Clarksburg, West Virginia. October 18, 2000
A concert review by MF fan Trevor Hipps.
WELL FELLOW MF FANS I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I SAW MF AT CLARKSBURG HIGH SCHOOL IN WEST VIRGINIA AND HE WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The band opened with Blue Birdland as always and maynard about blew everyones heads off. I had the great opportunity of sitting very close to the band in the center aisle and loved every minute of it. I am also proud to say that the band was actually pretty good. In recent concerts I have attended MF was always strong and the band always stunk. However they were actually TIGHT this time and did justice to the Maynard Ferguson name.
They then did You Got It and something really cool happened. The breaker flipped and the sound was gone (as far as the microphones go). But this was great!!!!!! MF just moved up a little closer to the edge of the stage and finished the song with his sheer power and volume!! HE ROARED!!!! I am not kidding when I say that he absolutely did not need a microphone.
Next they did Just Friends (lovers no more) and it was very very cool. MF picked up his flugelhorn and threw out some beautiful licks. Several soloists were featured including Reggie Watkins on trombone who also played very beautifully and stylistically. Maynard also nailed some freaky notes throughout this song.
Girl From Ipanema was the next chart and it was awesome. This arrangement, by Reggie Watkins, is killer. When maynard plays the melody there is such a fat, funky groove happening in the rhythm section that it really enhances the piece. There was an extended drum solo by Brian Wolfe that was very lackluster however. This is not to say that he was a poor drummer he just didnt do anything all that impressive in the solo. The pianist was an excellent soloist and he integrated great blues riffs into otherwise classical phrases-- he was very well accepted by the audience as well.
Misra Dhenuka" was the best tune of all by far!!!!!! I have seen this tune performed several times and have been relatively unimpressed by it. But the band really shined on this tune. With solos from about everyone tune never had a dull moment. A great trumpet player Patrick Hession, soloed on this piece. Lets just say conservatively that Hession is very good. He has a great jazz and Bebop feel to his solo work. To backtrack a little, the song opened with the Tibetan bell and Maynard's chants. This was immediately followed by him playing firebird (valve-slide trumpet) in kind of a duel like setting with Reggie Watkins on trombone. The piece progressed very well and all of a sudden Maynard went into his solo and THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED. I have seen maynard hit quite a few double high Cs in the past decade but havent heard him play much higher than that. At the height of his solo maynard ran up the scale to high C and nailed it ---but he wasnt done i could tell he was going to try to reach higher and i figured no way. Maynard Ferguson, a 72 year old trumpet player, 3 times the age of most of his band members hit THE G ABOVE DOUBLE HIGH C. I THINK THE MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE ALL HAD SIMULTANEOUS HEART ATTACKS (AT LEAST I DID ANYHOW).
Next tune was Sunny Side of the Street a song he hasnt done since the 1980s. It was cool to hear it but maynard only sang with Reggie Watkins and did not play at all. But it was still cool because the lead player tackled all the maynard parts flawlessly (unfortunately i dont know his name). The tune rocked and maynard didnt do too awful bad a job singing either.
Then the band did their usual closer of Cajun Cookin/MF Hit Medley/When the Saints go marching in. They also came out for their usual encore of Birdland (the 1996 version).
The only minuses to the whole concert were three things: MF seems to be getting more and more winded and this is something that is very frightening to me, also there is a sax. player in the band that stinks but i wont mention his name out of respect, and Pete Ferguson about drives me nuts--very arrogant, cocky, etc. (the complete opposite of Ed Sargent) and hes not a fantastic trumpet player either but no hard feelings really just an observation.
But all in this entire concert was great, Mf was great, and the band was great (with the exception of the ones mentioned above). Im looking forward to seeing them again soon!!!!!!!!!
Editor's Note: This review (and all fan reviews on this site) was posted as-is. I do not edit or censor any fan reviews, even when they are not 100% positive. To read rebuttals and discussion on this review, visit my forum. -matt