There has been some controversy regarding Blue Note‘s Rudy Van Gelder remasters but they work brilliantly for most listeners. The thing about the horns, and, of course, it’s purely subjective, is that these editions actually improve what many thought was a slight imbalance on the original recordings. Yes, we know Rudy liked to shove the brass right up in your face and, especially with a swaggering, incendiary player like Freddie, it’s great. But it often seemed as though the keys, in particular, and the bass, were low in the mix, rather than the horns being high, per se.
This 1962 set is a classic from Freddie, his sixth for Blue Note. Apart from the stellar contribution of Spaulding on alto, a nice alternative to tenor, and Herbie Hancock repaying Hubbard’s favour for Maiden Voyage, the confidence and mastery evident on Lament for Booker from the 24 yr old Hubbard is worth the price alone.
Miles Davis, for all his trailblazing vision and imagination, wasn’t even half the technical and physical horn player of Hubbard.
You need this in your life.