Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
World's smallest big band
Rick Price | Mt. Holly, NC United States | 11/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great CD. Afficionados of Ferguson (as well as idiomatically unbiased popular music historians)know fully well that this time was the low tide mark for the big band "business".
(Maynard was about the only creative example left by the mid-sixties, with a couple of exceptions that are talked about so much without mentioning M.F., this will probably be the only example of the tables being justly turned.) The potential downside is obvious: Any player (as if there are any) of Ferguson's undisputed power, range and endurance is sorely tempted to overplay and dominate the sound of the group to the detriment of the internal interplay of the musicians. It is to his vast credit that this, in fact, didn't happen. This CD's greatest value is in hearing his alternative approaches to improvising on the shop worn standards that he and Clifford and Clark Terry gave (collectively and INDIVIDUALLY) a badly needed fresh coat of paint to a mere 13 years previous. "To and Fro" and "Polecat" really cook! The Ballads are my favorites though. Buddy Fasano's bass interplay with the drummer (Ron Page)is Milesworthy."
Eliminator Man | Plymouth, MN | 03/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a big fan of the electric pop stuff of MF's later period or of big band stuff in particular. One of the first jazz albums I ever bought back in the 60s was an MF sextet album on Mainstream. It featured a take on "Summertime" as the album climax. I have always liked that album, but it is long long out of print. This CD is as close as you can get to that. It is straight ahead acoustic jazz by a skilled 60s sextet. It isn't particularly adventuresome, but at least the focus is on playing jazz and improvising. You get the high note playing, but there is also more taste than his early stuff and none of the jazz rock electric stuff that most of these reviewers seem to prefer.
Of all the Maynard Ferguson CDs on Amazon, this seems to be the only one that is small group acoustic. The sound quality is great studio quality. There are no "dental problems" and everyone in the band gets space. If anyone knows of anymore albums in this vein, I'd buy them in a heartbeat. Otherwise I'll stick to Miles, Monk, Bird, Trane and the rest. Thanks.