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Maynard Ferguson

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.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Gabe Terracciano: A Constant State Of Arriving

Read "Gabe Terracciano: A Constant State Of Arriving" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It may seem strange that a jazz violinist should admit to hating jazz violin, but Gabe Terracciano is not your run-of-the-mill jazz violinist. For starters, what other jazz violinist plays Ornette Coleman tunes in a bluegrass band? Nor are there too many jazz violinists who have taken first prize at an old-time fiddle competition, toured Ghana ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Rebel Festival

Read "The Rebel Festival" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the morning of July 4, 1960, there were more than a few signs of the mayhem that had taken place the night before in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport's Millionaires Row woke up to broken store windows, overturned vehicles, and storm drains clogged with garbage and beer bottles. One-hundred-eighty-two people, mostly young, New England college students ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Ahmed Abdullah, Jimmy Cobb, Jill Barber and More

Read "Ahmed Abdullah, Jimmy Cobb, Jill Barber and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

The show must always go on. We have been reaching out to the jazz community to discuss the loss of live jazz due to COVID-19 and, with our programming we offer our contribution to keeping the jazz flame alive in these trying times. We profile new music from Ahmed Abdullah, Dave Liebman, Johnny Summers and Jill ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Video: Maynard Ferguson, 1957

Video: Maynard Ferguson, 1957

In 1957, Maynard Ferguson and his band appeared in a film short for Universal. The faux show featured Ferguson on trumpet and included saxophonist Herb Geller and drummer Mel Lewis. Joining Ferguson were Peggy Ryan, Ray McDonald, the DeCastro Sisters, the Sabres, Russ Arno on vocal. It's hard to know what this was—a short film that ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision

Read "Yuri Honing: Sounds And Vision" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Strange that such a gruesome tale, drowning in blood, could have inspired so much great art. So it goes with Bluebeard, the seventeenth century French folktale, which continues to inspire artists to this day. Dutch saxophonist/composer Yuri Honing's Bluebeard (2020)-- his fourth album on Challenge Records with his acoustic quartet--is not just a highly personal take ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Roberto Magris: Suite!

Read "Suite!" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Italian pianist/composer Roberto Magris could not have anticipated the urgent need for a positive message when he recorded Suite! in 2018. The newly released double album reflects Magris' belief that a better world is coming and his certainty is conveyed in a sprawling program of poetry, original compositions, and some surprising covers. He has recorded as ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Tales of The Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed - Jazz Societies, Part II

Read "Tales of The Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed - Jazz Societies, Part II" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2 Jazz Societies, Part 1 briefly traced the preservation and interpretation of jazz from the oral history of its West African roots through academic and cultural institutions. The article included an overview of jazz societies and foundations that further the fostering of jazz education. The organizations vary in scope, size ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Bob Freedman: Jazz Themes

Bob Freedman: Jazz Themes

Bob Freedman was a wonderful arranger and ardent JazzWax reader. His finest arrangement was And We Listened for Maynard Ferguson's A Message From Newport (1958). He finest album was the little-known Jazz Themes From Anatomy of a Murder. The album was recorded at Boston's Ace Studios for the Coronet label in 1959—the same year Otto Preminger's ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Alan Pasqua: Keys That Unlock Many Doors

Read "Alan Pasqua: Keys That Unlock Many Doors" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Recently, and just a few days before Thanksgiving (2019), I was thankful for the opportunity to have two separate conversations with renown pianist Alan Pasqua. As generous with his time and candid commentary as he is talented as a musician and composer, both conversations crashed the one-hour mark. For you non mathematicians, that is over two ...


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