to book Maynard?
was here, and it was amazing. Somehow, the event lived up to its
hype. The event was far too huge to review in depth, so I'll divide
the updates into two sections:
to hear these artists at home? Here's my collection of albums
by Stratospheric artists.
The 4 day
event was amazing and exhausting. Instead of writing a long review, I've
posted some of the most thoughtful entries from the MF Forum.
Date/Time: 9/30/04 5:58 pm
returned from a panel discussion that was added to the program due
to Herb Gellar not being able to make it to LA.
theme of the panel was "On the Inside", and featured Ed
Sargent, Liinda Maertz, Bob Birk, Herb Wong, Maynard Ferguson(!),
and our very own Matt Keller.
member of the panel discussed their various rolls within the organization.
Ed described the organization as a big pie with each person having
a piece to complete the circle and make the orginazation run smoothly.
asked of Ed was the status of a new MF studio recording. He said
that there WILL be one, but the logistics of getting into the studio
are difficult, as well as not wanting to "over saturate"
the market with new Maynard stuff.. What new stuff, you may ask?
Ed and Linda confirmed that a DVD release will be out in time for
Christmas of a performance from Seattle in 2000.
2. Best of MF Horn Series (includes cuts from "alive and well
in London"). 13 tracks hand picked by MF, and Ed mentioned
that Sony wants to have it out by Christmas, but he wouldn't be
surprised to see it 1st or 2nd quarter 2005.
3. Best of MF Horn Series Vol II. Ed stated that although it is
not a complete "reality" like the first best of MF Horn
CD is, Maynard is currently in the process of choosing 13 additional
tracks for a second volume of Best of MF Horn.
question asked of the panel was whether MF would bring in a full
big band for a recording project even if keeping the small band
on the road. Ed asnwered that they aren't opposed to bringing in
an extra musician (i.e., Denis Diblasio on "Swingin for Schuur"),
and Maynard added that he is more in favor of recording his touring
band as is, since the record buying public expects to hear a replication
of the most recent recordings when seeing a band live.
was a great panel discussion, and I will report more later!
Date/Time: 10/2/04 3:22 am
guys had a little trouble with Stella by Starlight tonight...apparently,
they started off before anyone realized that the lead trumpet part
was missing! Roger Ingram did his best to improvise, but there were
still noticeable holes.
was present during the whole thing, taking the stage to give long
and heartfelt intros to Slide Hampton and Mike Abene. There definitely
seems to be a spring in MF's step this weekend; did anyone else
notice that he jumped up on stage (at least a 3 foot hop) without
help at one point tonight?
was awesome, as was Lanny Morgan, who seemed to get the most solo
space tonight -- many of the charts from that period had prominent
alto features. No wonder, when they had a monster like Lanny on
the band! Slide Hampton is also a national treasure.
only small gripe so far is that the trumpet section isn't loud enough!
They seem to be lost in the mix at times, at least from where I've
been sitting in the fifth row. Also, I really would've liked to
have seen whoever's taking MF's part on a particular tune to come
down front rather than just sitting back in the section. I have
the feeling that's going to be different when we get to the 70's
charts tomorrow (can't wait!).
Date/Time: 10/2/04 4:02 pm
Ballad Style concert was very good. Although I tend to hate strings,
it was a nice change. Bobby Shew said something about it feeling
like being wrapped in velvet. Bobby opened up the concert with two
features. I can't remember the names of all his features (he had
four), but I do know he played Somewhere and Maria. Maria was the
last tune of the concert. Bobby had been having some trouble with
his 3rd valve sticking. At the end of Maria in a very exposed part,
Bobby's valve stuck again. He just held up the trumpet, looked at
the audience, and said "Made in Japan". He then finished
the song. Funny. Pete Disenia did a nice job on a tune I haven't
heard before. Roger played some really loud high notes on Born Free.
My favorite performance of the concert was played by Adolfo Acosta.
I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He's a fine young
trumpet player. He didn't play the loudest or the highest, but I
thought he was the most musical. Overall, the concert was a very
nice touch. All four trumpet players did an excellent job. I'm glad
Date/Time: 10/2/04 9:16 pm
just returned from my favorite concert so far. ERIC MIYASHIRO IS
A MONSTER!!!! He's just awesome. He performed Bridge Over Troubled
Water and Macarthur Park. What an amazing job. I need to pick up
his CDs, which are for sale here. I think he's playing again tonight,
so I'll definitely need to catch him. If you ever get a chance to
hear this incredible trumpet player, DO NOT pass up the opportunity.
Buy his CDs. Hear this man. You will not be disappointed.
highlight of the concert was Scott Englebright playing Hey Jude.
It was the closer of the concert and had tons of energy. Scott played
some fat high notes (I think he had some double C's). Mike Bogart
and Adolfo Acosta had some great features as well. The drummer,
Ray Brinker, is great. The concert was incredible. I'm sorry for
those of you who weren't able to attend.
Date/Time: 10/3/04 1:50 am
the set list from tonight:
Maria (not disco)
Don't Let the Sun go down (Eric Miyas-is-my-hiro)
Superbone Meets the Bad Man
Theme from Rocky
Everybody Loves the Blues
It Might as well be spring
more.. my brain just isn't working right now..
early show tonight featured:
Summer of 42
there were a few more, but I just can't seem to remember them right
now. Hopefully someone else can post some of the details, because
I have BEER to consume and pictures to take!
Date/Time: 10/3/04 11:20 am
time I heard Eric play and he was definitely a monster last night.
He was featured on 'Don't Let...' and Conquistador (he played the
Firebird). He nailed all the parts with with minimal effort it seemed.
He also has a big fat tone that filled the ballroom. Eric got a
standing ovation after 'Don't Let' and Maynard gave the band a standing
Ovation after 'Conquistador'.
Summers and Wayne Bergeron were featured together on 'Nice n Juicy'.
