FREDDIE HUBBARD: HERE TO STAY (1962) original artwork
Selection: Assunta (DMM) – Pathe Marconi Fr. 1986
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone) Cedar Walton (piano) Reggie Workman (bass) Philly Joe Jones (drums) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 27, 1962
1962, dream brass team Hubbard and Shorter on top of their game, strong rhythm section, great collection of tunes, that just right modal feel, fine van Gelder recording, no, I don’t think we’ll bother.
Blue Note pulled BLP 4135, it was never issued by Blue Note. Never to see the light of day until 1976, then not reunited with its intended artwork until 1986.
The track most often cited in regard to this album, the cleverly-titled “Philly Mignon”, I found pretty plain fare. There are a couple of other, minor-themed compositions which I think offer Hubbard and Shorter more freedom to go where the mood takes them. Assunta has Shorter laying down an almost off-key repetitive backing riff, Cedar Walton does a Hancock in percussive alternating chord vamps, with Hubbard’s burnished tone probes the contrasting opportunities. This is great music from the simmering crossroads of bop and modal. Here’s another taste of that 1962 mood, the excellent and obscurely titled “Nostrand and Fulton” – Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street Brooklyn intersection.
Vinyl: Pathe Marconi BST 84135 Direct Metal Mastered
Normally I would rather a poke in the eye with red-hot needles than buy a DMM, but the strange history of this “missing title” intrigued me sufficiently to go for it (single digit price, negligible market awareness). It was the liner notes however that alerted me to the presence of the same recording, on a Freddie Hubbard two-fer in the Cuscuna-inspired and mis-named Blue Note Reissue Series – the reissue series that includes much music not previously issued.
The DMM was as I feared, a bit fierce, but without a comparator one can’t be too hard on it. Except there is a comparator. The earlier United Artists two-fer. No problem I thought, wrongly. Sourcing the Hubbard two-fer was surprisingly difficult. Very few copies on offer, short supply. Somebody knows.
You wait fifteen years for a Blue Note, then two come a long, one after another. Actually, the United Artists two-fer came first, somewhere around 1976, the first release of BLP 1135 Freddie Hubbard “Hear to Stay” (paired with a re-release of another fine Hubbard title, Hub Cap, followed ten years later by the DMM Capitol/ Pathe Marconi release with the original artwork intended. The two-fer gives you a feisty pressing by UA from fresh van Gelder tapes, and it is not DMM. Why didn’t I know all this?
Selection: Assunta (United Artists ) non-DMM late 70’s just for comparison
This is a nice pressing of great music. Like most of the undervalued two-fers, a book judged wrongly by many collectors and dealers alike, by its cover, brown wrapper monochrome artwork, mis-description (“Reissue Series”). You will hear more about these issues in future posts.
It may not be pretty, but more important, it sounds great. However people have different values.
I would just love to have seen that original artwork on a thick card laminated cover, Plastylite pressing on NY labels. What a missed opportunity. Makes you appreciate all the more the things they did get right.