Powerline reports that Maynard Ferguson died yesterday:
Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006) died yesterday. His name is familiar to every trumpet player and everyone who used to play trumpet--like me. Probably 90 percent of those who, as kids, grew up playing trumpet in band class, and tried to emulate a great trumpet player, tried to emulate Maynard. There was nobody like him in the business--his sound was unique in its virtuosity of power.
Count me among those who tried to emulate his sound. I still remember the evening of a high school wind band concert, during warmups, when the director was taking the band through arpeggios, and I accidentally started on middle G instead of low G, and the director went two octaves instead of just one. In a fleeting moment of brilliance, I nailed every note in tune up through the double-high G and back down - then sat red-faced, both from the exertion and from the embarrassment of the director's look of astonishment and his pronouncement that, "ladies and gentlemen, Maynard Ferguson is with us tonight!"
Apparently, he died of liver and kidney failure, due to an abdominal infection. (According to the article, a memorial service will be held here in Saint Louis.) In life, he impacted many, and with more than just his musical abilities.
In the words of friend and manager Steve Schankman:
Someone just said, 'Gabriel, move over to second trumpet,' He was the last of the greats. That era is closed. There is no Kenton, no Basie, no Ellington, and now, no Ferguson.
The music world lost one of its greats.