Friday, August 25, 2006

Maynard Ferguson, 1928-2006, RIP

The Squealer was one of the favorites of our high school band in Charlotte. Personally I was more into Bill Watrous (being a trombone player) but MF was the artist most often heard blasting from the speakers of the newly built bandroom at the end of Independence HS in the late 70s. A lot of his stuff, particularly the albums released around that time like Chameleon and Conquistador were pretty schlocky and "real" jazz fans looked down their noses at them (as they did the George Benson and the Chuck Mangione we were listening to as well). But they were fun and an inspiration for my trumpet-playing buddies. Some of the Stan Kenton recordings from the 50s with MF in the band are a better representation of what he was capable of, but I'll always prefer his cover of Herbie Hancock's Chameleon and his rendition of the theme from "Rocky". 70's fun!

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