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With the possible exceptions of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parkerboth of whose playing influenced the entire genre of jazzno other jazz performer has had the purely imitative effect on an entire instrument's universe of players than Maynard Ferguson. Ferguson's unique abilities as a trumpet player and individual inspire trumpeters young and old to this day. His most ardent admirers stretched beyond the jazz idiom to Maurice Andre, Adolph "Bud" Hersethrespectively considered the "gold standard" of orchestral and virtuosic trumpetingto the still-tooting at 90+, Doc Severinsen.
While Ferguson had already established himself as a phenom in prior decadeswith Charlie Barnet, Stan Kenton, the L.A. studios, leading the Birdland Dream Band, and via his straight-ahead Roulette and Mainstream label yearsit was during his "commercial" period at Columbia Records where Ferguson's appeal began to cross boundaries, age groups, and, at the time, radio and television media. Memories of Maynard is a superbly presented compilation of selected recordings performed by Ferguson and his high-energy units during the Columbia stinta period where jazz and commercialization blended under the dizzying strobe-globe of disco. The playing on this salute is, as it was then, stellar. However, it is the glorious re-mastering and production that yields Memories of Maynard as a killer effort. Reissue Producers Ken Masters and Gary Gillies, along with Gillies' and Andy Haldane's superb re-mastering, delivers one for the Agesall of them.
The compilation launches powerfully with Ferguson's white-hot funk take on "Chameleon," and includes his biggest crossover hit, "Gonna Fly Now ("Theme from 'Rocky')," as well as themes from the original "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" movie. Ferguson, who was an opera embracer, delivers a whirling send-up of "Pagliacci" that Luciano would love. "Fox's" long-time love of Indian music is represented by two takes, "Om Sai Ram" and a never released cut, "Shanti Mantra." "Maria," originally in the Ferguson band book in the early 60s, was given a contemporary "hustling." The Ferguson bands sizzle and soar on every cuteven more so when listened to with our fresh "ears."
While jazz purists now, as they did then, might raise brows regarding the commercialization of the presentation, one cannot help but be rendered awe-struck at Ferguson's artistry and unique musical gifts. The album is an absolute joy. Informative anecdotal liners are included; however, personnel are nota minor drawback. (Note: As a courtesy, I have included a listing below of players who performed on the Columbia originals).
Rest assured that somewhere there's a fifth-grade trumpeter practicing whose window is opened and who, upon hearing this album, certainly is gonna fly now. Here are your wings, young trumpeter. You can thank The Boss.
Track Listing: Chameleon; Primal Scream; Pagliacci; Gonna Fly Now (Theme from "Rocky"); Theme from Star Trek; Maria; Scherherazade; Over the Rainbow; Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture;" Om Sai Ram; Hollywood; Portuguese Love; Shanti Mantra.
Personnel: • 1974 – Chameleon (Columbia): Stan Mark, Dennis Noday, Lynn Nicholson, Bob Summers– trumpets, flugelhorn, Latin American instruments; Randy Purcell, Jerry Johnson –trombones; Andy Mackintosh –alto sax, flute, soprano, cowbell; Brian Smith –tenor sax, flute, tambourine
Bruce Johnstone –baritone sax, flute, vibraslap; Rick Petrone –Bass; Allan Zavod –piano, electric piano; Dan D’Imperio - drums; Joe Beck -guitar; Jerry Johnson - trombone.
• 1976 – Primal Scream (Columbia): Drums: Steve Gadd; Bass: Gary King; Guitar: Eric Gale, Jeff Mironov, Jerry Friedman; Percussion: Ralph MacDonald; Piano, Arp Synthesizer, Clavinet: Bob James; Electric piano and Mini Moog Synthesizer: Chick Corea; Mark Colby – Tenor, soprano saxophone; Peter Erskine – drums; Biff Hannon – electric and acoustic piano, Micromoog, and Polymoog Synthesizer; Roger Homefield – trombone; Gordon Johnson – bass; Nick Lane – Trombone; Stan Mark – Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Mike Migliore – alto, soprano saxophone; Bob Militello – baritone saxophone, flute (flute solo on "Maria" and "Scheherazade"); Joe Mosello – trumpet, flugelhorn, congas, percussion; Dennis Noday – trumpet, flugelhorn; Randy Purcell – trombone; Ron Tooley – trumpet, flugelhorn; Eric Traub – tenor, soprano saxophone; Tony Romano – Sound and The Tony Rome Show; Ralph MacDonald – percussion; Steve Khan – electric and acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars, classical Guitar (Solos on "Main Title (From the 20th Century-Fox Film "Star Wars")" and "Scheherazade"); David Taylor – Trombone; Donald Corrado – French horn; Jim Buffington – French Horn; Brooks Tillotson – French Horn; Earl Chapin – French Horn;
