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These Cats Can Swing!

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Album Review

This is a fairly typical but enjoyable Maynard Ferguson jazz date. His ten-piece Big Bop Nouveau band consists of four trumpets, one trombone, two reeds, and a three-piece rhythm section, so it is quite brass-heavy. Although each of his trumpeters can pop out high notes, Ferguson is still the main screecher, sharing the solo space with pianist Ron Oswanski, altoist Matt Wallace, tenor saxophonist Chip McNeill, and trombonist Tom Garling. The repertoire includes a few swinging pieces, the novelty Ferguson vocal "He Can't Swing," Wallace singing on the R&B-ish "I Don't Want to Be a Hoochi Coochie Man No Mo'," the exotic "Sweet Baba Suite" (which reflects Ferguson's interest in Indian music), and the lengthy "It's the Gospel Truth." All in all, this is a well-rounded set showing that Maynard Ferguson was still a strong force to contend with in the mid-'90s.


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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These Cats Can Swing!, Maynard Ferguson
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