The prodigious trumpeter Freddie Hubbard debuted on Blue Note in 1960 and produced an astounding run of recordings over the first half of the decade that culminated with Blue Spirits, which was the last of his 1960s studio albums for the label. This bluesy and spirited album presented five evocative Hubbard originals, each of which was given a richly textured arrangement for an ensemble that included a dynamic four-horn lineup. Drawn from two different sessions, the first date produced the gratifying opening track "Soul Surge" and the percolating "Cunga Black" with Hubbard joined by James Spaulding on alto saxophone and flute, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, Kiane Zawadi on euphonium, Harold Mabern on piano, Larry Ridley on bass, Clifford Jarvis on drums, and Big Black on congas. A week later Hubbard returned to Van Gelder Studio with Spaulding, Zawadi, and a slightly different lineup including Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Pete LaRoca on drums. This second session rounded out the album with hard-charging performances of "Outer Forces" and "Jodo," as well as the mesmerizing title track.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe tip-on jacket.