Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maynard Ferguson - Hollywood (1982)


Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD.

There's something that gets into your DNA when you learn how to play trumpet. Trumpet players become inexplicably obsessed with playing extremely high notes. They must also listen and lavish praise upon trumpet players that can play in the extreme upper register on the horn. The king of that domain for years was Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006). Ferguson's biggest solo commercial success happened in the 1970's and he rode that disco horse until it keeled over. More specifically, that horse died with the release of this album. Being a teen-aged knucklehead back then, I didn't know the difference, I just had to purchase Maynard music because I played trumpet. It was a requirement. By 1982, Maynard and his band were putting out over-produced pop covers with little improvisation. It probably shouldn't even be called jazz. After this release, Maynard changed record labels and wisely moved to playing more straight-ahead jazz. If you didn't see Maynard in concert, it's because you didn't try. He played more high school gyms than the Harlem Globetrotters. To his credit, he became known for showcasing up-and-coming musical talent in his band.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #185
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #186

Tracks: Lots of covers here, including Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson), Deja Vu (Dionne Warwick), Nine to Five (Dolly Parton), For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton), and Portuguese Love (Teena Marie). Not much to any of these, but the worst by far is the banjo-infused Nine to Five. The only decent piece on the disc is the title track, written by bassist Stanley Clarke and featuring a nice solo by David Sanborn. That track (and pure nostalgia) are the reason I purchased the CD.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Being a band geek, this cassette tape was on heavy rotation in my car's tape deck in the winter of 1982/83. And I honestly wondered why I couldn't get a date...

I saw Maynard and his band in concert at the old MSC at ETSU during the spring of 1986 (I'm guessing on the date). I should have gone backstage to meet him. Here's a photo taken at that show. Maynard is the one rockin' the white pants.

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