Maynard at his best.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rbdeli, May 12, 2009.

  1. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    So true. To me, I listen to the way Maynard sounded below High-C. He had complete control of his instrument and played it with astonishing precision and a beautiful fat, brassy sound. Whether he played a low C, or Double C, it sounded the same: BRILLIANT. There was only one Maynard, and Maynard from 1980-2006 compared to 1950-1974 are two different players. Maynard admitted that pretty much during one of those tributes when all those younger dudes played his solos to honor him. He said, "I can't play that stuff anymore." or something to that effect.

  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I don't know how you listen, but I guess the power of suggestion is stronger than the truth. I do not hear what you are talking about.
    You have expressed your preference for the "early/mid" Ferguson. My suggestion is to leave it at that. There is no sense in trying to second guess one of the greatest players ever.
    I use some of his last clips with students. It is proof how "right" he did things. Power, range, intelligence.

    Let me ask you a question: When people get older, do they keep anything the same? or with the increased experience set different accents? Why do the inferior always try to intellectualize change? Maynards palette grew with time like any other artist. If you don't like his later playing, you have the choice not to listen to it. It is pretty weak to label it from your perpective though. It takes an open mind to draw the max from any listening experience. You obviously do not recognize what he was offering later in life. That is an opportunity for you.
  3. daniel starz

    daniel starz Piano User

    Jan 11, 2009
    wasilla alaska
    ahh ,, said the spider to the fly,,
    jack be nimble jack be quick ,watch out for jacks trick post

    personality we listen to Maynard all the time , not sure the years but will check , what ever they are, it is very inspirational .
  4. bogart

    bogart New Friend

    Mar 22, 2009
    Port Huron, Mich
    Maynard inspired me to the end. He always put on a great performance. He played like forever. Each record I believe He played his best on, sure things changed with age but I believe he gave 50 great years of music, He was a giant
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    How many World Champion sprinters do you see running -10s at 70 years old?

    It doesn't mean they are not the Champ, still holding the un broken record...
    Of course there are a lot of Challenges for the record, but that is part of life. Young guns following the Master.

    MF was outstanding, the BOSS, the Pioneer, and still the Champ. Holder of unbeaten track record, copied by many, loved by all.

    He just kept posting World Records (Weight for Age) all his life. Young guns can challenge the ageing Master, but the record speaks for itself.

    Name me any other World Champ from the 1950s, that still in World Class Competition. Of course the player develops, the game changes, the rules of the game change to make it easier. NORMALLY Maturity brings self confidence, and the removal of a need to continually prove ones self. No-one told Maynard.

    It is like comparing Johnny Weismuller to Ian Thorpe or Phelps. The question is will Phelps still be in the Olmpics in 50 years time? Comparison is OK, but the best thing is to appreciate the skill and talent required, not to just compete, but to continue to win. Accept the developmental phases, it is part of the journey for MF, and difficult to ignore or dissect specific parts of the evolution.

    Live on Maynard.
  6. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    I've heard Maynard play so many times live, I can't begin to guess the amount. The first time I heard him was in 1973 with the predominantly English band. The last time was at the Blue Note in NYC just before he passed. Maynard always played musically no matter when I heard him. He also played jazz much better than he ever gets credit for.

    As far as comparing how he played on different era recordings, you do need to know how, when, where, and who recorded it. The Roulette recordings for anyone recording for them was first rate. The Birdland band played four sets a night every night, and was recorded often by Roulette live at Birdland. There were many choices of the same arrangement to choose from. This was somewhat the case with the bands Maynard had up until 1972 or so with the English band. Until Maynard started recording for Concord, the in between recordings with fine bands did not have the same luxury. They were either recorded live on one specific gig, or stepped into the studio with little reahearsal time. This is even more impressive than honing the band for four sets a night for weeks and months, choosing from the best nights or performances.


    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  7. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I can say that while touring with Maynard in 2004 (for that year) Maynard had NOT lost ANYTHING! Did you ever hear him play "Caruso" live? Did you ever hear him do Dr. Fox P.H.D?

    Boss did experience a time where he was in a "rough" spot chops wise, but staying true to his love and his craft he did what ALL should take as an example. He marched right through and kept entertaining the audiences that he loved so much and that loved him right back!

    I played a gig last night with a fellow alumnist, we traded MF stories... he told me one where he didn't feel great about a solo and went to Boss and apologized. Boss told him something that is EXTREMELY profound! "Never kick yourself so hard that you'll break your leg when you screw up, but also never break your arm patting yourself on the back when you play well!"

    Long Live The Boss!

    Keith Fiala
    Brass Player Solution: Lessons, Videos, Music Stands, Help for Trumpet and Trombone players
  8. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I loved to listen to Maynard and be inspired by the way his horn would soar above the band like Superman. I was privileged to hear him perform live on several occasions. That being said, about three years after I started listening to him play, I visited someone (don't remember who now) that was playing an LP of music. This was around 1972 or 1973. I rememvber thinkin, "Wow, this guy has chops like Maynard and can play technical stuff to make me envious, too. Who IS this guy?"

    The album was Color Him Wild. The player was Maynard Ferguson from earlier in his career.

    For my taste, I preferred the younger Maynard to the latter recordings. However, I don't know that he couldn't play that way later. I do know that he made a lot more money later. As a working musician, my motto has always been "Give the people what they want."
  9. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    I'm not talking about Maynard's musicality, we ALL get better as we mature in that regard. This is purely about his physical playing. Isn't the trumpet a physical instrument? Do you think Maynard was in as good as shape, physically at age 72 as he was when he was 25-50?
    Even Doc was past his prime 20 years ago, and I could hear him slipping a tad, though he's still incredible. It's just absolutely absurd to think Maynard didn't have a prime. We all do. I'm 48 and there are some things I can't do with my instrument that I could 20 years ago. Yet, I think I'm a better musician. We don't get worse at music, but our physical tools aren't as sharp. It hits some harder than others. Frank Sinatra might have been a more ripe, better musician in his final days, but he lost his voice 20 years before he passed away.

    At Maynard's tribute a few years ago, all of those guys who played his great solos of the past were doing it better than Maynard could in his old age, (Maynard admitted this. He said, "I can't play this stuff anymore), but these same guys couldn't hold Maynard's jock strap when he was in his prime, and they know it.

  10. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Your first sentence describes everything I've been trying to say.

    I don't understand how anyone would take my comments to be meanspirited and critical of Maynard. In fact, it is because I love and respect his playing so much that I don't want people to forget the way he played in his prime. For me, this has nothing to do with his style of playing or his musicianship. It's all physical. Tone, flexibility, technique, articulation, range (high and low).. Nobody was better than Maynard at those things when he was in his prime. None of us are as good physically at age 70 as we are at age 30, and maturity and musicianship can only take you so far with the trumpet. It's a demanding instrument.


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