I always loved Freddie Hubbard’s energetic and authoritative, yet airy and tender trumpet playing. His vigorous playing on the classic Ready for Freddie (1961), the way he takes the lead on Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage (1965), his strong, equilibrist, if still outshone compliment to Coltrane on Ascension (1965), and his early somewhat fluffy but impeccable work for CTI. And so many other things. Later he became less interesting, but his passing marks the end of the great career of a great player.
Check out his amazing soloing on this 1962 version of “Moanin'” with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, where he had replaced the great Lee Morgan the previous year.
Photo of Hubbard in Rochester, New York in 1976, from Getty Images.