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Maynard Ferguson

Born:

Walter "Maynard" Ferguson was a Canadian-born jazz trumpet player and bandleader. He came to prominence playing in Stan Kenton's orchestra, before forming his own band in 1957. He was noted for being able to play accurately in a remarkably high register, and for his bands, which served as stepping stones for up-and-coming talent.

Early life and education
Ferguson was born in Verdun, Quebec (now part of Montreal). Encouraged by his mother and father (both musicians), Maynard was playing piano and violin by the age of four. At nine years old, he heard a cornet for the first time in his local church and asked his parents to purchase him one. At age 13, Ferguson first soloed as a child prodigy with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra and was heard frequently on the CBC, notably featured on a Serenade for Trumpet in Jazz written for him by Morris Davis. Ferguson won a scholarship to the French Conservatory of Music where he studied from 1943 through 1948 with Bernard Baker.

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Article: Album Review

The New World Jazz Composers Octet: The Next Stage

Read "The Next Stage" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


The jazz octet has long been somewhat of a “Swiss Army Knife" for composer-arrangers. Consider, for example, the great Dave Pell, Ornette Coleman, David Murray, and the J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Octets. In the hands of great arrangers, the eight-piece format allows arrangers to leverage the flexibility and creativity of a “Messengers" frontline with the ...

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Article: Radio

Spike Wilner, Curtis Fuller & Sarah McKenzie

Read "Spike Wilner, Curtis Fuller & Sarah McKenzie" reviewed by Joe Dimino


Our 701st Show begins with Sarah McKenzie and a great tale from the quarantine. The result is her single “Schneller." We continue to watch the world of music open up with live shows and Spike Wilner is leading the charge. He has new music with his 2021 CD Aliens & Wizards. We continue to profile musicians ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1

Read "Marty Sheller: The Name Behind The Sound You All Know, Part 1" reviewed by Skip Heller


There are certain musicians who embody eras, even if they're not the player with their picture on the cover. In our contemporary musical climate, Greg Leisz comes to mind. Since 1991, he has popped up on hundreds of acclaimed albums, and without ever really changing his style, he has become centrifugal beyond the considerations of genre ...

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Article: Album Review

Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra: The Unreleased WDR Jazz Recordings 1957 - 1974

Read "The Unreleased WDR Jazz Recordings 1957 - 1974" reviewed by Chris May


This 3xCD collection of recordings by Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra is culled from over three thousand individual tracks recorded under the auspices of Cologne, Germany radio station WDR over close on twenty years. It is, as the expression goes, a curate's egg. That is to say, parts of it are excellent and parts of it ...

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Article: Album Review

Greg Yasinitsky YAZZ Band: New Normal

Read "New Normal" reviewed by Jack Bowers


As one good album clearly deserves another, Greg Yasinitsky, who wears many hats—composer, arranger, woodwind specialist and educator among them—has released New Normal, the second impressive outing by his admirable Washington state-based ensemble, the YAZZ Band, which varies in size from septet to tentet. Unlike Yasinitsky's earlier album, YAZZ Band, which was recorded basically in one ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Chick Corea: In The Present Tense

Read "Chick Corea: In The Present Tense" reviewed by Jim Worsley


This article was originally published at All About Jazz on November 12, 2020. RIP, Chick. What can you say about music icon Chick Corea that hasn't already been said? His past, his career has been honored, dissected, and revered. As it should be. A composer and pianist of unparalleled skills and accomplishments, Corea's place ...

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Article: Album Review

Walter White: BB XL

Read "BB XL" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Born in a musical family near Detroit and classically trained at Juilliard, trumpet and flugelhorn player Walter White keeps a hectic schedule as leader of Atlantic Bridge, the Walter White Jazz Quartet, Walter White & Small Medium @ Large, and of the fusion ensemble IFUNU; as a member of the Beige Trio; and as lead trumpet ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti

Read "Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Bahama Soul Club Bohemia After Dawn Buyú Records 2020 Soulful original music laced with judicious and striking samples, Bohemia After Dawn serves a textbook example of music that packs an impact larger than the sum of its parts. Written, arranged, produced and performed by Oliver Belz ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017) was a revered pianist, composer and teacher of great capability and range who, in addition to his own achievements, inspired and influenced many jazz musicians in both the mainstream and avant-garde categories. Largely self-taught as a result of a personal decision to follow his own path, and early on pursuing church music, ...


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