MF Horn Dies at age 78
As stated in my first post back in May 2005, the name MF Blog is a play on the title of a Maynard Ferguson album called MF Horn. Today, I read that Maynard Ferguson has died at age 78 after fighting to his dying breath against his kidney and liver failing.
Maynard and I shared the same first-last name initials. But, that's not why I loved his work and his personality. Maynard was a legendary trumpeter who hit notes and created melodies at levels previously unheard by human ears. Maynard's versions of:
and of course, the Rocky Theme ("Gonna Fly Now"), are brilliant and timeless.
I was privileged to have seen Maynard's bands in the mid to late 1970s near Rutgers University in New Jersey, when he had some amazing (then) young musicians, from Alan Zavod, the astounding, but still unknown Bob Summers, and Bruce Johnstone, to name a few.
I remember seeing Maynard and his band one night. After a break, Maynard came back out from the wings of the ballroom where they were playing, took out a handkerchief and dropped it to the ground. As it hit the ground, the band, already on the stage, started swinging. Later, for the last song of the evening, the band decided to do their version of "Hey Jude", where the brass players would fan out into the audience and wail away.
Great musicians being creative and fun. That was how to describe a Maynard Ferguson show.
Way back in the day, Maynard was playing with many big bands, primarily Stan Kenton's outstanding band. But, sometimes he'd show up on albums like this one, and you'd hear him do "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess" and it would amaze anyone with an ounce of musical sense.
Gonna miss ya, Maynard. But, if there are angels in Heaven playing trumpets, I now know who'll be playing lead.