Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

I was much more of a classical musician in my youth than a jazz musician, so as trumpet players go, I was more aligned to the Maurice Andre and Bud Herseth types than jazz luminaries like Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis. One guy I liked, though, was Maynard Ferguson, who had an electric sound and who often played in the very high range of the instrument. If you want to really impress a young trumpet player, playing very high notes is the way to go. Every young player wants to play high notes!

I actually got to see Maynard Ferguson live when I was in high school. A friend of my parents, who was very interested in my musical upbringing and who knew some stuff about jazz himself, took me to hear Ferguson when he played in Bradford, PA. It was a thrilling concert, even though I really didn’t know much about jazz. The fellow who took me was a bit disappointed in the concert, because he wanted to hear Ferguson’s “big band” work, but by this time Ferguson was doing some experimenting with the kind of small-group “fusion” jazz that was popular at that time. Still, it was a great show and, as trumpet players will say of the greats, “Man, that guy can really blow.” (In trumpet world, “blows” is a compliment.)

Here’s Maynard Ferguson and his band, with a Christmas medley. If you’re wondering when Mr. Ferguson plays, well…you’ll know when he’s playing. He’s the guy who really blows.


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