Maynard Ferguson, RIP
August 24, 2006 11:00 PM Subscribe
Here's a dot . an octave and a half above high C for the legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, who has passed away at 78. Building on the experimental wanderings of Miles Davis, Ferguson fused jazz and rock in creating what is quite probably the signature big band sound of the psychadelic and disco eras. (See, e.g., "Rocky" (.wav).) He was well-known for astounding technical proficiency and his tight-lipped embochure created one of the largest ranges of any trumpeter. (Here's Ferguson playing and conducting "Round Midnight" in a very early clip [youtube]). But legions of former high school trumpet geeks full disclosure: I am one will remember him best for his commitment to signing promising young players for his tours and his reaching out, with tireless touring at tiny venues, to high school and college bandies and drum corps-types who at one time or another came across his repertoire.
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