Maynard Ferguson is a jazz band
leader, but not just an ordinary band
leader, he is a great leader. I had the pleasure of hearing his band
play live at Dowe's on 9th, in Pittsburgh
. They rule. There is no other way to say that. The band
was so awesome, I can't do them justice.
First of all, Maynard plays the trumpet insanely high. I play the trumpet myself, and I can't believe how high he can play. It is utterly amazing. The notes are over an octave above anything I would dream of playing. He plays most of the trumpet solos, and the band is obviously playing behind. Man can they play.
The band is called Big Bop Nouveau. Everyone of them had a sweet improv solo. The trumpets were wailing, the bassist was the stereotypical cool cat of the night club scene, and the drummer looked like he was having a blast playing. The saxes were tight, and the trombone was grooving along with the piano. The entire band left the stage for a five minute long drum solo, and later left for a five minute long bass solo. When the band would play together, they would really blow the roof off. They could play with such enthusiasm, style, and skill that I loved every minute of the concert.
The music that the band plays lies more along the lines of bop or fusion, but they also play jazz standards that are pumped-up to suit their style.
All in all, Maynard Ferguson is pretty much my favorite band leader. Big Bop Nouveau is probably my favorite band. The music they play is definitely my favorite type of music.