 Comments


Have you AIM or MSN? I can send it.

Zappa
December 27th 2004



355 Comments


I'm bumping this for no reason.

Tangy zizzle
December 27th 2004



253 Comments


That is a really great line up.

Zappa
December 27th 2004



355 Comments


And a great album.

Zappa
December 28th 2004



355 Comments


I find Corea to be the most grounded on that album. I think DeJohnette is very expressive, and at times sloppy. Interesting difference in perception.

blakey971
December 28th 2004



2 Comments


aim: bs7935

and i'll love you forever if you send it

Woodstock
December 28th 2004



154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AIM: Woodstockmxcr

I will also be grateful if you send it to me. It'd be nice to see Benson's work on other artists' albums.

Great review, good job for only three songs.

FillInTheBlankHere___
December 28th 2004



64 Comments


Jack DeJohnette and Herbie Hancock (my favourite pianist of the jazz world) are enough to get my interest. I'll have to check this out as well.

Well_Respected_Man
January 1st 2005



75 Comments


Zappa is a cool cat who knows his jazz.

matt_drummist
June 5th 2005



26 Comments


How can you go wrong with a lineup like this? I've been wanting this album for awhile now.

It seems to me that on Bitches Brew, the drums are just a bit low in the mix. There's also two drummers (Lenny White in addition to Dejohnette), which can be difficult to keep together. Dejohnette really does thrash at times, especially on the title cut, and on "Sanctuary."

Jimmy
November 25th 2007



717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album kicks ass



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