Freddie Hubbard

One could say that Indy is a sleepy little no where town where you can’t launch a jazz career, or much of any other career, but that would be disingenuous.  Indianapolis’ legacy is that a good number of jazz musicians have come from here and several of them are heavyweights.  One of these is Freddie Hubbard, trumpeter extraordinaire.  I first heard Freddie’s music when the great Dave Baker, composer and professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of music conducted the IU Jazz Ensemble at the Garfield Park 
Amphitheatre when I was a youngster.  I will never forget that they played Red Clay and the music made quite an impression on me. 

Fast forward to approximately 1980 and I have come back from Muncie and Ball State to see Freddie at the Vogue.  I’m working, I have a new (to me) car and Karen and I are going to see him. It is a summer night and we are wearing white, looking dapper as two hipsters out on the town.  We arrive fashionably late and find balcony seats.  Freddie is already onstage and as we arrive, he gives me the subtle head nod.   I return the gesture, cooly with confidence.  Suddenly, I’m thinking I must have it goin’ on to be cooly greeted by the great Freddie Hubbard.  Freddie was in great form in those days and we enjoyed, but of course, we had somewhere to go and be seen or else I felt the need to get my friend home.  So we left during the encore,  somehow I managed to get Freddie’s attention and politely gave him another head nod.  Karen and I laughed at the time at the insinuation of coolness.  I told my wife this story and she laughed.  But I also grieved, both my friend Karen and the great Freddie have passed away. 




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