Both played fantastic. It was great to hear Bob Summers live and
in person after so many years of hearing his great solo on MF Horn
4&5. Wayne played some great jazz with some great high register
licks thrown in. He was later featured on 'Rocky' and of course
that seemed to be effortless for him. He trilled the double B.
Noday played his butt off on 'Maria' and a standard that I can't
remember the name of right now. He has a HUGE sound. You can really
tell Maynard's influence in his playing. He also did some great
section work and belted out many double Cs
highlight was John Chudoba (sp?). John played Gospel John JUST LIKE
ON THE ALBUM. I thought note for note he copied Maynard's licks
right on. He is another who has a big, fat sound that really filled
up the place.
Bogart was featured on 'Superbone Meets The Badman' . He played
some excellent jazz on the Super Bone.
Mark was featured on "Sesame Street" and played a great
jazz solo. Many of the sideman were floored with his solo because
it was the first time they heard him play like that. I was drinking
with Brian "Hard Bop" Smith after the show and he commented
he was always so used to hearing him play lead, it was great to
hear him play jazz.
saxes were all great. Denis DeBlaiso were featured quite a bit and
man he is a extremely talented dude. He did a solo feature on flute
that featured various techniques that just floored me. He also did
some scat singing on a tune that was off the charts
Illes (sp?) also did a solo feature on an arrangement of 'Sweet
Georgia Brown'. It was fabulous.
Engelbright and Adolfo Acosta were featured as well and both were
very, very strong. Scott has done a lot of jazz playing htis weekend
and that was a treat to hear since he is a great jazz soloist as
probably forgetting a lot that I am sure someone else will cover
also met a ton of people and former players which has been a plus
for the event.
Date/Time: 10/3/04 12:03 pm
I got in my car and drove 100 miles to LAX yesterday for the MF
HORN concert and the 70s/80s alumni concert. What a total blast!
1st concert began with MacArthur Park. Eric Miyashiro played the
solo part seemingly effortlessly and with a huge fat sound. He really
impressed with the second part of the ballad section, screaming
over the band and showing great long tone endurance. It was great
to hear the full MF HORN I album arrangement complete with the modal
jazz/swing solos in the middle section. DiBlasio, Nick lane and
Brian Smith took solos.
Mike Bogart was featured playing Country Road playing superbone
on the opening verse before switching to trumpet. He nailed the
ending section bringing a lot of cheers from the audience.
Acosta then came up to do Summer Of '42 from MF HORN II and did
a beautiful job with the chart. Nice and restrained with a lovely
Garside was emcee-ing this concert and then announced they would
do Spinning Wheel. He indicated that this tune had been shorted
on rehearsal time. It was fun hearing the band read down this chart
with all its feel/tempo/meter changes.
came back to do MF's part on Shaft which had a stand-out moment
in Alex Isles trombone solo. A great jazz player.
Bogart successfully recreated MF's half-valve/blusey approach to
Fire And Rain eliciting a few smiles among the band members.
Miyashiro then brought the house to its feet with Bridge Over Troubled
Water. It was a great performance. An enormous sound.
show came to an end with Hey Jude. Scott Englebright covered Maynard's
part. The ending, which I've never found much to resemble music
was actually kind of exciting with the band really capturing the
long, drawn out crescendo of noise. A whole-lotta-screamin'-goin'-on.
then took the stage to thank the band. He wondered aloud if there
would be anything in his book left to play the following night.
band sounded terrific all-around with the rhythm section, especially
Ray Brinker on drums, really driving things along.
was a real thrill to hear these charts again played by a band obviously
having a lot of fun doing them. I'll post on the evening concert
Date/Time: 10/3/04 3:48 pm
remarks on the 70s & 80s Reunion Concert
band started with Nice 'n Juicy from MF HORN III. As BT reported
above, Bob Summers and Wayne Bergeron traded solos on the tune (over
a GREAT funk groove set up by the rhythm guys). They each did 3
choruses on the same mic and then began to trade fours and wound
up playing together over the band. The amazing thing was during
the trading Wayne was mostly off mic but I could hear every note
loud and clear from my seat near the back of the room. A lot of
power. Wayne also really stood out on the tunes he took over the
lead chair in the back. Great power, phrasing, accuracy. A real
Chattaway led the band through 5 of his charts. He began by commenting
on just how thrilled he was to be there and that his experiences
working with and writing for Maynard in the 70s were among the happiest
of his life. The band really excelled on Conquistador. It was about
as good a performance as you could get.
Noday played Maria and It Might As Well Be Spring. While his performance
wasn't note perfect, he exhibited that raw, go-for-broke kind of
excitement that overshadowed any flaws in his performance. A big,
wide sound, and a LOT of volume on the high climaxes, complete with
that that bent over backward, about-to-cause-a-brain-aneurysm look.
Thrilling. While returning to the back row after Maria he remarked
jokingly to the band ..."and I didn't use any pressure."
Isles provided an absolute highlight of night with his solo trombone
version of Sweet Georgia Brown. He prefaced his performance by saying
he grew up without the benefit of any jazz bands or musicians to
play with so he tried to play all the parts. He launched into the
tune creating all the rhythm and harmony himself, combing lots of
multiphonics with real attention to the changes. Virtuosic and extremely
did a similar solo flute rendition of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,
interrupting his solo only to remark "I get paid for this."
also did several scat chorus on Sesame Street, including a couple
in stop-time which brought big applause. Stan Mark then really surprised
me and a lot of others with four choruses of blues on the same tune.
He did three with harmon and one open and sounded terrific. He did
a nice job on lead during the night as well.
also add that John Chudoba really impressed with the MF parts on
Gospel John and Coconut Champagne. Clean & accurate.
wrap up, before introducing one of his charts, DiBlasio turned to
the audience and asked "Do you realize how cool all this is?"
That really sums up the vibe of the night. I don't think I've ever
seen a band having so much fun. It was infectious and spread throughout
the room. I've been reliving the whole night over and over. The
kind of experience you don't want to let go of.
in all, a fantastic tribute to Maynard Ferguson.
