Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Ferguson's 1986 re-invention After the release of 1983's Storm, and the following year's Live From San Francisco, Maynard Ferguson was on a creative roll. When Body & Soul appeared in 1986, Ferguson himself said "It's my best album in many years! Bear in mind, this is music we've worked on for some time, re-designing it and changing it-the tunes are not something we just hatched for a studio session." And, re-design, he did, removing some brass from the band's lineup, and replacing them with guitar and percussion. Combining newly written material with the chestnut title track from 1930, Body & Soul's original 6 tracks were a revelation for fans, old and new, with the MF band reaching heights higher than Ferguson's trademark ionospheric double high "Cs." Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with the Maynard Ferguson Trust, is happy to reintroduce this classic to the masses. To make this reissue even more special, three previously unissued tracks from the original sessions have been added. With new liner notes from MF band alumnus Denis DiBlasio and multiple Grammy® nominee Steve Wiest, Body & Soul's audio story is augmented by tales from the people who were there during its creation. 30 years later, the release has lost none of its power and influence. Gently surrender yourself to Body & Soul.
Personnel: Maynard Ferguson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Tim Ries (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Rick Margitza (soprano & tenor saxophones); Wayne Bergeron, Alan Wise (trumpet, flugelhorn); Alex Iles (trombone); Denis DiBlasio (flute); Todd Carlon (keyboards); Micheal Higgins (guitar); Dave Carpenter (bass); Dave Miller (drums); Steve Fisher (percussion); Chad Wackerman (programming).
Recorded at Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, California in January 1986. Includes liner notes by Dr. Herb Wong.
Liner Note Authors: Denis DiBlasio; Herb Wong; Steve Wiest .
Recording information: Mad Hatter Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Illustrator: James McCaffry.
Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson cut back on his big band around the time he recorded Body & Soul, utilizing an 11-piece group with six horns and an expanded rhythm section. Best known among his sidemen is tenor-saxophonist Rick Margitza. Ferguson uses electronics on some of the selections and swings a bit on "Body & Soul." In addition to Margitza, other soloists include guitarist Michael Higgins, altoist Tim Ries, and keyboardist Todd Carlon. The music is pleasing but not all that memorable, although Ferguson's mastery of his upper register remains quite impressive. ~ Scott Yanow