The Black Angel is an album by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, recorded in 1969 and released in 1970. It was his fourth release on the Atlantic label and features performances by Hubbard, James Spaulding, Kenny Barron, Reggie Workman, Louis Hayes and Carlos “Patato” Valdes.
Freddie Hubbard released The Black Angel in the same year as the landmark Miles Davis album Bitches Brew. Its obvious Hubbard wanted to appeal to the emerging crossover rock/jazz crowd of the era. The presence of bop, however, still permeated Hubbard’s playing, unlike Miles who had long since dropped the form. The opening Hubbard composition “Spacetrack” contains fiery avant garde interplay between Hubbard, James Spaulding on alto and Kenny Barron’s electric piano. Thanks to Spaulding and bassist Reggie Workman, much of the playing here maintains intensity. The other Hubbard penned originals, “Gittin Down” is an urgent hard swinging boogaloo and the ballad “Eclipse” features Spaulding on flute and Barron on piano. “Coral Keys” written by Walter Bishop, Jr. and Barron’s “Black Angel have a Latin tinge highlighted by Spaulding’s soaring flute and the congas of Carlos “Patato” Valdes. An enjoyable session leaving the impression Hubbard was preparing to take a different musical direction (Al Campbell/AllMusic, http://bit.ly/2WC3GKa).
“Spacetrack” (Freddie Hubbard) – 16:58
“Eclipse” (Freddie Hubbard) – 8:19
“The Black Angel” (Kenny Barron) – 8:19
“Gittin’ Down” (Freddie Hubbard) – 6:40
“Coral Keys” (Walter Bishop Jr.) – 5:20
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet, flugelhorn
James Spaulding – alto saxophone, flute
Kenny Barron – piano, electric piano
Reggie Workman – bass
Louis Hayes – drums
Carlos “Patato” Valdes – conga, maracas
Recorded: May 16, 1969
Regent Sound Studios, New York City
Producer: Gil Fuller