Date/Time: 10/3/04 9:37 pm
sitting on the far right side of the room. It was interesting last
night to see Adolfo Acosta and Wayne B. come out and stand by the
wall during Eric's performance. Adolfo simply smiled and shook his
head, with Wayne doing almost the same thing. The power Eric gets
out of his horn is astounding...definitley a huge monster.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 1:29 am
was, by far, the greatest concert I have ever been to. Maynard was
on fire, as was Patrick. And when he called the full trumpet line
(all 16+ of them!) out to play the ending of Blue Birdland, I thought
I had died and gone to heaven.
was easily the greatest night of my life, and I sincerely want to
thank every single person involved with it, from the organizers
to the musicians. As I walked out of the concert with my buddies,
we all agreed that nothing can or will ever top the experience we
had tonight listening to the bands today.
By: k115810 (me)
Date/Time: 10/4/04 4:17 am
sounding overly sentimental (it IS 2:09 in the morning, after all),
tonight was truly magical. Not only the amazing concerts, but the
4 hour (so far) hang in the hotel bar.
tonight alone, the hotel bar included Eric Miyashiro, Roger Ingram,
Bobby Shew, Scott Englebright, Jim Manley, Mike Bogart, Adolpho
Acosta, John Chudoba, Dennis Noday, Mike Abene, Patrick Hession,
Ernie Garside, Brian "Hard Bop" Smith, and dozens of members
of this forum.
last night, you could add Denis Diblasio and Don Menza to that list.
It was like you couldn't turn around without bumping elbows with
these people were unbelievably generous with their time. In particular,
Miyashiro, Ernie Garside, Wayne Bergeron and Jim Manley were just
beyond humble. Great guys.
Garside is a character. I stopped to introduce myself and say hello,
and I told him that I had hoped to meet him at the Boston tribute,
and he said, "Well, I had a f**king heart attack." Then
he looked at his watch and said, "and I'm due for another one
in about 10 minutes, so talk fast."
the most quotable guy you'll ever meet. In one of the panels, to
describe how excited he was about something, he said he was like,
"a dog with two d*cks, a full bladder, and a street full of
a hard time coming up to the hotel room tonight, because I just
didn't want the weekend to be over.
sure we'll get lots of reports from other forum members as they
return home tomorrow.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 4:41 am
now 2:00 a.m., and I still have goosebumps on my goosebumps. MF
sounded great, Patrick had obviously eaten his Wheaties this morning,
and the new pianist was HOT (now, now...I mean her PLAYING!). The
setlist was standard, but MF was going higher, louder, and longer
than I have heard him in years and years. He was obviously fired
up by all the lovin' dished out over the past four days, and his
new horn probably didn't hurt either.
first encore was an emotional "Caruso"...I think I detected
MF getting choked up as he played. But the ending to end all endings
was the second encore, "Blues from Around Here" with each
of the trumpet players from the past few days coming out for a no-holds-barred
everyone let rip with a "Blue Birdland" for the record
books. (Thanks, Mike, for giving us some volume!).
Summers and Don Rader split my prize for jazz chops, Wayne for the
sheer stratosphere (how about that double D during his band's set?),
and Eric Miyashiro for that unbelievable POWER (I hope you guys
agree with my previous gushings now that you've all heard him live).
Mark gained a terrific amount of respect from the doubters in the
audience (myself among them, admittedly) by turning in a performance
that was just great: strong, swinging, and totally competent.
Chudoba also impressed. I think he's the only one I hadn't heard
play before, and he was terrific. Scooter showed that he hasn't
lost it, and that he's got a great set of jazz chops that I don't
think many people were aware of (I certainly wasn't). Mike Bogart
was terrific, too, taking home the "Mr. Personality" award
(from me) as the guy who appeared to be getting the biggest kick
out of the whole scene.
what can you say about Bobby Shew, the guy that's got it all? Range,
endurance, soul, improv chops, gorgeous sound...he's one of a kind.
hang was still going strong at midnight, when I reluctantly had
to tear myself away to participate in a teleconference. But what
an amazing four days! And not least of all because I got to meet
a ton of very nice people -- a lot of them from this forum. MF fans
are the greatest!
-- you guys jealous enough yet?
Date/Time: 10/4/04 3:53 pm
getting a chance to log on after major computer problems at the
of things from earlier posts on this thread.
mentioned Menza on Alto, alto was Lanny morgan and Menza on Tenor.
Both were awesome.
Matt's first picture in the bar, the guy to the left in the background
is John Deflon who came over from England for the event. He played
on both the MF and Buddy Rich bands.
things that people didn't mention:
Martin on Trombone in numerouse concerts is fantastic, sort of a
combination of Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana.
Iles on Bone was also impressive.
Rader played some great jazz solos and was in practically every
band for the first 3 days.
played his butt off. great jazz and also played lead on tons of
stuff. this was all after many hours of rehearsals....
Bill Holman Big Band had Carl Saunders on lead trumpet. Man, he
never missed a thing.
Menza Big Band cooked too. Chuck Findley, Bobby Shew, Don Rader,
Ron King and Frank Szabo.
of these concerts were recorded for CD release in the future.
DiSiena is a strong player, he played Tenderly and My Funny Valentine
and played them extremely well. He also just killed the lead trumpet
part on Back in the Satellite Again, which has a tough ending.
people missed the Christian Jacob trio performance. The missed MF
coming in to sit in on a slow blues. He absolutely killed a double
C in it. Loud enough that all of the guys from the Bergeron Big
Band came running from the bar to checkout the tune.
big band cooked too. Gary Grant, Rick Baptist, Waren Leuning, Pete
and Deb Wagner were in the trumpet section. Andy MArtin on bone
again played a great solo feature on Caravan. Warren Leuning took
a couple of great solos and showed that he can do alot more then
the beautiful lyrical solos we hear in movies. He played some smoking
solos and showed that he has lead chops too.
was exceptional. He is amazingly accurate and powerful and also
an very good soloist.
