At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles

Freddie Hubbard

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At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles Review

by Ken Dryden

Freddie Hubbard is featured during a 1991 Warsaw concert just a few weeks after the death of Miles Davis, though by this point in his career the trumpeter's chops are not consistently up to par. Joined by pianist Ronnie Mathews, tenor saxophonist Don Braden, bassist Jeff Chambers, and drummer Ralph Penland, the ambitious program kicks off with a furious-paced take of Cedar Walton's "Bolivia," though the high notes give the leader some trouble and he quickly abandons them. Likewise, Hubbard's solo introduction to "God Bless the Child" is erratic and the rather pedestrian attempt at Miles Davis' landmark composition "All Blues" is frankly dull, as it doesn't take enough chances. The final track, "Dear John," is Hubbard's reworking of the chord changes to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," but his intonation problems make it difficult to enjoy. Although Hubbard's group provides sufficient support, the trumpeter's earlier recordings are far superior to this disappointing release, which has since been discontinued due to the demise of Who's Who in Jazz. This CD can safely be bypassed.

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