Freddie Hubbard on "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum"

Some time ago, I posted a transcription of Wayne Shorter's classic solo on "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum" from Speak No Evil (1964). Here's a transcription of the other horn solo on that track, Freddie Hubbard's concise but forcefully direct one-chorus statement. 

It's the immediacy from the first few notes that really struck me hearing this solo: straight out of the head, there's a declarative quality to the solo (there's something about the fifths in bars 2 and 3 that stand out). How Freddie gets around the horn registerally is also noteworthy, I think—I've heard other trumpet players talk about how trumpet players like he and Woody Shaw got out of the stereotypical trumpet-centric style of playing (smaller intervals, very chromatic) and incorporated a saxophonic flexibility to get around through different octaves quickly and cleanly. 

Even with that in mind, the way Freddie plays the bridge is also distinctly instructive: how he carefully paces the solo, lending it a breathing quality by letting back a bit in volume compared to the beginning and the end, but setting up the last A for a climactic finish. But that's all I should say about this solo; it's really all in the delivery, all on the record. Here's the transcription:

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What's to come for the blog? Well, the past month and the next few weeks have been and will be pretty sparse w/r/t updates — finals season is looking especially time-consuming this semester, but after December 19 I'll hopefully have time to do some pleasure reading, listen to more records and try to make sense of my thoughts, and probably transcribe more and share some practice ideas I've been thinking about lately. In the meantime, look out for a guest post by my good friend Curtis Nowosad, a drummer based in Winnipeg who'll be writing a guest post on what to expect when putting out your first record (he just put out his in November, The Skeptic and the Cynic, which features the likes of Jimmy Greene and Taylor Eigsti, among others, and which I highly recommend for some pleasure listening).


  1. Hi - I finished my own independent transcription of the whole song the other day, which you can find here. We mostly (but not totally) agree on pitches, and on Hubbard's rhythms, but diverge a lot on Shorter's rhythms, which is not surprising given the rhythmic freedom with which he plays! I haven't done a detailed comparison of our two transcriptions yet, but I intend to.


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