Maynard Ferguson Sextet / Maynard Ferguson

Sextet 1967

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Recorded during trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's Montreal trip in 1967 (when he was between bands), this set finds Ferguson in fine form but is only a mixed success. Altoist John Christie and tenor saxophonist Brian Barley share the spotlight on some numbers, and their tones sound rather uncomfortable while their ideas try to reconcile the avant-garde innovations of the period to hard bop. Barley (who on "Polecat" almost resembles Booker Ervin at one point) would develop beyond this point in the near future. The obscure rhythm section is fine in support without really standing out. But MF fans will probably want this one because the trumpeter is showcased on three ballads ("I Can't Get Started," "Who Can I Turn To," and "Over the Rainbow"), takes a large portion of "Summertime 'Revisited"' as a duet with the bassist, and makes his presence felt on the other selections.

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