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 Trumpet great Freddie Hubbard at the top of his game, with West Coast all-stars digging into his sturdiest compositions – plus John Coltrane’s technically challenging piece “Giant Steps” – during a couple of nights in San Francisco, eternally exciting though recorded 30 years ago. That’s Pinnacle, Live and Unreleased: From Keystone Korner, a bounteous gift to any fan or fan-in-the-making of fiery and funky, sophisticated and melodically inspired music.

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 Coleman and many others. Throughout the course of his luminous international career, Hubbard established a standard of pure sound that brass players aspire to today.

Hubbard’s explosive and lyrical virtuosity (first noted during a high school band performance in his hometown of Indianapolis) as well as his flow of brilliant, spontaneous ideas and determination to play loudest, hardest, fastest and most imaginatively, will never go out of style. Pinnacle comprises more than an hour of highest level performances by Hubbard on trumpet and flugelhorn, with pianist Billy Childs, bassist Larry Klein (better known now as Joni Mitchell’s producer), saxophonists Hadley Caliman and David Schnitter, trombonist Phil Ranelin, and drummers Eddie Marshall and Sinclair Lott


THOUGHTSOh my freaking god! Freddie Hubbard is so burning!  He is on fire on this date live at The Keystone Corner! Would’ve liked to hear more of Hadley Caliman but all in all this record is absolutely superb!


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