REMEMBERING FREDERICK DEWAYNE HUBBARD: “HUBB”


written by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

As this writer was trying to decide on subjects and artists to write about during Jazz appreciation month, “Hubb”, BKA Freddie Hubbard, came into my mind

It’s not easy to write about an eclectic figure like Frederick Dewayne Hubbard. So I’m just going to go against all traditional musings about Hubbard, as viewed by the “jazz-elite”press corps.

I’m more inclined with the hip-crowd of admirers and fans that marvel over the fire, passion and gymnastics. He had all that going for him, that flowed from his body like sweat on a star athlete having a two-hundred rushing yards day, or a 50 point basketball night.

I was first introduced to “Freddie” on Herbie Hancock’s fourth album on Blue Note, Empyrean Isles,1964. At the time I was studying music and saxophone in junior high. First,  I was drawn into the groove of Cantaloupe Island, but, as I listened more to the whole album, I became impressed with the trumpeter.

He didn’t sound like any of the other trumpeters of the era I had been listening to,like Miles, Donald Byrd, Nat Adderley, Dizzy or Clark Terry. It was Hubbard’s dexterity and mastery of his horn, plus the “swag” and POWER! To coin another sports phrase Freddie was like a Power back among a field of average running backs, He just hit a little harder than the others. Man.. those “runs” and glass-shattering high notes that seem to flow so easily from Hubb.

I had not even seen Freddie live yet until early 1967. He was touring with a concept co-op band called the Jazz Communicators that included Joe Henderson, Herbie Lewis, Kenny Barron, and Mr. straight-ahead himself, Louis Hayes.

One day while lunching at school a few of the cats from the school jazz band and myself agreed to catch this group over the weekend. since they were appearing at the famous Lighthouse Jazz café in Hermosa Beach, a local venue inside the metro los Angeles area. We were so anxious, or, I was at least…I could hardly get through the week doing my homework and band practice.

Friday finally arrived , and we got such an early start ,we were the first ones to arrive at the club as only the workers were coming to punch-in for work that night . The anticipation of the frontline was just overwhelming to us. Wow ! Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard. We decided to walk around to kill some time , one of the guys brought a joint that was rather poorly rolled in wheat straw papers and looked pregnant. (Lol) so, we veered down to the far end of the Pier, away from prying-eyes. The five of us proceeded to enjoy the libations, though it was quite comical in our inexperience in these type matters.. the real comedy came as we began to experience the mini-explosions of burning seeds and stems as we laughed uncontrollably until we finished it. Then walking back to the front door , we were met by the ever-smiling Bassist/Manager, Howard Rumsey. He just said as we came in, “You Cats know the rules ,so enjoy yourselves.. We took our up close seats” and ordered our “soft Cokes,” with strange assortments of cherries, limes and oranges garnishing the glass . that made us feel like we were fitting-in with the very hip and rather chatty crowd. Without any further delay, Howard came over  the loudspeaker, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jazz Communicators!”

Bam!. Right out the gate Freddie Hubbard kicked off a Jazz Messengers favorite and, Hubbard’s standard, “Crisis”. I don’t know what its like to ride a bull in a rodeo, but I do know what its like to punch a super-charged Corvette Sting-Ray for the first time.. Zero to 60 in a matter of a few seconds. with my heart and my “stones” jumping out of my body. That’s what it was like with Freddie and Joe opening with a slightly faster version of Crisis. He played, I listened to his very powerful playing up-close and personal. He took at least six courses. OMG!! I had no idea.

The Power, the flow of ideas, trills ,choke notes Highs-lows ascending-descending, those long lung-busting phrases. Oh yeah, those little counter-melodies and rich harmonics,chock full of surprise quotes from classic tunes fused in-between, the sinewy side-bar lines Freddie is known for as a signature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Henderson’s solo was no less electrifying as only Joe could do. Quick power phrases, built on Flat fives and 9s..squawks,growls followed by machine gun like notes pouring out of his horn, riding the rhythm and comping by Louis Hayes and a young Kenny Barron. All held together by the “glue” of bassist Herbie Lewis.

I had seen lots of groups  come to the lighthouse ,but this was a special night. Unbelievable on many levels to this writer. First, The group kept elevating, We stayed from the first to the last set and there were no “Let-Ups” in intensity. Second..I never forgot that evening’s performances. Third, Here it is now 50 years later, and I’m still remembering it as if it was only yesterday.

A couple of us guys that’s still here often reflect on that evening’s fun and camaraderie.. But, the artistry of Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson,Kenny Barron, Herbie Lewis and Louis Hayes still DISTRIBUTE GOOD THOUGHTS IN GREAT TIMES, IN OUR HEADS.

July 2003, I was producer/MC for a Jazz series in San Francisco-Knob Hill  project called “Celebrate a Legend-Jazz In July” a month long 7 days a week series featuring Freddie Hubbard, Freddie Coles, Vanessa Rubin, Doug Carn, Sonny Fortune, Andy Bey, Calvin Keyes, to name a few.  All participating and receiving lifetime achievement awards. We brought in Freddie special for five days, even surprising Freddie with an old friend in Billy Paul making an cameo performance of the “Old folk”. During the course of the five days , I had my hands full with “Hubb just being Hubb”.. some of you will know what I mean..(smile)  But at the end of the day, I felt blessed from the thought of coming from a 15 year old kid in a school band practice room, trying to understand all of what was happening on the “Night of the Cookers” album. Then, flash forwarded to 2003, and i’m now booking and presenting Freddie Hubbard to a hip and sophisticated San Francisco audience. a real dream deferred!  P-baron

Freddie Hubbard was many things to many people including a husband, a father, and a human being with warts and all that comes with that too. Most importantly, he had the respect of his family, friends and fans alike. Certainly mine. I miss Hubb on the scene with all his swag, panache with that biting humor of his.

