Exposé Online banner

Maynard Ferguson — Carnival
(Wounded Bird WOU 5480, 1978/2003, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-12-01

Carnival Cover art

For those of you uninitiated, Maynard Ferguson was part of the jazz-rock scene originating from the stable of jazz players who broke out under the auspices of Stan Kenton's big band. Carnival was Ferguson and his sixteen-piece band's eighth and possibly his most successful blend from the big band jazz direction incorporating 70s modern rock covers. Brass arrangements were the rage, often informed by radio in a trend that has vanished from today's pop world. This LP showcased a peak of the trumpeter's ability to re-configure familiar tunes of the day and fit brass arrangements that didn't choke the original melody. The real meat and potatoes of the group lies in the new pieces such as the opening "M.F. Carnival"; it captures the essence of the big band's sound as arranged by keyboardist Biff Hannon. The piece opens with Spanish guitar from John Qdini before Ferguson's broad tone solo comes in. Tracks such as Earth Wind and Fire's funky top ten hit "Fantasy" and Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" are the better-known tracks on the disc. "Stella by Starlight" finds the group in a far more traditional jazz mode with trombonists Nick Lane and Phil Gray carrying the bulk of the melodic load with some exceptional charts. Weather Report's "Birdland" is given the big band rendition with Qdini rocking it up a bit too. Overall this work stands as a high water mark for Ferguson and his ensemble.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 28, 2003 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Maynard Ferguson

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tasavallan Presidentti - Tasavallan Presidentti, Lambertland & Milky Way Moses – The first eponymous album Finnish band Tasavallan Presidentti recorded was a cross between folk, blues, and jazz-rock with pop influences. A really diverse album with an immaculate rendition of the...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues