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

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pinnacle - Meld – Heck, any band that gives thanks to "the spectacular Eliza Dushku for inspiration" deserves the benefit of the doubt, don't they? This American three-piece treads some familiar ground — the...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues