Thursday, August 31, 2006

Maynard Ferguson - Swinging My Way Through College (1958)



Roulette R-25058

1. Don'cha Go 'Way Mad
2. That Old Feeling
3. What's New
4. Dancing In The Dark
5. BitterSweet
6. It's A Pity To Say Goodnight
7. BJ's Back In Town
8. Tenderly
9. Bye Bye Blackbird
10. They Can't Take That Away From Me

Liner Notes:

Just as his "A Message from Newport" (Roulette R-52012) was created as a typical set of concert performances, so is "Swingin' My Way Through College" equally representative of another facet of the Maynard Ferguson band's protean talents.
This is a dance album primarily, and a swinging album too, of course, for dance era music has been identified with first-class, swinging music ever since Benny Goodman inaugurated the swing era. "One of my favorite formats," says Maynard, "is to play a college dance date and then do a 30 to 45 minute jazz concert in the middle of the evening, when the audience will gather around the bandstand to listen, just as then used to for Goodman and Harry James."
College audiences by now for a substantial segment of the Ferguson orchestra's clientèle. In addition to playing dance dates at Lehigh, the University of Rochester and many other such seats of learning, the band enjoyed some of its most important exposure in the fall of 1958 when, as part of the Jazz for Moderns show (along with the Four Freshmen and the Brubeck and Rollins combos) it played halls at the Universities of Virginia, Iowa and Minnesota, Smith College and many others.
Probably as a result of the tremendous reaction on these dates, the band shot op to take its place among the nation's top four orchestras in the latest Down Beat poll; in addition, Maynard showed in the trumpet voting, racing ahead of Shorty Rogers, Jonah Jones, Louis Armstrong and other figures all more widely publicized than he.
The band's adaptability to every setting has had much to do with its mounting success. "We consider our dance music book and our jazz library to be two separate things," says Maynard, "even though, of course, they do overlap and there are many people who enjoy the music from both."
This is very true of the present set of performances. Many of the arrangements were written specifically with the idea of "Swingin' My Way Through College," and the dancers, specifically in mind; on the other hand, "Tenderly," for instance, was an important and very well received item in the set played by the band on concert dates on the Jazz for Moderns tour.
Side A: "DON'CHA GO 'WAY MAD," originally an Illinois Jacquet instrumental hit known as "Black Velvet," is heard here in a Willie Maiden arrangement. The first chorus features an attractive combination of tone colors with which Willie has been experimenting - Maynard on baritone horn, Slide Hampton on tuba and Don Sebesky on bass trombone. The tenor sax solo is by Carmen Leggio.
"THAT OLD FEELING" is a Bill Holman arrangement, with Maynard at his muted best in the second chorus.
"WHAT"S NEW," created 20 years ago in the bob Crosby band as "I'm Free," is a Slide Hampton score, with a moment of Willie Maiden tenor but mainly featuring Maynard's trumpet.
"DANCING IN THE DARK," played at a delightfully danceable tempo, was arranged by Slide.
"BITTERSWEET" is an original composition, written and arranged by Willie Maiden.
"LOVE WALKED IN," one of Gershwin's las popular songs (1936), has a tenor solo by Willie Maiden, who wrote the arrangement, and passages by Maynard on both valve trombone and trumpet.
SIDE B: "IT'S A PITY TO SAY GOODNIGHT", a pop tune of the '40s, is also Willie's score, with the baritone horn-tuba-bass trombone combination attractively used in the first chorus. This also includes Maynard's first solo on baritone horn.
"B.J's BACK IN TOWN" (the initials are for Maynard's maid) is a Maiden original, a 12-bar blues in which the leader's trumpet, Bob Dogan's piano and Carmen Leggio's tenor are spotlighted.
"TENDERLY" (introduced as a vocal ballad by Sarah Vaughn in 1947) is one of Maiden's most colorful arrangements. He is heard on tenor. The climax is an amazing descending run in which Maynard weaves his way though more than three octaves.
"BYE BYE BLACKBIRD," a Tin Pan Alley veteran dating back to 1926, was arranged by Don Sebesky. The soloists are Maynard, muted, Jimmy Ford on alto and Bob Dogan on piano, with Slide again heard on the tuba in the ensemble.
"THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME" (Gershwin, 1937) is also a Sebesky arrangement and features him and the leader in solos.

3 comments:

six-by-six said...

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Musicas e Metodos said...

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six-by-six said...

Swinging My Way Through College