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Straight Life


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Image of album by Freddie Hubbard

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Freddie Hubbard was, next to Miles Davis, the most dramatic and far-reaching brass player of the past 60 years. He died at age 70 in December 2008, leaving a legacy of some 100 recordings under his own name and with everyone from Wes Montgomery and Art Blakey to Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson, Quincy Jones, Dexter Gordon, George Benson, Sarah Vaughan, Max Roach, Count Basie, Ornette ... Read more in Amazon's Freddie Hubbard Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Straight Life + First Light + Red Clay
Price For All Three: £41.62

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000002AGR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,899 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Straight Life

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ajarn Col on 6 Mar 2011
Format: Audio CD
I thought that someone ought to add a buyer's review for this superb 1970's classic. As the blurb on Spotify puts it : "This exciting CD is essential for all serious jazz collections". Too true.

From the soul/funk on "Mr Clean" to the emotionally convincing playing on tracks like "Here's That Rainy Day", Hubbard's sometimes seemingly "cocky" style never feels out of place on this album . The lineup alone ought make it at least an interesting exploratory voyage. But of course "Straight Life" is worthy of much deeper attention than only because of the illustrious array of musicians which CTI managed to gather together in the 1970's. The end product justifies the means and Freddie Hubbard leads the set with admirable creativity.

Freddie Hubbard: trumpet/flugelhorn; Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone; George Benson: guitar; Herbie Hancock: electric piano; Ron Carter: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Richie Landrum: percussion; Weldon Irvine: tambourine.
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By Mike Hobart on 26 Jun 2014
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Played in a band called Mr.Clean, and it was all about this composition, and Freddie nails it on this album.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
electrifying! 15 Dec 2000
By thomas gabuzda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some jazz 'purists' love to bash this period in Freddie Hubbard's career. OK, its not his very finest... but are we going to consider everything after "Maiden Voyage", "Blues and the Abstract Truth" and assorted Art Blakey albums totally superfluous?? Well, perhaps the point could be made. Oh yeah, there's also some burning work with Dexter Gordon. But aesthetically, I take a different view... which is that the sessions for Red Clay and Straight Life, if not others, produced totally burning solo-work from Henderson, Hancock and Hubbard on most every track. I would further argue that Henderson was never better...at least on modal material. I seriously doubt he ever displayed more ferocity, endurance, and creative genius than here (true, he may have on live occasions). Any tenor enthusiast or player who doesn't give a close listen here (and on Red Clay) is making a mistake. The only disappointment is perhaps the tepid rendering of the ballad, and that there aren't more tracks to the session.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Swinging blowing session 19 May 2000
By Tyler Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hubbard turned out a raft of forgettable records on the long-defunct CTI label, but "Straight Life" was a fine effort, an all-star session with a Latin-y feel that found all concerned in fine form.
The title cut is a 17-minute jam. Hubbard exploits the upper register throughout much of his solo, and Joe Henderson on tenor delivers a blistering attack that is one of the high points of the album. George Benson's guitar simmers things down to a bluesy boil and Herbie Hancock works out effectively on the electric piano, finding a Latin groove with percussionist Patato Valdez and the great drummer Jack DeJohnette.
"Mr. Clean" is another straight-ahead attack that allows Freddie to show off his chops. Henderson again gets off on tenor, with a hammering, almost percussive solo.
The album's mood relaxes with the finale, the standard "Here's That Rainy Day." Hubbard has never exhibited, for me, a great touch with ballads, and he fails to find the romance of the tune here. Henderson, unfortunately, lays out. Given his superb work on the sessions two burners, I found myself missing his sound on the ballad, a form with which he has always been very comfortable. On the plus side, Benson contributes some very tasteful comping on guitar.
"Straight Life" finds Hubbard poised at the edge of an unfortunate foray into sessions sweetened with strings, and even worse, tepid funk- and disco-flavored dates. Surrounded by longtime buddies (some of whom would unfortunately follow his subesequent path), he showed that when properly inspired, he could still blow the roof off.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Slammin'... 24 Feb 2006
By B. Bowman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most hard hitting jazz albums I've ever heard. The band assembled for "Straight Life" pretty much explains why: Joe Henderson on sax, George Benson on guitar, Herbie Hancock on piano/keyboards, Ron Carter on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. (Weldon Irvine is even given credit for playing tambourine!) Almost everyone that plays on this album had recorded with Miles Davis at some time or another, and Freddie Hubbard ended up with a monster of an album in incorporating all that talent into one group. The seventeen minute title track is awesome; all the instrumentalists are in top form and turn in inspired solos. Joe Henderson in particular blew me away on this song. His solos are ridiculous here; I have some of his solo stuff and his playing on those discs doesn't compare to how he played on "Straight Life". George Benson also is a standout with his creative solo and occasional flurries of notes. Jack DeJohnette lays down a solid beat throughout. "Mr Clean" was written by Weldon Irvine (also worth checking out is Irvine's own version from the album "Liberated Brother", if you can find a copy) and continues the rapid fire soloing and mood of track one. Hubbard's playing throughout this song is fluid and fiery. "Here's That Rainy Day" slows things down but ends the album on a pleasant note. This was one of the first albums by Freddie Hubbard that I ever purchased and has remained one of my favorites. If you are a fan of jazz in any form I can't recommend this disc enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of Hubbard's finest moments! 24 Mar 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is equal parts fire and funk. The title cut alone is worth the price of admission. Featured are Hubbard on Trumpet and Flugelhorn (on Here's That Rainy Day), Joe Henderson on tenor, George Benson on electric guitar, Herbie Hancock on electric piano, Ron Carter on electric bass, Jack Dejohnette on drums, with Richie Landrum and Weldon Irvin rounding out the percussion section. Supported by this formidable collection of top shelf musicians, Hubbard's trumpet flies right from the opening salvo of the latin flavored funk of Staight Life, to the more groove oriented licks of Mr. Clean. The tender Here's That Rainy Day finds Hub playing a sublime Flugelhorn. The supporting musicians have plenty of room to solo, and they seem to grab the music and wring it for all it is worth. Joe Henderson's eruption of a solo on the title track is a high point. I recommend this cd to anyone who is into hard driving jazz/funk and solos that will burn up your speaker cones. This is a cd to put on, hit repeat, turn up, and let it tear you a new soul!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wish there was more Jazz like this.. 12 Nov 2003
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favourite Freddie Hubbard albums. I enjoy listening to Straight Life even more than the famous Red Clay. The title track has been described as almost a "blow out" and I totally agree. Freddie takes turns with other greats such as George Benson at soloing and working around the central theme. Isn't this kind of thing what Jazz is all about? This album is thick with improvisation, spectacular tonality and energy. Strangely it remains relatively unknown in comparison to Red Clay, but when people hear it they tend to be very impressed. The title track alone is worth the asking price, but the remaining two tracks are brilliant in their own way. I'd recommend this to people who enjoy Jazz with a more improvised and live feel. The spontaneity may bring with it distortions and imperfections but it creates stunning moments that simply would never be achieved by more restrained playing.
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