Trumpet summit was also pretty cool. Instead of a full hour of 15
guys just trying to cut each other to pieces. The guys paired off
and played a jazz standard witht he rhythm section. Hard to pick
favorites here, but I would say that Scotter playing a flugelhorn
solo (yes, Scott on flugel, what a concept!), ERic and Wayne paired
of and both played some reat jazz and of course some high notes
too. Eric took his solo on a "baby shew" horn. A pocket
trumpet with two bells, 0one with a Harmon mute. Bogie and Bobby
did I Can't Get STarted with Bogie singing it and Bobby doing his
Al Hirt impression. Roger showed that he has somne tasty jazz chops
all of the guys got on stage for Blue Birdland arranged for 15 trumpets.
That was crazy. Scott played the ending and nailed it.
the craziest thing I have ever heard in my life. Give it One with
all parts scored for trumpet. They were stacked like a big band.
It was absolutely the loudest and most painful thing I have ever
heard, and it was BEAUTIFUL! Ron King had the misfortune of having
to sit in front of Wayne and Scott and had trouble playing because
he was laughing so hard.
MF concert ended with Blues from Around Here with each of the guys
coming up to play a few choruses. Plenty of screaming here. Roger
was crazy on this one. bobby finished it up and when he was on his
4th chorus or so all of the guys lined up in a row on stage behind
him for the ending. It was totally out of control and fun.
one downside for me of the event is that there was not enough time
betweent hings to really hang out with everyone.
one of the events, I was hanging out with coolhorn, finchumk, Denis
Noday and a few others when JL called Kurt. Pretty funny.
had lunch with Eric Miyashiro, Bogie, Adolfo and Nick Lane. That
was fun. These guys all just have great stories and all seemed to
be having a really great time.
had about 3 hours of sleep last night, so I am going to finally
crash for a bit. It was fun meeting and hanging out with all of
the great guys on the forum, I am sure taht everyone one had as
much fun as I did.... no doubt there....
Date/Time: 10/4/04 5:51 pm
first chance to post about the weekend and I completely agree with
the other posters that it was an incredible weekend.
there was the music. It was just one great concert after another
- and personally I think the energy built as the weekend went on.
I'm not sure if it's because I grew up on some of the newer stuff
or if it's because the newer stuff just has more raw energy.
there was alot of controversy about the Boston event and the level
of musicianship (which personally I didn't think was really the
point - but that's another story), but no one could say these guys
didn't have it together and weren't nailing the piss out of stuff.
And the alumni bands (especially for not having that much time to
practice together and missing parts here and there) sounded fantastic.
highlight were the films - Like a dope I missed my flight on Thursday
and the first film, but I heard it was great (some home movies of
MF along with his performance of Maynard Ferguson on the Sullivan
show). The second film was from the late 50's and early 60's (from
Newport and from Canadian TV, and even about 15 seconds from Millbrook)
and the 3rd was from the 70's (including the Tommy Medley). It was
some rare stuff, most of which was good quality and in every one
Maynard was on fire.
panels were incredible because there was such a consistency from
players from the 50's through the 80's on two things - 1) MF is
an absolute monster player in a league of his own, and 2) MF is
probably one of the best human beings you could ever know. The panel
with DiBlasio was probably the funniest with him doing his MF impression
several times, whereas the panel with Ernie Garside, Dennis Noday
and Stan Mark was probably the most emotional. MF was in the room
and Ernie, Dennis and Stan each got very emotional when talking
about how much MF meant to them.
the last highlight was THE HANG. Now how can you go wrong. Just
imaging going into a bar after a smoking big band concert with your
ears still ringing from Double C's and you find about 75 guys who
all love MF. You don't have to explain who MF is or try to defend
him against a jazz purist who never heard any MF except the 70's
disco. So everybody you walk up to is fan who loves MF and talking
about jazz, trumpet playing, or screaming high notes - OR THEY'RE
A F*CKING JAZZ MONSTER like Menza, or DiBlasio, or Shew, or Manley.
IMAGINE THAT - just hanging in the bar telling stories and throwing
back some beers - It was friggin incredible!
was also a highlight to meet so many of the forum guys as well.
Thanks Rusty for the bash - that was incredibly generous and a great
way to kick things off. Everyone was extremely friendly and I really
enjoyed meeting everybody...although there was this one guy from
Iowa who was kind of a geek and kept laughing at his own jokes.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 6:34 pm
guys, there's not much I can say that you all haven't said. It was
really great meeting all of you and attaching a face to your handles!
some idle moments on the plane, so I jotted down a few things. As
usual, it ended up longer than I expected, so I'll split it into
a few posts.
Shew had too many to list. Here are a few:
before the final double-D at the end of Maynard Feguson:
Can we stop now?
Holding up his trumpet after his valve stuck in the middle of the
Maria cadenza: Made in Japan
Referring to the difficulty of Maynards parts; Is this
insane, or what? (He said the several times.)
After nailing some insanely high note: Excuse me, I need to
change my shorts.
At the end of the Ballad Style concert: Playing with strings
is like wrapping yourself in velvet. Id be thrilled if I did
nothing but string recordings for the rest of my life. Just
as the audience was contemplating that statement, he says, I
cant afford them, and the place goes wild.
I get mistaken for Al Hirt so often, when they ask me for
autographs, I just sign his name.
Bobbys humor really gave the event the atmosphere that it
needed. He created a very supportive environment where everyone
could laugh over their (very rare) clams. Every time someone hit
up against his own limitations, it just became another testimony
to Maynards greatness. But the musicianship was incredible
Bobby Shew was giving us some tips on airstream control in the lobby,
and Maynard is walking by. He sticks his head into the group and
says, Press harder.
new pianist (to the sound man during the open rehearsal): I
need more bass. The unintended double entendre drew outrageous
laughter from Maynard and the band, since the bass player is her
husband. I sure hope she has thick skin, because its obvious
that this husband-wife team is going to be endless fodder for Maynards
Noday (voice cracking, eyes getting watery): I love you, Maynard
This was stated by many of the band members during the panel discussions,
but Denniss was especially poignant. He was apparently quite
taken by Wilder when she was a little girl. Dennis also told of
how Maynard once flew him from California to NYC to lay down some
tracks for the Conquistador sessions, when it would have been much
cheaper and easier to just hire a studio guy to cover the part.
