Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gonna Fly Now

I interrupt our regular programming for this fantastic rendition of Gonna Fly Now - theme from Rocky, arranged by Maynard Ferguson and played as a tribute to him.

They say that Maynard may have been the greatest trumpet player of our time. I wonder if Joe would agree.


LutherRocks said...

Ha! That is a great video. I have seen it many times. I don't know if he was the greatest ever. It is hard to define greatness. Most define it as how much the player influenced other players or the art in general. That's why guys like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis get the label the most since both were so influential.

Nevertheless Maynard was greatest at what he did. He influenced/inspired a lot of players to reach for the altissimo range of the trumpet.

The world lost Maynard in August of 2006 and it sent shock waves across the trumpet world. Everyone thought he would be around forever. I don't remember exactly when that tribute concert was held, but it was within a year of his passing. The three guys that trade off on the solos during that song were probably the best lead guys Maynard ever had in his band. Eric Miyashiro took the first solo (and later on in the song) and Wayne Bergeron (nicknamed Waynard) has his first at 2:34. The other guy is Patrick Hession. He probably took Maynard's death the hardest.

Wayne Bergeron is THE first call session trumpeter these days. If you hear a big fat trumpet playin' up in the stratosphere on a soundtrack it is a good chance it is him. I had the honor of meeting him at a masterclass one time and have a signed CD by him laying around somewhere. Really down to earth nice guy and very funny. He does a rendition of O Holy Night that will set your hair on fire. I'll see if I can find something and post it on my blog.

I could go on for hours about the trumpet. Thanks for posting that!


LPC said...


Yes it is hard to tell who is the greatest, but Maynard maybe one of the most gifted technician.

BTW, do you have a music sheet for Bunny Berrigan's Can't Get Started With You?


LutherRocks said...

Like all great musicians, Maynard had his technique doubt about it. When I think of technicians on the trumpet, I think of Dizzy Gillespie, Rafael Mendez, Allen Vizzutti and Herbert Clarke.

I don't have the sheet music for the Berrigan song, but I have tried learning his solo parts...just never finished it. It is a classic! Bunny Berrigan died much too young and the world will never know how great he might have been had he not battled the bottle and lost. I grew up about 20 minutes from his birthplace; Fox Lake, Wisconsin. There was a big sign erected there on the city's outskirts when I was in high school. In fact I think they have a music fest every year.

LutherRocks said...

Woops...Berigan grew up in Fox Lake and I got the spelling correct now too. :)

LPC said...

My trumpet teacher (now passed away) told me that I should attack this rendition of Berrigan as it will improve me a lot.

Thanks for the info.