Maynard Ferguson Octet is an album by Canadian jazz trumpeter/trombonist Maynard Ferguson featuring tracks recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, CA. (tracks 1-5) April 25th 1955, (tracks 6-8) April 27th 1955 and originally released on the EmArcy label 1955. This early triumph from the solo career of the brilliant trumpeter remains bewilderingly rare - it's an avowed West Coast-jazz classic but it's been out of print for years. Verve Originals re-issued this 2008.
Though purists will find Maynard Ferguson's This Is Jazz, Vol. 16 frustratingly incomplete, it isn't designed for them. The entire This is Jazz series is targeted at casual fans and neophytes, who only want a sampling of a famous jazz artist. In that sense, this disc does its job quite well, featuring both his crossover hits ("Gonna Fly Now," "McArthur Park") and his stabs at big band and bop. Of course, this only is the tip of the iceberg as far as Ferguson's work goes – after all, it only features his music for Columbia – but it's enough to spark the interest of anyone wanting to explore his catalog.
First time on CD for this expanded edition of the 1981 compilation from the Jazz legend. Maynard Ferguson is one of the premier trumpet players of all time. His legacy leaves a wealth of highly regarded Jazz albums recorded over three decades. This edition adds two rare bonus tracks: 'Rocky II Disco' and 'Gabriel'. Most of trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's recordings for Columbia were rather erratic, alternating very commercial pop performances with occasional jazz selections. This sampler LP reissues eight of the latter, allowing jazz listeners to truly get the "best of" Ferguson from the 1970s. Certainly few but Maynard's greatest fans will want to get his album Hot just for this version…
Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson led his greatest big band during the years that he was signed to Roulette and all of the music from his 13 Roulette LPs (plus 11 previously unissued selections) are included on this deluxe limited-edition ten-CD box set. Although three of the LPs were originally recorded as dance records (and stick close to the melodies), this box as a whole finds Maynard at his peak and with an orchestra that includes such talented soloists as trombonists Slide Hampton and Don Sebesky (both of whom contributed arrangements), altoist Lanny Morgan, the tenors of Carmen Leggio, Willie Maiden, Joe Farrell, and Don Menza, pianists Jaki Byard and Joe Zawinul, and drummer Rufus Jones in addition to the leader. The music is very jazz-oriented and contains more than its share of classic moments, particularly the sessions that resulted in A Message From Newport and Newport Suite. It's highly recommended.