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  Maynard Ferguson


















Maynard Ferguson was a musician whose favor with the critics ebbed and flowed. Renowned for being able to hit piercing notes on his trumpet and sustain them for remarkable amounts of time, praise earned for his work with Stan Kenton's Orchestra gave way to revulsion when he started getting funky in the 70s.

Born in Montreal, he became a professional at the age of 15. Ferguson came to America in 1950 while big band was still dominant, and soon got people's attention with his style, which may best be described as Mariah Carey translated through a horn. With the spotlight virtually thrust on him already, it was natural that he form his own bands, which he led throughout the 50s and 60s.

With the advent of fusion, he stepped back a bit from the studio, only to resurface with an eye towards commercialism. Embracing pop covers, funk, and disco, Ferguson began releasing music blatantly aimed at the charts, often produced and/or arranged by Jay Chattaway and Bob James. Critics cried foul, Maynard laughed all the way to the bank, and aspiring players were awed by his presence during the many college workshops he conducted on the side.

Ferguson continued working on an intermittent basis until his death on August 23, 2006.

Maynard Ferguson's Deepest Grooves

Chameleon (Columbia, 1974) 
When a white man in his mid 40s is covering "Chameleon" and "Living For The City" less than a year after their original release dates, you know something's up. In this case, it was Ferguson's desire to get paid. Fortunately, he also tackles Paul McCartney's "Jet" to ward off accusations of being a culture vulture.

Primal Scream (Columbia, 1976)

Conquistador (Columbia, 1977) 
With "Mr Mellow" and "Gonna Fly Now"

New Vintage, (Columbia, 1977)

Carnival (1978)

Hot (Columbia, 1979) 

Copyright 2006  All rights reserved.

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