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Breaking Point (1964)

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Ronnie Mathews

This CD reissue (which augments the original five-song program with alternate takes of "Blue Frenzy" and "Mirrors," originally issued on 45) brings back the first recording Hubbard cut with his own working band (as opposed to an all-star studio group). On these selections (particularly the memorable "Breaking Point"), Hubbard and his quintet (James Spaulding on alto and flute, pianist Ronnie Matthews, bassist Eddie Khan, and drummer Joe Chambers) play music that falls in between hard bop and the avant-garde, stretching the boundaries of the jazz modern mainstream. Their explorative flights are still quite interesting more than three decades later and Hubbard, having broken away from his earlier Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan influences, really sounds very much like himself. Blue Note reissued the album in 2004.] ~ Scott Yanow