(to Dennis Noday when she was a young child): Of all the trumpet
players, you sound most like my daddy. A day or two later,
Dennis went fishing for another compliment from her, and she said,
I said it once, and Im not going to say it again!
(By the way, Denniss sound is HUGE.)
by many: I cant believe were getting paid to do
this. (Referring to their fun times on Maynards band.)
stated by many (I think first by Menza) paraphrased here: Maynard
was so good at what he did, so secure in his greatness, that he
was not afraid of anyone showing him up. Thats why he set
no limits on what we could try.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 6:36 pm
(or boring) trivia
well-known folklore in the DC area that Superbone Meets the
Badman was originally written for the US Navy Commodores.
I had always wondered about the original name. Jay Chattaway said
it was Lowerglyphics.
a private conversation before the panel discussion, Jay also told
me that Dont Let the Sun Go Down on Me was recorded
in the studio, but Tommy Medley was NOT. (This conflicts
with what someone else has posted here, so I could be wrong about
this.) He said that he thought Sun Go was the best arrangement
(or maybe the best pop cover) he ever wrote for Maynard, and he
still hopes it will be released someday. It became a casualty of
Columbia execs grand plan to exceed the typical 10,000 units
sold by having Maynard divert into an all-star dance-fusion genre
(i.e. Primal Scream). He also mentioned Shanti Mantra,
an Indian thing that the band recorded for Conquistador, only to
be cut to make room for Rocky.
was a particularly nice guy, and obviously very proud of his work
with Maynard. Although he seems to wish that Columbia had not meddled
so much, is definitely NOT the bitter type. He openly acknowledges
that those executives involvement is what led to the Rocky
Primal Scream trivia: The radio on the cover is tuned to New Yorks
jazz station (at the time). However, after the release, the station
changed to a country format, which Jay said gave new significance
to the gorilla fist smashing through the radio.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 6:37 pm
did not have a part for one chart, so he said hed fake it.
He proceeded to pose, with all sorts of silly faces, for most of
a kick out of the panic stricken looks, and crazy hand signals,
between Roger Ingram and Bobby Shew during Stella by Starlight.
Because they were trading off so many parts, and some guys sitting
out on certain charts, they did not realize until after they kicked
it off that NOBODY had the lead part. Roger started digging through
his book and couldnt find it. Bobby was on the opposite end
of the section, and the guys in between them were playing their
parts, so theyre trying to make hand signals to each other
to figure out whats going on.
Ballad Style concert was definitely a classy touch.
They brought in strings, horns, and woodwinds to recreate the original
charts as recorded. Ernie Garside had stored nine of the manuscripts
at his home. It really gave me a great appreciation for the difficulty
of Maynards parts, which frequently went down to G below low
C. Seeing these guys working to get a nice tone down there was a
real treat. I think Rogers nose touched his mouthpiece shank
a couple times!
the best moment from that concert came when Roger kicked off Born
Free. I always thought that was a great opener for the album,
because the in-your-face lip trills are so unmistakably Maynard.
Roger hit those lip trills, and the violinist on the far left (right
next to Bobby) immediately turned around with this exasperated look
on his face that said, What the h*ll was that? Afterwards
Bobby told me he got a kick out of seeing that.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 6:38 pm
film of Maynard doing Danny Boy brought tears to my
eyes. The musicianship on those early films was astounding.
was a fantastic quality clip of Tommy Medley live in
Milwaukee from July 1976. The band was explosive.
the most outrageous clip was from some Norwegian (?) documentary
on a recording session with Betty Carter and some local band. Its
4 am, Betty Carter has to leave for the airport at 5:30. Things
are behind schedule and the producer is going beserk because he
does not want to pay 20 minutes overtime to the sidemen. He asks
Maynard what he would do, expecting Maynard to back him up, and
Maynard gives him no help at all. Maynard says, First, I never
worry about money. The sidemen are just giving you a hard time because
youre the leader, and thats what sidemen do. Maynards
holding a beer between two fingers, and swigging out of it every
couple of words (hilarious!). Betty Carters manager jumps
in, saying she has to get back to the hotel to get some sleep before
catching her plane, and Betty cut him down, saying, Im
not gonna get any sleep anyway. So Maynard jumps back in and
says, Yeah, lets take a few pills and play all night.
clip gave me some understanding why Maynard started using a valet.
In the video he came across as rather hyperactive and out-of-control,
like hed stay up all night jamming every night unless someone
is there to make him go back to the hotel.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 8:45 pm
said that this event will never happen again. I think they did a
Kenton event in '91, and then did one again last year, so that shows
you how long it could take to get another one of these.
funny things I remember: Alex Iles (bone) was funny as hell throughout.
At the 70s rehearsal, all the trumpets were trading off on MF's
part. At one point, he said "will the next trumpet contestant
please step forward." I heard he also joked that "maybe
for Hey Jude we could have everyone in the audience play along,
the 70s show, it was explained that there were a bunch of trumpet
players on hand and would be rotating in and out of the trumpet
section. Or, maybe all ten of them could sit in at once. The audience
clapped for this suggestion, and Alex stood up with a look of horror
on his face and shouted "No!"
Wayne played Bridge Over Troubled Water with his band (ending on
double-C), Andy Martin came out to play Caravan. He said "Boy,
there's nothing like following a double-C with a trombone solo,
huh? You guys have been saying you're in trumpet heaven. Well, I'm
gonna give you some trombone hell!" As usual, he played great
and brought the house down.
