FREDDIE HUBBARD — Red Clay

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FREDDIE HUBBARD - Red Clay cover
3.98 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1970

Filed under Hard Bop
By FREDDIE HUBBARD

Tracklist

A1 Red Clay 12:05
A2 Delphia 7:25
B1 Suite Sioux 8:40
B2 The Intrepid Fox 10:40

Line-up/Musicians

- Freddie Hubbard / trumpet
- Joe Henderson / tenor saxophone, flute
- Herbie Hancock / electric piano, organ
- Ron Carter / bass, electric bass
- Lenny White / drums
Track 6
- Freddie Hubbard / trumpet
- Stanley Turrentine / tenor saxophone
- Johnny "Hammond" Smith / organ/electric piano
- George Benson / guitar
- Ron Carter / bass
- Billy Cobham / drums
- Airto Moreira / percussion

About this release

CTI Records ‎– CTI 6001 (US)

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios. Recorded January 27, 28, 29, 1970

Thanks to JS, dreadpirateroberts, snobb for the updates

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FREDDIE HUBBARD RED CLAY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

dreadpirateroberts
Hubbard works funk in to his high quality hard bop.

This album of Freddie Hubbard's showcases his exploration of funk, while still holding on to that hard bop sound. Solos are wild and the sidemen both support and egg Hubbard on through the set.

'Red Clay' is a monster of a track (however, it is eclipsed by the live version included with the CD reissue) and deserves its accolades. With an almost swaggering opening from the horns and the perfect beat from Lenny White, the song is a great example of a band and leader feeding off each other. White's drumming becomes increasingly complex as Hubbard begins to solo. He's soon joined by Henderson then Hancock, and toward the end, before the coda, White really lays into his kit.

'Delphia' slows things down next, and we hear some organ and flute mixed into the softer moments, in a song that picks up the mood every few minutes, having an almost blues or soul feel to the track. While 'Suite Sioux' has some wildfire soloing from the horns it isn't one of the stronger tracks and makes way for the messy opening of 'The Intrepid Fox', a track that quickly becomes a race through the next ten minutes, with Henderson and Hubbard lockstep for a while, and White and Carter urging them on as Hancock stabs at the electric piano. It's followed by the Lennon cover, 'Cold Turkey' which doesn't quite work for me, despite energetic efforts all round.

As with most band leaders, when they have enough clout (and sometimes even when they're just starting out) they pull together a great cast of supporting players. Here is no exception, with Hancock, Carter, White and Henderson on board for all songs except for the live take of the title track.

For this version of 'Red Clay', a live bonus track, Cobham replaces White, Turrentine ditto for Henderson and Benson (among others) joins the group for a smoking version of 'Red Clay.' It's harder, wilder and more out of control than the original, and you can really hear the crowd and band getting into it, as they stretch the song out to 18 minutes. The album is worth it for this version of the track alone.

For any one exploring the early moments of funk's incorporation to jazz, this album has much more jazz than funk, but is important in any event. Fans of Hubbard will not miss his frenetic solos here either, four stars, excellent stuff.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
Like many “standard” (everything relative, of course) jazzmen around the turn of the 60’s, Hubbard faced a choice to either adapt to electric jazz or JR/F) or face a possible loss of contract, since the usual jazz wasn’t selling much anymore. He signed to Creed Taylor’s new label CTI, a subsidiary to the A&M label - before CT stroke it out on its own and eventually falling into the CBS stable a decade later. Grabbing a hold of Hancock, Carter and White (all from the Miles crowd), adding Benson and Henderson and the formula paid: he hit pay-dirt almost right-away as Red Clay became his (then-) best selling album, but don’t think that this is steaming fusionic lava flow either.

Opening on the 12-mins title track, the album does take a flying leap-start, as outside Hancock’s Rhodes it sounds quite standardy (hard-boppy) enough still. Hubbard and Henderson’s horn tooting remains fairly traditional, even if the closing wails announce more adventurous things to come. The shorter bluesy Delphia and the very-boppy Suite Sioux feature Herbie on the organ (and the Rhodes), but it doesn’t change much to the traditional bop scheme.

On the flipside, the almost-11mins Intrepid Fox is indeed an intrepid electrified hard-bop piece, but again, we’re facing some fairly standard jazz runs, where only Herbie’s Rhodes gives it a non-50’s slant, because both Freddie and Joe remain within the bop frame. The closing Cold Turkey starts out quite a bit more adventurous, as it features a dissonant intro, before striking a slightly funky rhythm and hitting at some witchy beverage, and at times we’re not Miles away from the real thing. Definitely the album’s most interesting track, if you ask this fusionhead, despite some floating moments.

The early 00’s remaster also gives a bonus extended live version of the title track, with only Benson and Carter still in, but it’s definitely a more energetic and relatively fusionesque version, which in my case, adds much value to the original album; Soooo, if you’re hoping for steaming fusion album (well except for the closing Cold Turkey), you might want to wait until Hubbard’s following opus Straight Life.

Ratings only

  • MoogHead
  • Fant0mas
  • KK58
  • Steve Wyzard
  • Flying Dirty Clouds
  • idlero
  • Anster
  • Reg
  • richby
  • fido73
  • Drummer
  • darkprinceofjazz

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