LOS ANGELES - Freddie Hubbard, 70, the Grammy-winning jazz musician whose blazing virtuosity influenced a generation of trumpet players and who collaborated with such greats as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, died Monday a month after suffering a heart attack.
A towering figure in jazz circles, Mr. Hubbard played on hundreds of recordings in a career dating to 1958, the year he arrived in New York from his hometown, 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 Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and Coltrane.
In his earliest recordings, which included
for Blue Note in 1960, the influence of Davis, Chet Baker and others on Mr. Hubbard was obvious. But within a couple of years he would develop a style all his own, one that would influence generations of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis. "He influenced all the trumpet players that came after him," Marsalis said earlier this year.
Mr. Hubbard played on more than 300 recordings, including some of the most important jazz albums of the 1960s: Herbie Hancock's
and his own classic,
Ready for Freddie.
But he enjoyed his biggest success in the 1970s with such albums for Creed Taylor's fusion-oriented CTI label as
The latter won him a Grammy in 1972 for best jazz performance by a group.
Mr. Hubbard did not abandon straight-ahead acoustic jazz, also recording in the 1970s with the group V.S.O.P., which included the members of Davis' legendary 1960s quintet: Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams.
"I've played some things that I don't think too many cats can play that are alive today," Mr. Hubbard told the AP in June when he was in New York to celebrate the release of his last album,
On the Real Side.
"Whatever they play, it's not going to surpass that," he said of his body of work.
As a young musician, he was 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. After his early recordings for Blue Note, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, later playing in groups with Quincy Jones, George Duke and many others. His recordings spanned such styles as bebop, fusion, free jazz and jazz-rock.
His career slowed in the 1980s and 1990s; he attributed that in part to a period of drinking and partying with "the rock crowd" and to heavy touring. But he came back in the last decade, releasing
in 2001 and
On the Real Side
in 2008. In 2006, he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, a leading jazz honor.
Reviews, interviews and a Hubbard discography at his Web site via