Recorded between trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's better-known classics Red Clay and First Light, Straight Life is actually arguably Hubbard's greatest recording. Hubbard, joined by an all-star group that includes tenor saxophonistJoe Henderson, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, guitarist George Benson, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, is frequently astounding on "Straight Life" (check out that introduction) and "Mr. Clean," constructing classic solos. The very memorable set is rounded off by the trumpeter's duet with Benson on a lyrical version of the ballad "Here's That Rainy Day." This exciting album is essential for all serious jazz collections. Scott Yanow/AMG
One of the great jazz trumpeters of all time, Freddie Hubbard formed his sound out of the Clifford Brown/Lee Morgan tradition, and by the early '70s was immediately distinctive and the pacesetter in jazz. However, a string of blatantly commercial albums later in the decade damaged his reputation and, just when Hubbard, in the early '90s (with the deaths of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis), seemed perfectly suited for the role of veteran master, his chops started causing him serious troubles. Scott Yanow/AM
"If you don’t own this LP your jazz collection has a big hole that needs filling" Dennis Davis
Personnel: Freddie Hubbard, trumpet, fluglehorn / Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone / Herbie Hancock, piano / George Benson, guitar / Ron Carter, bass / Jack DeJohnette, drums / Richard "Pablo" Landrum*, percussion / Weldon Irvine, tambourine
Straight Life captures the vibe found on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, it's rhythmically stronger and less challenging, and more of a collaboration. It may be Hubbard's name on the cover , but this is very much an ensemble creation. Only the final track, Here's That Rainy Day,a duet with Benson, puts him in the lead for any duration. This short album has just three tracks, but they contain more insight, intensity, tone and vibe than most. Heavy but light, multi-layered yet intrinsically legible, this is the distilled essence of a finely honed groove. It is also a great recording with more inner detail and low end welly than most of its era. JK
Van Gelder plus CTI equals the dope and Pure Pleasure is the Icing on a rich sonic cake. Jason Kennedy -Hi Fi Choice HOT PICK 2015
"Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Straight Life’, his best LP featuring George Benson and Herbie Hancock. Exciting and, often, astounding." Paul Rigby hi-fi World, Nov 2014.