Ferguson started his career at 13 when he performed as a featured soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Co. Orchestra.
He played with several of the great big-band leaders of the 1940s and '50s, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton, with whom he was a featured performer.
He became known with the Kenton band for being able to hit "ridiculous high notes with ease," according to jazz critic Scott Yarnow.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz says of Ferguson: "There are few sights more impressive in animal physiology than the muscles in Maynard Ferguson's upper thorax straining for a top C."
Thursday, August 24, 2006
MAYNARD FERGUSON, 78
The trumpeter died Wednesday in Ventura, Calif., from kidney and liver failure "brought on by an abdominal infection," according to Reuters:
Makes us want to put on the theme from "Rocky."