In January 1973, David Liebman, the saxophonist who played on the first sessions of On The Corner let himself be persuaded to play with the group. It really wasn’t his kind of music, but he thought that “it was where things were happening,” and as was his habit, he joined the fray. And it was prodigious, even if Miles had reduced his band in an attempt to radicalize the Afro-funk directions of On The Corner. No more keyboards, except for a few touches by Miles himself and no more Indian instruments.
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.