Revered 'hard bop' jazz trumpeter dies

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Freddie Hubbard, an influential jazz trumpeter who played with such legends as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, died Monday in Sherman Oaks. He was 70.

Hubbard had been hospitalized since having a heart attack Nov. 26.

A towering figure in jazz circles, Hubbard played on hundreds of recordings during a career dating to 1958, the year he arrived in New York from his hometown of Indianapolis, where he had studied at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music and with the Indianapolis Symphony.

Soon he had hooked up with such jazz legends as Coltrane, Davis, Thelonious Monk and Cannonball Adderley. In 1961, he released "Ready for Freddie," the first of many collaborations with saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

As a young musician, Hubbard became revered among his peers for a fiery, blazing style that allowed him to hit notes higher and faster than just about anyone else with a horn. His "hard bop" stylings can be heard on such landmark 1960s free-jazz albums as Coleman's "Free Jazz" and Coltrane's "Ascension."

As age and infirmity began to slow that style, he switched to a softer, melodic style and played a flugelhorn. He recorded more commercial-leaning albums for CTI Records during the '70s and maintained a presence in the studio and onstage during the '80s.

Hubbard played on more than 300 recordings, including his own albums and those of scores of other artists including Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis.

"He influenced all the trumpet players that came after him," Marsalis said this year. "Certainly I listened to him a lot. … We all listened to him. He has a big sound and a great sense of rhythm and time and really the hallmark of his playing is an exuberance. His playing is exuberant."

Hubbard won a Grammy in 1972 for best jazz performance by a group for the album "First Light." and received the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters Award in 2006.

Jonathan Cohen is a senior editor at Billboard. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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