This week we had two say some painful goodbyes.
The first was to Maynard Fergusen. Fergusen was a jazz legend and one of the reasons I loved playing tromobone.
Walter “Maynard” Ferguson, one of the most influential musicians and band leaders in the history of Jazz, passed away August 23rd at 8:00 pm Pacific Time at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California. He was 78 years old. His death was the result of kidney and liver failure brought on by an abdominal infection.
Maynard Ferguson, born May 4th 1928 in Montreal, started his career at the age of 13 when he performed as a featured soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Company Orchestra. He played with some of the great Big Band Leaders of the 1940’s including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. In 1945, at age 17, Ferguson became the leader of his own Big Band. The 78-year old musical phenomenon went on to record more than 60 albums, receiving numerous honors and awards including the GRAMMY® nomination for “Gonna Fly Now.”
The other fond farewell was to Pluto, former 9th planet in the solar system. Right when we thought we were going to induct 3 new planets, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet and – BAM! – just like that, we were down to 8.
We’re gonna miss you at the planet parties, Pluto. As Heidi Klum would say, “One day you’re in… and the next, you’re out.”
Auf weidersehen Maynard and Pluto.