A couple of weeks ago I heard that Maynard Ferguson was coming here to do a concert. I was interested immiediately. The concert is tonight and I will be sure to post my thoughts here tomorrow on that.
This will be the third time I have seen him. I first saw him when I was in Junior High School. It was in the late 70's. I saw him just after the heyday of the "Rocky Theme" and Star Wars". he was on top of the world, he had a BLOWIN' band, and it was a rockin deal. It was a great concert... probably my first real jazz concert put on by a GREAT band. At the time, my dad was the music curriculum supervisor for the public school district, and I was a true tagalong. I began to see lots of concerts, and go lots of places to see and hear music. I was playing alto sax in the junior high jazz band at the time, and had a great teacher who was WAY into jazz... he showed up to early morning band practice telling stories from the "gig" the previous night. Cracks me up now... but then there were others on the school staff that I'm sure looked at him sideways. He ended up marrying the Math teacher, who was also the girls' volleyball coach. She was the school hottie, with long dark hair that we were all secretly in love with.
Mr. Brock, if you're still out there, you are the man!!
Anyway, that first time I saw Maynard he rocked the place... I had never heard anybody play like him. Most of his bandmembers who were in principle positions all played solos, and all rocked. I was hooked. I have loved jazz since that time, and it has a lot to do with Mr. Brock. He was a saxophone player and I always felt a link to him - I wanted to please him badly... but sometimes not enough to practice.... but that's another story for another day.
I have one kid who plays violin, is in 8th grade, and is the best player in the school, even better than those older than her. I have another who plays trumpet, just starting out, but also seems to gain some satisfaction from it, and is having fun with it for sure. I am taking him to the concert tonight. I have another one, the youngest of the bunch, who plays piano. He, I believe, may have something special. His timing, rhythm, and ability to absorb and understand theory are a bit amazing to me. He seems to understand music, as opposed to understanding notes arranged on a page. He is WAY into Mozart, so much so that he wanted Mozart things for Christmas this year... which we obliged him on. Certainly he has a long way to go, but he certainly has the potential to go a long way with it, and gain a TON of satisfaction out of it. Also, another subject for another day.
The Second time I saw Ferguson was in NYC about 8 years ago. He had aged significantly, didn't play as much with the combo he was with, but when he did play, I could close my eyes and go back to that little theater from which he practically ripped the roof those many years ago.
It will be interesting to see how this concert compares to those... I will certainly write a little review here tomorrow on it.
On my way!!