Its with all due respect I am remembering, Federick Dwayne Hubbard, April 7 1938 – December 29 2008

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JAZZ PIANIST LENORE RAPHAEL: ISN’T SHE GRAND !


posted by Robert J. Carmack   @blues2jazzguy

There are many piano players in the world, boiling down that premise to just Jazz piano players is not a solution either. One could just look inside a union directory, or go on a jazz site and start counting under the letter P.

However, when you call out “women jazz piano players” ,ahhhhh, now that cleaves it down to  almost a virtual-handful in the scheme of things. One of these ladies that stand out, but still “under the radar” is New York born,Lenore Raphael              (born Lenore Hyams). lenore-raphael-smallnow3

Lenore is a jazz pianist and educator heavily influenced by Oscar Peterson, George Shearing and the great Bill Evans, just a few of the many legendary artists who have touched the life of this  “Lady of Jazz.” without getting all “cliché” Lenore is a Pianist’s Pianist. What helped form that opinion by music masters many years ago was her PERFORMING at Carnegie Hall in a classical musical setting as a mere teenager. Taking that old adage to heart of “How Do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice Baby,Practice!

Growing up in New York was half the battle before she even got started, one of the greatest cities to live and study the arts and particularly, Music. Studying classical music all through high school prepared her for her debut at the famous hall. However, She always believe there was more to it than just becoming another pianist playing classical music. she continued her studies at New York University where she received a bachelor of Arts in Music.

lenore-raphael-now2-900magAfter some post- grad work, she began her career as a Music educator in the New York schools, all the while keeping her ears to the ground for opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills, she happened upon a concert that featured the great jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. That one concert changed her whole life and how she viewed the world in music. She became consumed with how she could learn more about this genre, and its master players. Most importantly, How could she become a part of this beautiful music.

After a series of study sessions with jazz teachers like Mike Longo,(Dizzy Gillespie’s arranger) she also became a student of the “Bud Powell school of Jazz” Pianist, Barry Harris.

Harris has extensive and credible work as bandleader and sideman to some of the world’s greatest  artists in the history of Jazz.  It wasn’t long before Lenore was making a name for herself as a formidable jazz pianist. The Concrete Jungle was not without ears, especially when those “ears”   were attached to the likes of Lionel Hampton, Illinois Jacquet and Clark Terry ,who hired her to work with them on the road and at home concerts.

“I couch Lenore between the likes of Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, according to Women’s Jazz advocate and singer/songwriter, Joan Cartwright, who knows Lenore well.

“Ms. Raphael has worked with me and my organization on Women in Jazz South Florida,Inc. (http://www.wijsf.com) a few times.  She even appeared on one of our Jazz CD compilations.

A composer as well as performer, Lenore Raphael penned a tribute composition to Oscar Peterson following his death ,Blues for O.P.  It premiered at a memorial concert for Peterson at the International Association for Jazz Convention in Toronto,Canada. One of her compositions ,is now considered a Jazz standard, Johnny Jazz.

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Lenore Raphael, even after all these years on the road and recording in Live concerts and TV, Radio shows, still finds time to do what she started many years ago and that’s teaching music.

Working with a bevy of jazz musicians and music professionals, She and vocalist Janet Lawson have developed a program for elementary students to learn about the history of jazz. This is a format of “combined-efforts” on the part of well established Jazz artist and legends like the Drummond brothers,Ray and Billy,Clark Terry,and Arnie Lawrence. this series has become the model for teaching students the fundamentals of jazz in the curriculum of many schools across the country.

Lenore is committed to spreading the jazz message to children, Raphael has co-created with Marcia Hillman a book-and-tape series called Scat Cat’s Adventures in Jazzland. She has also published a jazz theory book for senior students.

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Lenore Raphael usually records with her first-call band mates, bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer Rudy Lawless

An authorized and accredited Steinway artist, Raphael still has her own radio show that features guest artists chatting and performing with her on an hour-long program.

steinway-sons-piano Her guests have included jazz artistes Jon Hendricks, Warren Vache, Harry Allen, Gene Bertoncini, Joel Frahm and Marlene Ver Plank.

Her most popular CDs include The Whole Truth, Reflections, Wingin’ It, A Beautiful Friendship and Class Act.

People that influence the world of jazz has said;

Jon Hendricks ~legendary Jazz singer/composer, Lenore is one of the baddest pianist out there today” 

Henry Holloway Capetown,South Africa~”Lenore is the best jazz/swing pianist in the World in my opinion,” Her music master’s classes are awesome too.

Brian Hough Jass Man Magazine~ “This blond ambassador of Steinway will musically knock your socks off”

Jazz writer John Gilbert has called Lenore “Simply one of the best pianist in our form..She always swings. Most critics always used words like”swinging,emotional, and artistically subtle when describing Lenore’s playing.” 

Swinging has always been of major importance to Lenore since she listened to her idols Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson. So is “telling the story”. She strives to be in touch with the intent of the tune when she plays.

Today, Ms. Raphael enjoys the respect of not only the jazz masters and peers, but many of the “new jazz cats & kittens.”  There’s been some rumors of late that, Lenore is in the beginning stages of a new “hush-hush” project involving her knowledge,skills as a composer and deep knowledge of jazz history for a potential TV show. no details at the moment, but it promises to be a block-buster. Stay tuned to this blog for further details as they arrive. For further information and programming notes for Lenore’s radio show click on the hot link below.

http://www.lenoreraphael.com

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