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Album: Freddie Hubbard, On the Real Side (4Q/Times Square)

Hubbard's chops blew out in the Nineties, which is no surprise given the kind of stick the trumpeter gave them for 30 years or so.

No one has ever made the horn sound louder and longer. He is now partially rehabilitated, but confines himself to the softer pressures and shorter lines required by the flugelhorn. This is a second outing with the New Jazz Composers Octet, which does what it says on the tin: small-ensemble generic modern jazz, shortish on extemporary flash, long on arrangement. The effect is lively and not too challenging, either for Freddie's poor lip or for the listener's ear. An enjoyable experience.

Pick of the Album: 'Lifeflight': twisting, turning but mellow Freddie