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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 52: Maynard Ferguson

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Album Review

As part of Verve's extensive Jazz Masters reissue series, this CD has some highlights from trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's recordings for EmArcy and Mercury. There is one selection ("King's Riff") from a date with tenorman Ben Webster and altoist Benny Carter, five songs from an album with West Coast all-stars (Dimensions), a version of "Can't We Talk It Over" that features MF with arranger Pete Rugolo, and selections from Ferguson's early big band LPs Around the Horn and Boy with Lots of Brass. Best-known as a high-note trumpeter, Maynard Ferguson did his best on these performances to show off his other abilities including taking solos on valve trombone and playing jazz in the trumpet's lower register. The bop-based music is enjoyable, there are many other prominent soloists (including altoists Bud Shank, Herb Geller and Anthony Ortega) and Irene Kral sings an effective rendition of "Moonlight in Vermont." But more serious collectors are advised to search for the complete original records.


Born: 04 May 1928 in Verdun, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

When he debuted with Stan Kenton's Orchestra in 1950, Maynard Ferguson could play higher than any other trumpeter up to that point in jazz history, and he was accurate. Somehow he kept most of that range through his career and since the 1970s has been one of the most famous musicians in jazz. Never known for his exquisite taste (some of his more commercial efforts are unlistenable), Ferguson nevertheless led some important bands and definitely made an impact with his trumpet playing. After heading...
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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 52:  Maynard Ferguson, Maynard Ferguson
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