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Maynard Ferguson - Underrated Middle Register?


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rothman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add a humorous story about the fans who would sometimes bring their Stan Kenton records to (later) MF concerts for him to sign, where it was Buddy Childers on lead, and then remark before signing.. "that's me on Fifth trumpet".

You'd think by now better remixes would be available, if master tapes exist.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7Q9LZwOmJfs
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khedger
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rothman wrote:
Not everyone liked the way the studio leaned toward a darker sort of mix with his English band, but they seemed to capture the middle register well at the start..

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fC6ykRiQcvA
'

I know what you're talking about, but I don't think it was them 'leaning toward a darker sort of mix....'. I think they just had some inferiour equipment and maybe people in those studios. If you listen to some other English artists of the time (Robert Wyatt et al) who recorded in England for Columbia, you'll hear the same effect.
Maynard's albums from that time are just plain muddy in some respects....

keith
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StevenE
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ferguson's playing changed a lot over the years. I attended the 1973 National Trumpet Symposium where he appeared with the band and also as a clinician. When he was demonstrating differences in stance going from low to high, he was overblowing the middle register tremendously - it was literally a *bad* sound (I still have a tape of the clinics and the concert).

Also at some point he was no longer adding vibrato to his tone, but adding tone to his vibrato, which by then had become so wide as to be in poor musical taste. He was most interesting to listen to when he improvised - even though he didn't play with any finesse, his musical ideas had a great deal of finesse.

But even so, in my view anyway, by that time he had started to turn into a parody of himself - a process which accelerated at warp speed during his "disco" period and from which he never really recovered.
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lipshurt
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That mix of Kenton in Hi-Fi sounds pretty decent to me. It’s sounds like the capital room, and the you can hear a real nice front/back image of the band. It sounds like a band actually sounds in a room. It sounds a lot like the bands on Sinatra records of the same time, or even some Harry connick jr records that are natural sounding recordings of bands. For 1956 kento in hi-if sounds pretty good. During those few years great advancements were being made with tape machines and recording consoles and Rein Narma was integral with that.
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rothman
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lipshurt wrote:
That mix of Kenton in Hi-Fi sounds pretty decent to me. It’s sounds like the capital room, and the you can hear a real nice front/back image of the band. It sounds like a band actually sounds in a room. It sounds a lot like the bands on Sinatra records of the same time, or even some Harry connick jr records that are natural sounding recordings of bands. For 1956 kento in hi-if sounds pretty good. During those few years great advancements were being made with tape machines and recording consoles and Rein Narma was integral with that.


The presence or image is there at the start, w/ piano and rhythm section very good, and the tenor solo is strong. The 2nd half is an exercise to hear the sections. Milt Bernhart is tremendous, but the tpt section seem to be 30 ft behind him.. except for Maynard in that register, Pete Condoli the lead player, it almost sounds like a 10 piece band, especially hearing a vinyl of it.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
Something else that I think can only be experienced from seeing him live, is how loud he could be - his sound was big as a house, but the volume was off the scale as well. Recordings of Maynard never full captured that, and it's the main thing that separated him from other high note artists - other people could play as high and higher, but they couldn't do it while maintaining a sound that huge and loud. That hugeness of sound was present even in his lower register playing.

I experienced exactly what you said the first time I saw him live at a high school auditorium in the vicinity of the Navy School of Music when I was there as an Army bandsman.

I picked a spot maybe four or five rows back in the center of the band setup. As it turned out it put me right in front of Maynard's bell - I thought "hey great! Perfect spot!". As you say, after years of only hearing him on records I wasn't prepared for the reality of being right in Maynard's blast zone - holy Moses. He had a mic but he mostly used it for addressing the audience and flugel work, on trumpet he didn't need it. This was in his shades, jumpsuit and bushy gray hair days, not even what you think of being his peak years. I don't know what he sounded like live in his "prime" but he was playing ear-splitting double C's at will when I saw him. I'm sure he could have played the lead book with anyone.

I had to laugh at chatter I'd heard claiming Maynard's sound was all about studio tricks, that he supposedly had a tiny sound, yada yada - lol. They'd obviously never heard him live.
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Last edited by Robert P on Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Shaft
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heard a similar story once.

He was guest soloist with the NY Phil I think.
May have been at a rehearsal for the Titan Symphony

Director stops and says something about the dynamic marking somewhere.

Maynard replied…. That is my MF

As I was told he demonstrated his FF and they understood.

Never felt the need to have the story verified but it seemed legit.
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rothman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as some erosion to his ability over the decades, it's interesting that the drunk in the late 50's or early 60's, did cause, not only lip scarring but a crack to one or more teeth when he slapped Maynard's cup mute that night, which lead to his capping teeth, but not to the original contour, and gap at center.. filled in after the work was done.

He played a gig the same evening following the caps, but was unlike himself, and no doubt needed more time to fully recover.

On his better days he did a yeoman's job of adapting..transcending the various scarring, and changes to his setup.



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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaft wrote:
Heard a similar story once.

He was guest soloist with the NY Phil I think.
May have been at a rehearsal for the Titan Symphony

Director stops and says something about the dynamic marking somewhere.

Maynard replied…. That is my MF

As I was told he demonstrated his FF and they understood.

Never felt the need to have the story verified but it seemed legit.


I've heard this story, too - on good authority. The main difference is that I heard it was Bill Vacchiano who made the claim to Bernstein, "Lenny - that is his mezzoforte!"

Happy practicing - at all dynamic levels,
-DB
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rothman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of his best middle register work - but again it's rolled out on trombone..


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx4CzzIS2jk
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CalicchioMan
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:43 pm    Post subject: Maynard Reply with quote

Maynard was a mother...............
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