• 1977 – Conquistador (Columbia)
• Drums: Steve Gadd
• Bass: Gary King
• Guitar: Eric Gale, Jeff Mironov, Jerry Friedman
• Percussion: Ralph MacDonald
• Piano, Arp Synthesizer, Clavinet: Bob James
• Electric piano and Mini Moog Synthesizer: Chick Corea (The Cheshire Cat Walk only)
• Flute and Baritone saxophone: Bobby Militello
• Soprano & Tenor saxophone: Mark Colby
• Alto saxophone: Dave Sanborn
• Tenor Saxophone: Joe Farrell
• Trumpet: Marvin Stamm
• Trumpet and Flugelhorn: Jon Faddis, Bernie Glow, Stan Mark
• Trombone: Tony Studd
• Bass Trombone: David Taylor, Paul Faulise
• French Horns: Brooks Tillotson, Earl Chapin
• Patti Austin
• Lani Groves
• Hilda Harris
• Violins: David Nadien, Max Ellen, Harry Cykman, Paul Gershman, Emanuel Green, Charles Libove, Joseph Malin, Frederick Buldi
• Violas: Theodore Israel, Emanuel Vardi
• Celli: Alan Schulman, Charles McCracken
• 1977 – New Vintage (Columbia)
The M.F. Band
• Mark Colby – Tenor, Soprano Saxophone (Soprano solo on "Oasis", Tenor solo on "El Vuelo (The Flight)")
• Peter Erskine – Drums (Solo on "Airegin"[a])
• Biff Hannon – Electric and Acoustic Piano, Micromoog, and Polymoog Synthesizer (Piano solo on "Airegin")
• Roger Homefield – Trombone
• (uncredited) Gordon Johnson – Bass
• Nick Lane – Trombone
• Stan Mark – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Mike Migliore – Alto, Soprano Saxophone (Alto solos on "Main Title (From the 20th Century-Fox Film "Star Wars")" and "Airegin")
• Bob Militello – Baritone Saxophone, Flute (Flute solo on "Maria" and "Scheherazade")
• Joe Mosello – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Congas, Percussion
• Dennis Noday – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Randy Purcell – Trombone
• Ron Tooley – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Eric Traub – Tenor, Soprano Saxophone
• Tony Romano – Sound and The Tony Rome Show
• Ralph MacDonald – Percussion
• Steve Khan – Electric and Acoustic 6 and 12-String Guitars, Classical Guitar (Solos on "Main Title (From the 20th Century-Fox Film "Star Wars")" and "Scheherazade")
• David Taylor – Trombone
• Donald Corrado – French Horn
• Jim Buffington – French Horn
• Brooks Tillotson – French Horn
• Earl Chapin – French Horn
• Gloria Agostini (Harp)
• Jonathan Aloramowitz
• Lamar Alsop
• Seymour Barab
• Arnold Black
• Alfred Brown
• Frederick Buldrini
• Harold Coletta
• Harry Cykman
• Richard Davis
• Max Ellen
• Lewis Ely
• Barry Finclair
• Louis Gabowitz
• Harry Glickman
• Theodore Israel
• Harold Kohon
• Charles Libove
• Charles McCracken
• Marvin Morgenstern
• David Nadien
• Tony Posk
• Matthew Raimondi
• Alan Shulman
• Herbert Sorkin
• Richard Sortomme
• Emanuel Vardi
• Richard Berg
• Ellen Benfield
• Katie Irving
• Tina Kaplan
• Tony Wells
• 1978 – Carnival (Columbia)
The MF Band
• Maynard Ferguson: MF Holton Trumpets, Firebird, Superbone, Flugelhorn
• Eric Traub: Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
• Mike Migliore: Alto & Soprano Saxophone, Flute
• Bob Militello: Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Alto flute, Piccolo
• Nick Lane: Trombone
• Phil Gray: Trombone
• Stan Mark: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Joe "Loon" Mosello: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Piccolo trumpet, Percussion
• Dennis Noday: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Dan Welty: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Ron Tooley: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
• Biff Hannon: Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, Polymoog, Micromoog & Minimoog Synthesizers
• Gordon Johnson: Electric & Acoustic Bass, Flute
• John Qdini: Acoustic & Electric guitar
• Bob Economou: Drums
• Peter Erskine: Drums
• Gordon, Peter, Biff, John, Kim, Tony, Joe & Nick: Handclaps
• Ralph MacDonald: Percussion
• Rubens Bassini: Percussion
• String Concertmasters: Aaron Rosan, Paul Winter
• Maretha Stewart
• Hilda Harris
• Barbara Massey
• Yolanda McCullough
• Vivian Cherry
I love jazz because of its ability to evoke such tremendous emotion... primarily joy!
I was first exposed to jazz by my grandparents.
The first jazz record I bought was Jim Beard's Song of the Sun or maybe Steely Dan's Aja.
My advice to new listeners: remain varied in your listening habits, and of course keep listening, keep listening, keep listening!
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