Arts Desk

New Information on Freddie Hubbard

Trumpeter David Weiss of the New Jazz Composers Octet – a friend and colleague of Freddie Hubbard provides corrected information to last week's report of Hubbard's hospitalization for a heart attack:

Freddie did not collapse, he was having trouble breathing and was taken by ambulance to Sherman Oaks hospital on Wednesday, November 26. He did have a heart attack. He was unconscious for a couple of days, induced by his doctors who thought the treatment they were giving him would cause him too much pain if he was conscious. He has been awake for around two weeks now. He is still hooked up to breathing apparatus but again is conscious and coherent. He is getting stronger every day but has a ways to go.

Not the best of all worlds, but surely this is good news in that Hubbard is not lying comatose or near death. Black Plastic Bag wishes him best wishes for a speedy recovery and is delighted to have been incorrect.

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  • dean brewington

    freddie 1st beener(oliver) now you? c'mon man! peace,love and music d.b.

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  • Doc Mitchell

    No disrespect Mr Weiss but 2 weeks on a ventilator is reaaalllyy bad. I am a ER doctor and intubated for 2 weeks is when the ICU team usually perform a 'trach' (tracheostomy) a hole in the neck to further assist breathing. Any day you are on a ventilator you are 'near death'. That being said, I truly hope he pulls through and makes a full recovery. He will be in my prayers.


  • chuckster

    R.I.P. Freddie. Your best moments on wax were laid down years ago,but they are,and will always remain,timeless.

  • Michael Hackett

    From Freddie's Wikipedia entry:
    On December 29, 2008, Hubbard's hometown newspaper, the Indianapolis Star reported that Hubbard had passed away due to complications from a heart attack suffered on November 26 of the same year. [10] Billboard magazine reported that Hubbard died in Sherman Oaks, California. [11

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  • SvenJazz

    Met Freddie, I believe Sunday, 9 Mar 1986, performing at BYU (really?), in Provo, Utah. The DeJong auditorium in the Harris Center, 2000 seats. 86 people went to see him. Didn't matter. Hubbard gave them the same level of performance as the week before, in Dehli (India, duh...). Standing room only. Set up another concert impromptu, for the next evening. Again, stainding room only. This incredible, lightning-fast, trumpeter, here in Provo, for 86? Gee... Bigotry still exists in Utah.

    In the green room, door closed, folks from the Salt Lake (City) PBS radio station, fans, me... Freddie asks, "Is it all right if I have some ORANGE juice? Crowd: "Yeah!". Freddie pulls out a drink size container of Smirnoff he got off the plane, and pours it into a Dr. Poole's orange juice carton. Man, great performance. The Man deserves a drink. He slants his brow, and pulls out -- the CONTRACT!

    A contract to perform at Brigham Young University... The stipulations: no alcohol, caffeine drinks, coffee, tea, etc., shall be brought onto the premises of the Campus. Geez...Give us a break!

    We get out of the DeJong, people goin' to dinner, Hubbard asks if I'd like to join. They were going to the Brick Oven, directly adjacent to the southwest corner of the BYU campus. We all meet there.

    Freddie puts his trumpet (in its case) on an alcove where he can keep an eye on it. Staff asks us if we are reserved, how large our party is, Freddie guesses 20. They set up tables in the middle of the room. We seat. People moving, pushing, shoving. Somehow, I end up sitting directly across from him.

    Food Ordered, NO alcohol, NO choice.

    Try to remember the group there. Freddie-Trumpet, Eddie Gomez-Bass, Tony Williams? - Drums, was there a fourth?

    Freddie asks me, who do I like. I answer--Manhattan Transfer. He responds that he likes them as well. Freddie says, " They have a lot of soul for white people." Eddie retorts back, "Oh, Freddie, they're so "hokey."

    Freddie responds, "Think of this. They sing songs about Eddie Jefferson, Coleman Hawkins, Basie, Bird, so many that we've all performed with. People go out and look for and buy their albums. They see us listed as players with them. People look for our albums and buy them. Manhattan Transfer, as "hokey" as you may think they are, educate people about them, and about us." Gomez admitted he'd never thought of that.

    Our group was not the large table the staff was waiting for. A group assembled at the west end of the room. About 15 - 20, or so. Freddie and I continued small jazz chit chat. He says that he and Paul Shaefer with the Letterman show are roommates in NYC, though they don't see each other often, with their busy schedules. I'm about to say something, and Freddie puts a calm hand stop sign in front of me as he cocks his head around to listen to the table on the west end, his back to the group. He has a slow, wry smile growing on his face, listening carefully.

    Hmm, I had seen downward hand motions from some in the group, waving, as if telling the pale guy at the left end to squelch himself. I wouldn't have known what about, though, as they spoke a language I did not understand. (Return Mormon (LDS) missionaries, now in college, often congregate, to keep their foreign language skills fresh.)

    Freddie slowly turns in his chair, looks straight at the young man at the left head of the table, and, getting the tables' attention, very smoothly and eloquently, says something to him in the same smooth, fluid language that I did not understand. All those around the table get extremely quiet, the young man getting even more pale than he already was, and Freddie turns back to face me, a satisfied look in his countenance. The whole table beyond us is flustered, the young man, looking white as a sheet.

    I ask him what was up, he responds and tells me, "Apparently, the whole table speaks Portuguese, and the guy I spoke to, was telling them 'Can you believe they let a black man in here?'. I told him, 'If you have a problem with a black man here in this restaurant, why don't you speak as loudly in English, so all of us can hear?'.

    We all finished dinner, exchanged pleasantries and goodwill to each other. As we stepped out of the restaurant, it began to snow. Bidding farewell to Freddie as he got into his cab, he told me to look for his next recording, coming out that next week, "Double Take", with fellow trumpeter, and friend, Woody Shaw. Incidentally, it was Woody's last recording.

    A couple of weeks later, I'm walking south, a block off University in Provo, when I see the guy at the restaurant walking ahead of me. I pick up my pace, then slow down, and approach him, introducing myself as a disk jockey from a station in Spanish Fork, and that I'd like to ask him a Man-On-The-Street question. He agrees. I ask, "Are you familiar with Billy Joel?". "Yes.", he says. I ask, "Do you like the 52nd Street album?" Before I can go further, he says, "Yes, I especially like the way he plays the trumpet on 'Zanzibar'."

    I'm floored.

    "Anyway, weren't you and a group of friends at Brick Oven a couple of Sundays ago in the evening?", I ask. "Uh... Yes."

    I responded back, "Interesting that you liked Billy's playing on 'Zanzibar'. Actually, if you look at the liner notes, you'll find that Billy doesn't actually play the trumpet on 'Zanzibar'. In fact, the black fellow who spoke to you in Portuguese at the Brick Oven is the guy who plays the trumpet solo on 'Zanzibar'. I just thought you'd like to know." I told him to have a nice day, and I continued on my way. A couple blocks later, I looked back. He was still there, wringing hands, clapping his head,...


    You were great!

    Hope to add more to this.

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  • Dan Waldis

    I had the privilege of playing a concert with Freddie many years ago in Salt Lake City. He could express such emotion with one note!

    We played "Body And Soul"; he played the verse from "Stardust" as an introduction to the tune (playing unaccompanied). As I listened, I was so taken by the beauty of his playing that I forgot to come in with the rest of the band.

    Freddie was great. He forged ahead in ways that few could even begin to follow, and was one of the greatest contributors to the art. Thank you, Freddie, for leaving a great legacy.