Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freddie Hubbard - Ride Like The Wind (1982)

This is an interesting early '80s album for two reasons: 1) it was recorded two-track digital, which was fairly new technology at that time, and 2) it was recorded live to digital with no mixing, editing, or overdubbing, which was almost unheard of at that time. It's a bold move; in the wrong hands, this could have turned out sounding like a demo tape. But it's got a great sound and Hubbard's tone is awesomely pure. If I had discovered this album upon its release when I was in high school, I'm certain I would have listened to it often. I wish I had, because Hubbard's tone would have set a good example for me. The music and arrangements haven't aged well, but it's a fun listen every so often.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #24

Tracks: There's 3 covers here, the title track, Kenny Loggins' This Is It, and Weather Report's Birdland. There's only so much you can do with pop tunes; they usually come off as cheesy Muzak. However, Hubbard's efforts are more successful than Maynard Ferguson's attempts at pop from the same era. They are all very energetic but stay close to the originals. Birdland was becoming a jazz standard at the time and it actually lends itself to any sort of jazz group (combo, big band, etc); this version isn't the best I've heard, but it's certainly not the worst. There are 4 originals, 3 by composer/arranger/conductor Allyn Ferguson (best known for the themes for 1970s television programs Barney Miller and Charlie's Angels) and one by Hubbard, titled Bridgitte, one of the better songs on the disc. The Ferguson originals are good with the exception of Condition Alpha which sounds as lame as the title.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This album was originally released on the Elektra/Musician label, a short-lived jazz label in the early '80s. I had purchased The Bridge by David Sancious on LP that had also been released on that label. (That's a great album and I wish it would be released digitally in any format.) Back then, I would pour over any liner notes printed on the album cover or inner sleeve. The inner sleeve for The Bridge (portion below, click to enlarge) was an advertisement for other Elektra/Musician releases. This album was listed there and, being a trumpet player myself, I always wondered what the music sounded like. Last year, I pulled out my LP copy of The Bridge, saw that ad again, went to eBay, and ordered me a CD. Better late than never, I guess.

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