Four Maynard Ferguson Clips - JazzWax

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January 25, 2011


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mel house

Thanks for the Maynard clips, Marc. Just more evidence (as though we really needed it) that he was much more than a screecher!
Love that baritone horn!


Keith Hedger

One of my all-time favorite musicians and trumpet players. I grew out of my "I wanna play like Maynard" phase early -- it was obvious I was never going to play up high like that. But the man was a constant inspiration to me as a youth and a young man. Without him, I wouldn't be a trumpet player today. And I think I can safely say that there are thousands of people out there like me.


Jeff Helgesen

Love "Great Guns", but my favorite track from the Canadian TV show was the recording of "Round Midnight", which is available here:

For my money, that clip has almost everything -- the obligatory high notes, but also some nice middle-register work at the top of the tune, and his characteristic showmanship conducting the band. The only thing missing is him blowing over some changes, at skill at which he was much more adept than 99% of most "high note specialists".


Maynard certainly proves the axiom that one man's pleasure is another's poison. Many jazz fans find his trumpet playing thrilling. Quite a few others find it about as ingratiating as a dentist's drill. Had he stuck to baritone, I might be a fan.

Bill Kirchner

That clip of Maynard with Mike Douglas, Sarah Vaughan, Lou Rawls, and Jerry Lewis (in the trumpet section!) is high camp at its finest. In Maynard's band are my old friends Mike Migliore (on alto saxophone) and Joe Mosello and Ron Tooley on trumpets (Mosello on the left end, Tooley on the right end).

Mike Douglas, BTW, featured a lot of jazz on his long-running syndicated talk show. He deserves to be better-remembered by jazz fans.

Brad Fallon

I love jazz music and I tried listening to Maynard F. He is really good! I admire his contribution to the music industry because there are not so many jazz artist. His music will live on for a long period of time.

John Salmon

Maynard made over 60 albums in his own name. Only five or six aren't at least good-those beiong the last few Columbia albums of the last half of the 70's.

And almost everything he did in the last two decades in his career (the Big Bop Nouveau years) was solid, straight ahead jazz. It's simply not true that MF did no good music after the mid 60's-though I agree that his absolutely best work (the Roulette years) was the period Marc refers to.

Jery Rowan

Always love seeing blurbs on Maynard, an underrated jazz artist known mostly for his chops alone. There are numerous recorded examples of the man blowing great ideas in mid register that are far removed from his stratospheric gymnastics.

Let's remember Maynard for more than just his high notes.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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