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The Best of Hubert Laws

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Album Review

Some of Hubert Laws' more commercial recordings left much to be desired, but at his best, he's been a highly imaginative soloist who can play jazz, classical and R&B equally well. A fine overview of his CTI efforts of the early to-mid-'70s, The Best of Hubert Laws is an eclectic and unpredictable CD that finds him offering adventurous interpretations of everything from John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" to classical pieces by Stravinsky ("The Rite of Spring") and Bach ("Allegro from Concerto #3 in D"). While an NAC/smooth jazz artist would play a mindless, note-for-note cover of Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis," the flutist insightfully transforms the 1974 pop hit into gritty jazz-funk. Electric keyboardist Bob James performs some excellent solos, which expose and underscore the vacuous and shallow nature of his subsequent work.


Born: November 10, 1939 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A talented flutist whose musical interest was never exclusively straight-ahead jazz, Hubert Laws exceeded Herbie Mann in popularity in the 1970s when he recorded for CTI. He was a member of the early Jazz Crusaders while in Texas (1954-1960) and he also played classical music during those years. In the 1960s, Laws made his first recordings as a leader (Atlantic dates from 1964-1966) and gigged with Mongo Santamaria, Benny Golson, Jim Hall, James Moody, and Clark Terry, among many others. His CTI...
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The Best of Hubert Laws, Hubert Laws
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