Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 20:34:15 +0000
From: "Nicholas Drozdoff" <email@example.com>
Subject: [TPIN] My
Reflections of Maynard's Impact on my life - he will be missed
The Impact of Maynard Ferguson on My
Professional Life as a Trumpeter:
It is 2:50 on August 24, 2006. I just taught 90 minutes of classes
putting on a happy face even though I was struggling with a sense of
sadness at just hearing of the passing of trumpet legend, Maynard
Ferguson. I got through it, and will be fine, of course. More on that,
Now, folks who know me well may ask, “Why are you so bothered by this?
You only really did three complete tours with him! You didn’t even
finish a full year!” Well, these queries deserve answers.
First, I left when I did, by and large due to the fact that I was a
newlywed when I went on the road with Maynard. My new wife was very
supportive of the move onto the road. She knew how important to a young
trumpeter it was to go on the road with Maynard Ferguson. However, I
felt I had to come home when I did. This was made easier due to some
personal challenges (which had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Maynard!)
I was facing on the road.
Next, those three tours I did with Maynard Ferguson were some of the
most cherished moments of my career. My life would not have been the
same without them. I learned a great deal about trumpet playing,
musicianship, jazz and humanity that I would have missed had I not had
that experience. I learned as much about me as I did one of the
greatest jazz trumpet legends who ever lived.
Maynard has had a huge impact of the lives of virtually every
trumpeter, in some way. Certainly, the legacy of high notes is there.
However, Ferguson brought a sense of musicianship and artistry to that
aspect of trumpet playing that has only been approached by others. I
recently posted a comment in a forum about Maynard’s version of
Gershwin’s “Summertime” on a recording with Max Roach, Dinah Washington
and Clifford Brown. In listening to that piece, one can only stand in
sheer awe at the power and majesty of his work. I was more than just an
athletic event. It was beautiful music in the hands of a master
For me, The Fox will live on forever in his recordings, of course, but
also in the memories of the conversations I had with him during my
brief tenure on his band – his words of encouragement and advice
through some rough patches I had along with his stories about his
experiences with other jazz greats. His jovial and kind nature will
never be diminished in my mind. Those moments in hanging out with him
on the band bus, on the airplane to Japan, on bullet train platforms,
the rehearsals in Orlando Florida, his joking around with us, will
always be with me. I’ll never forget the time he met my wife and then
treated her to my getting to trade solos with him on Latino Lovewalk at
Rolling Meadows High School. When Alan Wise dubbed me “Studio Man,”
Ferguson was like another little kid with that, too! I could go on, but
I’ll spare you. I may have only done three tours, but oh what a three
tours those were!
In short, I am a very privileged man. I got to be on the road with one
of the greatest jazz legends of our time. Certainly, he’ll be
missed, but rather than morn his passing, I am going to celebrate his
life and all the beauty and joy he brought us.
Much gratitude is due to Maynard Ferguson, for my part.
FWIIW coming from me.