Music: Brass Attitude

Maynard Ferguson

Ferguson remains jazz's greatest, most charismatic trumpet virtuoso, even at age 70. He can still play arabesques at double-high-C, but he now uses his incredible technique and rich tone more expressively. And at a time when jazz ensembles struggle to survive, his small but versatile big band, Big Bop Nouveau, now in its ninth year, plays nearly 200 mostly sold-out gigs annually. Ferguson's stature and nurturing generosity have long attracted talented young musicians, but this exceptional group really cooks with revitalized standards (Just Friends gets a swinging, brassy treatment spiced with a fugue) and exciting new compositions, including the tuneful, scintillatingly...

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