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"I'm hungry and need something to eat!" (a hungry) -Dizzy Gillespie
Today's young trumpeters need to know something .
Nowadays it seems like there are thousands of people who are able to play Double C's,
and there are even quite a few people who are able to play Triple C's.
But in the late 1940's and on into the 1950's and the 1960's, Maynard Ferguson was the primary pioneer in playing Double C's and Triple C's, and he usually did it musically, lyrically, with style.
Maynard inspired generation after generation of trumpeters to try to follow in his footsteps.
Maynard even did countless clinics decade after decade to help young trumpeters.
Maynard should not be put on a pedestal and idolized.
But his contribution to music, his inspiration to generations of trumpeters, should not be forgotten.
If any of today's trumpeters are equalling or even exceeding what Maynard did in range, they nevertheless owe Maynard a great debt for the way that Maynard paved the way for them decades ago, when Maynard showed the world that it could be done.
Last edited by Janet Lee; 04-26-2012 at 03:52 AM.
About the highest note I've ever heard Maynard truly pick off out of nowhere was the D above Double C toward the end of "Eli's Coming" from MF Horn I at 3:29 min here: Maynard Ferguson - Eli's Comin' - YouTube
While on the "Live At Jimmy's" album he slides nicely up to the the E above Double C on "Blue Birdland" he doesn't pick it off.
However this is exceptional range for the receded jaw trumpet player such as Maynard was. He wasn't a radically receded jaw trumpet player as his horn approached level in the middle register. So in a way he achieved the best of both worlds: Big sound astronomical usable range.
Compare that with forward jaw trumpet playing screamers like Faddis or the late Brisbois: Each has or had the ability to pick notes off much higher than Maynard but the sound wasn't so big.
All the Triple C recordings of Maynard's were statics. Entertaining but scratchy notes. In general he hit statics or cyclonics at around the E above Double C. With the exception of the E in Blue Birdland as mentioned above.
Typically a solid forward jaw player will be less inclined to blow statics once he's developed. He may start out playing nothing but scratchy statics but with practice and determination can slot the notes well. This is not often true of the receded jaw trumpet player. Usually he has a bitch of a time playing above the High G although his tone has the capacity to resonate much bigger than the forward jaw cat.
Last edited by Local 357; 04-26-2012 at 11:14 AM.
I don't care which level of the stratosphere Maynards notes come out in. The beauty of Maynard is that they're all musical, and usually very dramatic. Arturo (who I love) seems to play alot of stuff up there just to show off. I never got that impression listening to Maynard. BTW, if you want to hear Maynard literally sail off into space, turn up the very end of Star Trek theme on Conquistador album.
bah do dweeeee bah do bleep blop
Those wispy high notes at the end of "Conquistador" are called "statics". Not real notes. This doesn't mean they have no value as they were very exciting in the music.
Compare that to the forward jaw playing Brisbois who picks off the G above Double C very cleanly here at 1:30 and near the end of the video @ 2:26:
bud brisbois high note demonstration - YouTube
This didn't make Brisbois the better artist. Just meant he played more accurately due to the physiology/structure of embouchure. Maynard has the bigger sound and this was probably the reason his records sold more copies.
When you get statics in the extreme upper register it can be a positive sign. The problem is in controlling them. Then later bring them down and connecting to the middle register for overall musical usage. Essentially these wispy, un slotted and indeterminate notes are caused by the embouchure shifting axis. Usually without your control. The lip aperture or opening shifts its "hinge" and the tone splatters as much as a perfect fifth. Oscillating between some extreme range note like High G to Double C. Or Double C to E above etc.
The thing to do is play them softly, work up and down. Avoiding scrappy sounding tones. And don't spend too much time on them lest the rest of your playing suffer.
Trumpet player Alan Ware remembering being in Maynard's band:
"We were in southern California in September of 1980. Maynard is doing his thing on "Pagliacci" playing flugelhorn. This was a trade between himself and David Ramsey (Uncle Funky) playing piano. Maynard is at the end of the "duet" and is going to lead the band in. He plays an A above the staff, jumps to the double A, and then jumps to the triple A on the flugelhorn. This is bang, bang and he holds the triple (no whistle). It was beautiful and the most phenomenal thing I have ever witnessed. This was totally musical and not an effect or high note for high note's sake."
The Maynard Ferguson Tribute Page - Features - Alan Wise Interview
Of course, what Alan Ware calls a Triple A is what most of us would call a Double A, the A above Double C.
No matter what you call it, he says that Maynard played a beautiful, sustained A above Double C on flugelhorn in concert.
That beautiful, sustained A above Double C on flugelhorn was just 2 notes short of Triple C.
So don't judge Maynard's ability just from one or two concert recordings.
Maynard had his good days and his bad days just like everyone else.
A high note that would sound strong and beautiful one night might sound weak and strained the next night as touring across the country took its toll on Maynard.
Last edited by Janet Lee; 04-26-2012 at 01:11 PM.
I don't think that we're doing that Janet. i was just noting a TENDENCY: That in general Maynard usually went scratchy above D above DHC. Surely he could play those notes with clarity at times but on his gigs was usually putting the "pedal to the metal" and this could cause even him to have less range at times.
I'd be more interesting on hearing feedback from others at the concept of of statics and cyclonics though that's probably a topic for another day.
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