Thursday, November 13, 2003

Freddie Hubbard - When your chops are shot

Freddie Hubbard - When your chops are shot

I had the pleasure of meeting the great Freddie Hubbard when I was in college at the U of Idaho ('85 I believe) - our meeting was was very brief and consisted of an introduction, a shake of the hand and some small talk. A very warm, gracious and kind in person - like his music.

And wow, did he deliver!

He was playing double Cs in some of his improvizations! I distinctly recall Dale Curtis, a great trumpet player and fellow U of I student who had the honor of picking Freddie up at the airport (and no one deserved that honor more than Dale!), expressing some amazement how FH just jumped right in and played, with very little warm-up. This, of course, went against everything I was being taught, but hey, if it was working for Freddie... But warming up is obviously something very important.

I continue to enjoy his Freddie Hubbard's amazing flow of ideas. His comments on musician's finding their own voice is an important point - something all musicians must strive for. The only comment I took issue with was the slam on "people like" Wynton [Marsalis] - in my book, Wynton is as "hip" as they come and a great voice for Jazz, whether he's serving as a player, composer, leader or educator.

Freddie's tips on taking care of the old chops seems to go hand in hand with finding one's own voice. To thy own lip be true, lest you be blue.

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