Rhythm Method, Wayne and Warren Luening took turns soloing, which
turned into a trumpet duel and eventually ended with Wayne on a
big dubba C, MF style. Audience goes crazy, of course. Meanwhile,
Alex stood up to start his bone solo. The applause was so big for
the MF moment that Alex got this big disgusted look on his face
and sat back down as if to say "to hell with this trumpet sh!t."
He eventually was coaxed into standing back up and, as usual, played
his butt off. Wayne acknowledged Alex several times as the person
who got him on MF's band.
Brinker talked about how he was to meet MF for his audition for
the band. He arrived at the venue or whatever, and was drinking
a beer outside on the street. Then he happened to see MF walking
towards him. He threw his beer into the bushes. MF walked up, shook
hands and said "I hear you're my new drummer. Nice to meet
you." That was the "audition."
on Maynard's "policy speech" at the beginning of each
tour: (MF voice) "Be on time and play your ass off. OK, let's
Date/Time: 10/4/04 9:56 pm
anyone told the low notes story yet?
Garside told a story about one concert that had a lot of school
kids in the audience. Before the show, these kids could hear Maynard
warming up from his dressing room. You know, his ridiculous high
warm up. Anyway, the kids were kind of shocked at this warm up,
since the conventional wisdom is to play long, low tones. So Ernie
goes backstage and tells MF, "The kids are wondering where
the low notes are." And MF says, "Tell them these ARE
the f**king low notes."
Date/Time: 10/4/04 10:04 pm
event was filled with so many incredible moments that I'm still
having a hard time believing that I was there and it was real.
moment had a very personal impact on me. It was during the 70's
film presentation. Ken Posten introduced the clips. As the clip
started to run, it suddenly occurred to me that the band I'm watching
is the band I saw when I first saw Maynard live. Ernie Garside happened
to be sitting next me and Brian Smith was sitting in front of him.
Caught up in the moment I leaned over to Ernie and asked him if
that was Don Hahn in the video. He confirmed it was Don. I found
myself watching Ernie and Brian as they were looking at themselves
30 years earlier. I realized that I was re-living a moment in my
life that changed me forever sitting next to two people who were
one point, the video panned away from the players and focused on
the crowd, momentarily settling on a smiling, attractive young woman.
Ernie leaned forward toward Brian and said 'I remember her!' He
then made a approving remark about her anatomy.
Date/Time: 10/4/04 11:09 pm
with Roger Ingram at the MF concert last night. After Maynard came
out and played the ending of Blue Birdland, Roger said, "Man,
I still get excited when I hear that."
Date/Time: 10/5/04 8:44 pm
I arrived back in Austin, my brother picked me up from the airport
and asked the question that I'm sure many of you were asked when
you arrived home, "How was it?"
answer: "It was a trumpet player's wet dream!"
weekend was by far one of the greater learning experiences I've
had in a long time. I always thought of myself as a huge Maynard
fan, but I was surprised to find out so much that I did not know
about Maynard's career throughout the decades.
being a huge Stan Kenton fan, I loved some of the stories that were
told that involved Stan and, of course, Maynard's experience with
Stan. I think my favorite story that came out of the panel discussions
(and please forgive me because everything seems to be running together
in my memory so in some cases I can't remember exactly who said
what) was one in which Maynard, Shorty Rogers, somebody else I can't
remember, and Stan Kenton were driving in Stan's Buick convertible
in CA. Shorty and Maynard were sitting in the back while Shorty
was writing a chart, and he would giggle every time he'd write in
a double high C (or something like that) and ask Maynard if he could
do that. That was a great story.
I picked up 6 Stan Kenton CD's, and I would have picked up more
Sunday night had the ATM machine at the hotel not broken down (how
long it was broken I have no idea). It was probably for the better,
though, since I think I have enough to listen to and become acquainted
with for the next few months.
Rusty, for the bash Thursday night. I ended up sitting at a table
with Christian Jacob, Wilder Ferguson, Andy Martin (trombone player),
and one of the other players from the Bill Holman band (whose name
escapes me at the moment). They did mention that this was their
first gig in a long time. I think somebody else at the table asked
them if they ever play some of the "old" Holman stuff.
Unfortunately they said that they did not.
of Holman, I thought it was interesting that, at one of the panel
discussions, he mentioned that he hated Invention for Guitar and
Trumpet, and yet that is one of the charts he's most famous for
(at least that is what was said; personally I think Malaga was his
I had one issue with the whole thing. I have to agree with someone
else that the "venues" left much to be desired. For some
reason, all weekend long, I kept thinking how cool this whole thing
would have been had the concerts and panels been held in an auditorium
like Bates Recital Hall on the University of Texas campus (with
its steep stadium like seating). It's a great place to listen to
music, etc., and there truly is not a bad seat in the house. I hated
having to pretty much stare at the back of somebody's head while
listening to panelists, and even worse at the concerts. I can understand
how, logistically, doing this thing in a hotel made things a bit
easier for Ken and Co., but I just wish they had thought of a better
any case, this weekend provided a fantastic experience for me, and
I'm sincerely glad that I was able to be there for it. For those
that were not able to go, it's already been said over and over again,
but you truly missed something special.
Date/Time: 10/10/04 9:09 am
James here. Sorry I have taken so long to post after the big Stratospheric
gig, but got home and was sick as a dog with a BAD chest cold for
just about a week. I imagine the reason I was so sick is because
I attended every concert, every rehearsal I could, stayed up too
late each night visiting with as many of these legendary personalities
as possible, and overall just overdid it WAY BIG TIME. But it was
worth it. By the way, MATT -- great to see you and visit again several
to give my own personal run-down on the gig in LA... One by one.
DiSiena - Excellent player. Every note he played was spot-on, crisp,
professional. SUPER nice kid. Looks like he is about 17 with a million
dollar smile. Will have a HUGE California studio career because
he understands the importance of SHOWING UP and SHUTTING UP and
PUTTING OUT. Outstanding.
Summers - MONSTER be-bopper. MONSTER. Very shy to talk to, humble,
top-notch player. Everyone loves Bob Summers because he plays his
ass off, but never reminds you later that he can.
