1. Soul Surge
2. Blue Spirits
3. Outer Forces
4. Cunga Black
6. The Melting Pot
7. True Colors
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Hosea Taylor (bassoon); James Spaulding (alto saxophone); Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Kiane Zavadi (euphonium); Herbie Hancock (piano, celesta); Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner (piano); Larry Ridley, Reggie Workman (bass instrument); Clifford Jarvis, Elvin Jones, Pete La Roca (drums); Big Black (congas).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood, NJ (02/19/1965 - 03/05/1966).
This excellent 1966 set features a diverse range of ensembles, all lead by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. The first is an octet, featuring congas and a euphonium; the second, a seven-member group, including the great McCoy Tyner on piano; the third is a sextet that boasts drummer Elvin Jones and Herbie Hancock (who doubles on piano and celeste). James Spaulding lends his alto sax and flute to two of the groups, and Joe Henderson is in two as well (his melodic, yet adventurous, tenor sax playing is especially notable). Also featured are tenor player Hank Mobley, bassist Reggie Workman, pianist Harold Mabern, and drummer Pete La Roca.
The fare on BLUE SPIRITS is in keeping with the hard bop of the era. A heavy soul-jazz influence is heard on the opening "Soul Surge" and the Latin-tinged "Cunga Black," but Hubbard's work is always challenging (the driving "Jodo") and often impressionistic (the moody, spectral title track). The revolving cast of players keeps thing interesting (especially for jazz fans familiar with the respective styles of the musicians), and the tonal variation created by the different instrumentation intrigues.