Personnel includes: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn); Ray Alonge, James Buffington (French horn); Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet, oboe English horn); George Marge (flute, clarinet); Wally Kane (flute, bassoon); Hubert Laws (flute); Margaret Ross (harp); Phil Kraus (vibraphone); Richard Wyands (piano); George Benson (guitar); Ron Carter (bass); Jack DeJohnette (drums); Airto Moreira (percussion).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Didier C. Deutsch.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey from September 14-16, 1971. Includes liner notes by Didier C. Deutsch.
Digitally remastered by Larry Keyes (CBS Studios, New York, New York).
Of the seminal recordings Hubbard made at Van Gelder studios for CTI in the early '70s, FIRST LIGHT was the trumpet player's favorite. Here it is, digitally re-mastered and re-released on CBS Associated. All the earmarks of Creed Taylor's production style are immediately apparent-the expanded instrumentation (including French horn, strings, and even harp), the jazz-fusion charged rhythm section, and the beautifully clean sound he achieved in the studio. FIRST LIGHT won a Grammy in '71 and solidified Hubbard's already formidable status among the greats of jazz trumpeting.
Hubbard is backed wonderfully by such notables as Ron Carter (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), and George Benson (guitar). All the tracks have an expansive, ethereal elegance and, as was the case with such CTI productions, each showcases great jazz improvisation over unusual material. The second track, the highly unlikely "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" by Paul and Linda McCartney, becomes fertile ground for Hubbard's warm, thoughtful flugel horn and Benson's always fresh and playful guitar work. FIRST LIGHT is a classic.
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