[JPL] Freddie's send off

onthebeach at aol.com onthebeach at aol.com
Wed Jan 7 13:33:48 EST 2009

 Freddie Hubbard was memorialized yesterday in a tribute and ceremony befitting jazz royalty. i know he had that infectious ear-to-ear grin
in full effect.? following a viewing there was a wonderful assemblage of friends, fans, artists and industry folks.

there were wonderful stories and remembrances offered by Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws, BRE Publisher Sydney Miller, Jr.and numerous others including a childhood friend(apologies, name escapes me) who blows a wicked trombone.

there were a number of musical performances. a brass section piece? and numerous small group ensembles playing and jamming.
christian mcbride, javon jackson and trumpeter/hubbard manager david weiss making the trip out from the Big Apple to play tribute.? s and george benson sent his regrets, noting he was "too broken up about losing freddie" to travel at this time.

some beautiful playing including a number of truly inspired performances.? "Little Sunflower" stands out.? with roy mccurdy and christian mcbride holding it down, bennie maupin, javon jackson and david weiss for a horn section.? and i cant honestly remember if this one had patrice rushen or john beasley on piano--both were great with patrice especially striking on acoustic piano.

this was supposed to be followed by a duet performance by stevie wonder and hubert laws.? apparently during the jam, stevie said to hubert he didnt want to follow that crew.? instead mid tune, hubert helped stevie to the stage wherein, without missing a note, steveie started WAILING on "Little Sunflower", truly soulful and him pulling some notes out of the harmonica, ive never heard before<he was killin'>. as if that was not enough, hubert laws then followed THAT with some TRULY ASTONISHING playing. i mean, whoa!
bennie maupin and i chatted about hubert's turn(in particular) and agreed it was jawdropping.

this "review" is incomplete and i apologize for that.? following this there was a closing evocation that was truly inspiring.? a great example of the african american church tradition.? the reverend really kicked it up a notch after he had been obviously moved and excited by the musical performances.? he sent Freddie off with an incendiary offering about jazz, creativity and God's plan for us.? referencing the New and Old Testament's numerous mentions of the trumpet, we got plenty of love, and "blow Freddie, blow" concluding with a call for Gabriel to step aside "...'cause there's a new first trumpet up above."? (all the while Freddie's music playing behind him!)

attending were Freddie's 2nd wife, soulmate of 30+ years Brigette Hubbard and his sone, Dwayne plus a bunch of inlaws in from chicaho and indiana.? following this there was a reception next door with another jam session.

all in all, it was a soul-stirring event and inspired and uplifting!? 

bright moments, indeed!

ricky schultz
reporting from los angeles 




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