(Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Milt Jackson, vibes; Ron Carter, bass; Billy Cobham, drums)
Sunflower, Milt Jackson, 1972
IC: What can I say? Freddie Hubbard is a marvellous trumpet player, and quite a major influence on other players. He worked out a whole series of new ways of using fourths, which are very typical of his playing, and which influenced a lot of people, like Woody Shaw. He's a fantastic technician, and capable of playing of the very highest calibre. He's not a good band leader, his best playing is never with his own bands, it's with other leaders, like Dolphy on 'Out to Lunch', with Coltrane, with Oliver Nelson. When he's left to his own devices, he never seems to reach that pitch of greatness.
TC: Is that because it's his own material? Or because he's got other concerns?
IC: There's not the focus there; he always plays beautifully, you could never fault him technically, but when he's with giants... all trumpet players after Louis Armstrong were influenced by sax players, for example, Dizzy with Charlie Parker. Now Freddie Hubbard roomed with Eric Dolphy, and would practice the same exercises, all those huge interval leaps, and that made his playing very different and individual.