Miyashiro - HERO #1 of the weekend. Eric is King of the MF style.
Period. Others have mentioned this one or that one sounds most like
Maynard. Sorry. Eric is King. I stood less than two feet away from
his horn while he ran MacArthur Park in rehearsal. It was incredible.
Later I asked Alex Iles to confirm what I already expected. He confirmed
that Eric is as near as he as ever heard to what MF sounded like
when he was on MF's band back in the 80's. But that is not why he
was HERO #1. He is HERO #1 because of his spirit. He was SO NICE
and SO HUMBLE. Never once did he remark in any egotistical manner
about his abilities. He did remark several times personally to me,
however, that he felt HUGELY privileged and honored to be included
in the weekend and a bit overwhelmed at the duties thrown at him
at the last minute. BUT, he conducted his rehearsals with total
aplumb and conviction. He is a real gentleman and a pro. And friends,
his sound IS STELLAR!
Rader - Well, what can I say that already hasn't been said. MR.
Rader is a f__king HORSE. 68 years old and played at least 6 or
7 of the first concerts straight! Absolutely blew many of us away
time after time. He had many beautiful solos, but his best was in
a Don Menza ballad tune (MENZA is a HORSE as well, and funny as
hell) called something like "Delfiana" or something like
that. BEAUTIFUL tune throughout, but Rader played an extended solo
on Flugel that was nothing short of amazing. I later asked him if
he had ever played it before the concert, and he remarked no, but
he did recognize the changes pattern, so he was comfortable. COMFORTABLE
is an understatement. He also told me he had NEVER played his trumpet
in his life as much as he had this weekend, and he never ever wishes
to do so again! A real jewel of the weekend...
Acosta - Adolfo has been praised a lot by others in attendance at
the festival. I agree that he is a SUPER SWEET guy and his playing
is really nice. Let me state again that I really like this fella
personally. He has a super great heart, loves MF and all the other
cats, and plays a really nice trumpet. I, personally, believe his
TOP gig is his element, however. He played nicely, but never surprised
me. I expected that he could play some jazz because of his youth
playing in salsa bands and such, so his level of jazz chops were
just about what I thought they would be. Nice, competent, sweet
sound. Adolfo is a class act.
Chudoba - I never knew who this cat was, looks-wise, before I met
him. I knew he was on the band with Craig Johnson, but could not
place him visually. WELL, I know who the hell he is NOW. John and
I actually had a connection. I won't go into it here, but you know
sometimes when you meet someone, something clicks right away? It
was that way with John and I and we visited several times like we
were best friends for years. Maybe because I recognized something
in John's playing, surrounded as he was by a sea of TRUMPET HORSES,
that set him apart from almost everyone else. His "SOUND."
John has a SPECTACULAR SOUND. And I appreciated it right away. While
everyone else was clamoring over Eric and Wayne and Roger and Bobby,
I was recognizing that John Chudoba has a SOUND that is magnificent.
Best high G of the gig. And I tell you what, he played a TOTALLY
cool ride solo on the end of Coconut Champagne ending on a remarkably
HUGE 8-count double C that absolutely brought the house to its feet.
John is a super nice guy as well. For me, meeting him and hearing
his perfect sound was a highlight of the festival.
Ingram. Again, someone who playing I have salivated over for years.
Not while he was with Maynard, but just about everything else he
has done I have loved.
chance I got to hear him play was at a rehearsal. The room was very
crowded, so I blazenly just marched over to right next to his music
stand and sat down. I tell you, friends, I was like three feet from
Roger Ingram's TRUMPET BELL while he was sight-reading music he
had NEVER ever played, music from the Roulette/Cameo years! He was
AWESOME. The sound coming from that horn while he was playing lead
on some of those tunes was SPIRITUAL! He is a voracious sight-reader.
HOWEVER, the best part of meeting Roger is that he is absolutely
totally hilarious. He had the total crowd going, including his fellow
players, at all times. He was having a great time, playing his instrument
and sharing his humor. And play he did. His "BORN FREE"
at the Ballad Style concert was just the END. I was smiling ear-to-ear.
Shew - you know, I think many people say they love Bobby Shew's
playing because they just think they should. I mean, he IS Bobby
Shew, so of course he is a horse and we should all just love him,
right. Well, I will probably be SENT a "horse" over this
post, but I have some real issues with Bobby Shew. First of all,
another trumpet player was made out to be a bad guy on this forum
for stating something as an aside that wasn't very popular. I am
just going to say it. I have only met Bobby Shew once before this
last gig, but on that occasion as well as several times during the
Stratospheric gig, Bobby Shew talked more trash than I heard all
the other players combined speak. Matter of fact, Bobby always talks
playing is outstanding. BUT, he is also the ONLY one who reminds
you how outstanding he plays. I could go on, but I know many of
you are huge Bobby Shew fans. I like some of his playing, but man,
this guy has an attitude about his playing and his students, and
it just isn't attractive. And many of you agree, you have said as
much, but you just feel it is politically correct not to say so.
Well, I have said it. Bobby's "Maynard Feguson" and "What's
New" were nicely played. Been nice, however, if he hadn't reminded
us numerous times how difficult they were. And the stuck valve schtick?
-> give me a break.....
Noday. He was there. Played nicely. Nothing you haven't heard at
any top-quality college band. But Denis needs a dose of "humble"
and a dose of "class." Standing in front of Maynard and
a twenty other former MF trumpet players and telling a story how
MF's daughter told him, "you sound more like my daddy than
any other trumpet player I know." was TOTALLY out-of-line and
totally without class. I felt ashamed for him. Does play Maria pretty
nicely, but still, come on, be humble, man.
Bogart. HERO #2. Mike Bogart. So, really, who really remembers Mike
being anything special with MF's band? Played second along with
Aldofo's lead during a fairly unforgettable period in the MF band.
