This well-recorded outing (which has been reissued on CD by Drive Archive) was trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's first worthwhile studio recording (with the exception of Super Blue) since the mid-'70s. Essentially a bebop date, Hubbard is teamed with a sextet comprised of altoist Richie Cole, trombonist Ashley Alexander, pianist George Cables, bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer John Dentz; altoist Med Flory sits in on "Byrdlike." Hubbard shows on such standards as "Shaw Nuff," "Star Eyes" and "Lover Man" that he could still play straightahead jazz with the best of them, Alexander is featured on "Stella by Starlight" and Cole is also in excellent form.
This collection on the U.K.'s Soul Brother imprint is a very compelling look at a big slice of Freddie Hubbard's long career as a leader, and one that gets ignored for the most part. Hubbard recorded over 20 records between Backlash, his Atlantic debut in 1966, and Ride Like the Wind for Elektra in 1982, with lengthy stops at Columbia and CTI (as well some straight hard bop and post-bop outings for labels Fantasy and Pablo). In many cases, some of these original recordings were not only disregarded by more traditional jazzheads, they were regarded with outright hostility. It didn't matter to Hubbard, however, because at the time, these were among his best-selling albums and connected with the public deeply.
Other than their joint appearance as sidemen on Benny Golson's Time Speaks in 1983, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw had never recorded together before Double Take. At this point in their evolution, Hubbard still gets the edge (his range is wider and he cannot be surpassed technically). Although Shaw tended to play more harmonically sophisticated lines and is remarkably inventive, they are both trumpet masters. Their meeting on Double Take was more of a collaboration than a trumpet battle; in fact, the brass giants only trade off briefly on "Lotus Blossom."
Freddie Hubbard's definitely rolling on this great little set – rolling right back into acoustic jazz territory after a run of smoother soul sessions for bigger labels at the end of the 70s! The album's a live one, and it's a perfect example of the development of Hubbard's solo skills at the point – amazingly well-crafted, especially in a spontaneous setting like this, where Freddie can really stretch out over a long tune with really soulfully imaginative expressions. The group features the great David Schnitter on tenor and soprano sax – a great colleague for the date – plus Billy Childs on acoustic and electric piano, Larry Klein on bass, and Carl Burnett on drums. Titles include "Breaking Point", "Brigitte", "Cascais", "One Of Another Kind", and "Byrdlike".