Sunset during a drive through Lincolnshire, 17th January 2015
It was off to the Lincolnshire coast last Saturday for a gig with the Maynard Ferguson Legacy Big Band as part of a full weekend of contests and entertainment at the Mineworkers Championships in the Butlin’s Skegness holiday complex. Talking with some of the visitors they described it as a great weekend of music with band contests and different musical interludes to rest the lips of the contesting musicians at other times.
The Maynard Ferguson Legacy Big Band is a British band playing the music that Ferguson recorded and toured in the UK during the 1970s. The music is a fusion of big band jazz, rock, funk and pop that had some commercial success when it was released (try selling that concept to a record company these days). I remember being very interested in his version of MacArthur Park. One of the impressive points was it is long, around 10 minutes, but never seemed to be repetitive. Perhaps it was the changes in groove during the music that injected extra interest and excitement.
So there I was on Saturday playing music that influenced me during my youth to an audience made up of mainly brass players. The brass bands were a major influence during this period of my musical life as well.
What interested me from looking at the music (they were the original parts) were the arrangers, which was their main instrument and how did that reflect in the arrangements: Dale DeVoe (USA Trombone), Alan Downey (UK Trumpet), Adrian Drover (UK Trombone), Pete Jackson (UK Piano), Jerry Johnson (Canada Trombone), Keith Mansfield (UK Saxophone), Jeff Steinberg (USA Piano) and Kenny Wheeler (UK Trumpet). Some groovy, some brassy, some featuring chorale style… just depended which part of the band the arranger came from.
With guest soloist Chad Shoopman taking the parts of Maynard Ferguson and the band enjoying every moment of the music it was bound to be a very special evening. But don’t take it from me, Facebook had a review and photo from Jason Mountford before the gig had even finished.
“phenomenal sound, great players and the awesome Chad Shoopman.”
Chad Shoopman in stereotypical trumpet player pose with Adam Linsley, thanks to Steve Walker for the photograph.