Freddie Hubbard

Ride Like the Wind

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Recorded in 1982 by Jeffrey Weber and arranger Allyn Ferguson, this live to two-track digital set showcases Freddie Hubbard in the company of two large bands -- one a brass group, the other a string orchestra -- both of which feature the same rhythm section. Ferguson wrote three tunes for the session, including the funky "Hubbard's Cupboard" and "Two Moods for Freddie" (which shifts gears from elegant and nocturnal to finger-popping contemporary electric jazz in the course of a couple of minutes); this pair opens and closes the album. The cover of Joe Zawinul's "Birdland" is reverent but swinging, and Hubbard's lone composition here, "Bridgitte," is a beautiful ballad that showcases the strings and Dan Ferguson's sweetly singing electric guitar and opens up into a midtempo groover. The title track is a cover of Christopher Cross' smash; it and Kenny Loggins' saccharine "This Is It" are less successful even if they are somewhat colorful -- there is only so much one can do to dress up mediocre pop songs. This isn't a great success like Hubbard's CTI albums were, but Ride Like the Wind nonetheless showcases the trumpeter in fine solo form.

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