Thursday, September 14, 2006

Maynard Ferguson - Straightaway Jazz Themes (1961)

Roulette R 52076

Trumpets: Maynard Ferguson, Chet Ferretti, Bill Berry, Don Rader
Saxes: Willie Maiden, Lanny Morgan, Frank Hittner, Don Menza
Trombones: Kenny Rupp, Ray Winslow
Rhythm: Jaki Byard (piano), Rufus Jones (drums), John Neves (bass)
Arrangers: Willie Maiden, Don Sebetsky (as spelled on the LP)

1. Straightaway
2. Apprehension
3. Mambo La Mans
4. Cocky Scott
5. Up Shift
6. Last Lap
7. Melancholia
8. Pit Stop
9. Stroking
10. After The Race

Liner notes:

It has been said, that the mass medium of television has done more to introduce the view to jazz music than any other medium since the advent of the phonograph record. Today, there is hardly a private eye series or an adventure program that does not rely heavily upon jazz themes as part of its musical backdrop. Original jazz themes for television have become as popular and as much a part of the medium as sponsors and commercials.

All this is to the good. But jazz themes composed and played by an assigned crew of studio musicians is one thing. Jazz created and preformed by great jazz musicians is still another. The music from the new ABC-TV network show "Straightaway" represents the latter. Here is original TV jazz music composed by famed jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and played by his big band jazz aggregation. Maynard has not only written music to fit the exciting action of "Straightaway", which deals with the world of racing cars, he has more importantly made certain that the music fits the sound of his ensemble and his featured soloists. As this album so ably demonstrates Ferguson has in no way sacrificed the sound of his band, for the sound of emanating from the picture tube. His compositions forcefully showcase the pulsating power and concept of big band jazz as practiced by Maynard and his men.

The music for "Straightaway" suits the dramatic story it was written for, but of greater significance is the fact that the music can stand by itself, apart from the television screen as great jazz music worth hearing. For Maynard Ferguson, writing the misc for this new TV stanza represented a whole new challenge - one that he as longed to undertake and has met so successfully. Maynard Ferguson continues to grow in stature as one of the truly outstanding giants on the jazz scene today. His original music for "Straightaway" adds still new laurels to his already illustrious career.

1 comment:

six-by-six said...