Album Remarks & Appraisals:
1989's modern bebop-drenched big band music - In the late 1980s, Maynard Ferguson took a break from his highly successful fusion band, High Voltage, and returned to an all-star assemblage of horn players for his 60th Birthday Big Band Tour. Never one to rest on his laurels, MF and band entered the state of the art Sound Design Studios in Santa Barbara, California, throughout 1989, to record. Big Bop Nouveau appeared at the end of that year, with a title coined by producer Jim Exon, whose love of art nouveau was taken in that direction to describe Maynard's new band. With 5 tracks recorded "as live as possible" to 48 track (24 track analog and 24 track digital) and "The Maynard Ferguson Hit Medley" (48 track analog during the 60th Birthday Big Band Tour in the fall of 1988 at WJCT studios at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Jacksonville, FL), Big Bop Nouveau was an immediate favorite with fans old and new. With the original being out of print, and collecting top dollar in collectors circles, this reissue eclipses that version with new liner notes from MF alumni and multiple Grammy nominee Steve Wiest, as well as a previously unissued studio version of Wiest's composition, "Compared To You." Always pushing jazz to new levels, Big Bop Nouveau, is a great place to start for those new to the MF experience, and for everyone else - home.
Personnel: Maynard Ferguson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Tom Boomer Bevan (guitar); Christopher Hollyday (alto saxophone); Gene Burkert (baritone saxophone); Peter Olstad, Wayne Bergeron, Roger Ingram (trumpet, flugelhorn); Alex Lles (trombone); Rich Berkely (tenor trombone); John Tooney (keyboards); David Tull (drums); Billy Hulting (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Maynard Ferguson; Steve Wiest .
Illustrator: Lise Sutton.
Maynard Ferguson broke up his funk combo High Voltage around the time of Big Bop Nouveau's release and put together a 15-piece straightahead group that emphasized swing and big-band-oriented charts. Although there is a throwaway in "Maynard Ferguson Hit Medley," such pieces as "Blue Birdland," "Cherokee," and "But Beautiful" better showcase the remarkable trumpeter. Sidemen include Christopher Hollyday on alto. This is a good all-round showcase for Ferguson. ~ Scott Yanow
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- At the Montreal Exposition 1967 (Maynard Ferguson Sextet and Orc)