WELL, if you had heard him at this event, the name MIKE BOGART would
forever be enblazed in your head, cause this guy is a f__king horse
of the UTMOST! His playing is flawless AND exciting, his soloing
is as good as anyone up there, honestly, and away from the bandstand
he is a perfect gentleman, humble, sweet, approachable, everything
about this guy speaks LOADS about his talent and his conviction
to music. I would go so far as to say he was a standout performer
at this festival, as a trumpet soloist AND a superbone soloist,
as a section member, and most of all as a quality young man. KUDOS
to MR. Mike Bogart.
Mark - Many of you know Stan and I have been personal friends for
over 20 years. I met Stan at my VERY first MF concert in the early
70s and have been friends ever since. He has played with Fort Wayne
area bands and has been a guest in my home. I love Stan Mark. Stan
has an attitude. If it was anyone else other than Stan Mark, I would
probably be the first to condemn his attitude. However, Stan came
to this festival prepared to participate. I don't know what somebody
overheard in a private conversation, but knowing Stan like I do,
I can imagine. HOWEVER, Stan talks A LOT less trash than Bobby Shew
does and nobody ever comments on that, so let's move on to his playing.
STAN MARK blew everybody away at this event. His first notes heard
on stage was playing Mile's "FOUR" at a ballad pace with
a low, slow-paced solo TOTALLY reminiscent of Chet Baker, and then
everything else grew to a point when we all heard the classic Stan
Mark upper register. Stan is a LANDMARK. He came to play with the
best there is, and he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them all.
Stan is HERO #2.
Englebright. Well, everything you have read about Scooter on the
previous posts is totally true. He was truly the WORKHORSE of the
event. And he is a trumpeter's trumpeter. He is a professional,
playing every part in the section equally well, playing outstanding
lead, even though the soundman didn't have a clue until the third
night how to mix the trumpets with the rest of the band. (I will
address this in a separate post) He is a super nice guy, very approachable,
pretty shy, but still conversational. And VERY VERY funny. He has
a great sense of humor, and cracked up the cats in rehearsal repeatedly.
Also was one of the most entertaining during the forums. OUTSTANDING
IN EVERY SENSE.
I finish with the Man-of-the-Hour here, let me mention just a few
others. Don Menza is a KING. I have to tell you, after the first
four or five concerts, I had heard just about all the Be-Bop alto
sax solos I need to hear for the next year or so. I mean, Lanny
Morgan is OUTSTANDING, but come on. Plus the sound man had Lanny's
mic so hot it was PAINFUL. But I could listen to Don Menza play
anything -- Twinkle, Twinkle -- and it would be total pleasure.
He is a master of the tenor sax. Fast, slow, raunchy, silky-smooth,
he can do it all. Denis DiBlasio put it best - "I am here,
sitting beside one of my heros, playing the music of another one
of my heros, in a band made up of a bunch more of my heros -- and
getting PAID to do it!" Menza is also a riot. Andy Martin,
trombonist. MONSTER. Ray Brinker, drummer. ABSOLUTE MONSTER, playing
constantly in rehearsals and performance for DAYS, and never once
showing any signs of fatigue. I would ABSOLUTELY say that the combination
of Dave Tull, Christian Jacob, Trey Henry, and Ray Brinker rhythm
sections is the primary reason this weekend went off without a hitch.
They were all four MAGNIFICENT!
Iles played a BIGGER-THAN-MONSTER unaccompanied solo on "Sweet
Georgia Brown" that tore the house down. I just can't describe
how good it was. Nick Lane was also great fun and you could really
tell his and Alex's prowess during rehearsals. They were assigning
important bone parts to various saxophone voices to cover missing
bones. (There were only two bones for several concerts that really
need three or four bones) Nick is a rock n roller nowadays. COOL!
Bergeron and I met in 1983 or 1984 after a MF concert when I invited
he and Alex out to eat at Houlio's Mexican Restaurant in Omaha, NE.
The band had played a wonderful concert earlier, and I was totally
taken with this new lead trumpeter, and had to meet him. Consequently,
Matt Wallace was playing at Houlio's that evening, so this was the
MF organzation's first hearing of Matt, and eventually that dinner
led to Matt being on the band for something like 7 or 8 years.
and visiting with Wayne Bergeron that evening changed my life and
my trumpet playing. I won't go into how, but it did. Thank you,
hearing Wayne Bergeron live in the 80s was NOTHING like hearing
him live at this event. Wayne is, at this moment in time, the PREMIERE
trumpet player. I know, I know what you are all saying. "James
<-- are you nuts?" I never said he is "recognized"
as of yet as the PREMIERE trumpet player. I just said he IS the
PREMIERE trumpet player. There is no one living that can do what
Wayne Bergeron can do with a trumpet. NO ONE.
has perfection, yes, and some have commented that because he is
so perfect he lacks excitement. Come again? What exactly does that
mean? Sloppiness is exciting? Now I know why so many people like
Bobby Shew's playing...
IS perfection, but he is also TOTAL excitement. His high chops are
unmatched, even by Miyashiro, and Eric would totally agree with
me. His jazz chops are absolutely STUNNING. I mean, I really was
"thrown on the floor" flabergasted by how hard this guy
be-bops! His soloing is approaching Summers, and dare-I-say, Rader,
for quality and imagination. He OWNS the trumpet, every register,
every nuance, every style, every not, low G# to Double E and beyond.
He played everything he played with total ease and musicality. He
isn't Maynard, and never will be, but he is WAYNE BERGERON, and
two or three years from now he will be on everyone's lips as the
PREMIERE trumpet player living today. With a bit of marketing, Wayne
Bergeron could easily topple Arturo, Chris Botti, etc etc etc as
the number one trumpet star recorded today. He just needs to be
recorded and marketed. By-the-way, if you don't own his first recording,
"You Call This A Living," buy it. But two copies, cause
you are gonna wear the first one out.
there you have it. My take on the Trumpet Players of the Stratospheric
Festival. Oh yes, Maynard sounds great on his new Monette too! Don't
send me pipebombs if you are Bobby Shew fans. I love this Forum!
go see the pics!