Whenever you hear Maynard Ferguson, you can expect excitement and invention. Maynard Ferguson is the unqualified star, the other luminaries shine brightly in this twinkling little galaxy. The amazing leader takes "Just Friends" through a sparkling jazz/rock mood into a straight -four feel swinging all the way. One of the many outstanding piano solos to come is heard on this tantalizing ballad "Waltz for Nicole", Maynard is enchanting. I haven't heard his tone so beautiful. The meaningful standard," I Love You", is a killer Latin chart with everyone moving to the music. The group shows that ten bars can swing as hard as twelve, sixteen, thirty-two or whatever.
Maynard doubtless appreciates the unlimited swing potential inherent in Latin rhythms, and explores them deftly. Tom Garling's bright orchestration, "Knee Deep In Rio", catapults you right down to Brazil. Paul Thompson, lays down a rock solid foundation and bounds through a solo that'd probably make the late Charlie Mingus do a double take.
Maynard bestows a solo reaffirming his place in music, not just as a high note man, but as a distinctive jazz voice. Denis DiBlasio, (Former Maynard sideman) is back for a guest shot on this date. He sings and swings "The Lip", a blues chart he wrote in a style that helped define earlier Ferguson bands. The set ends with Caruso, a beautiful Italian song Maynard heard while visiting Lugano Lake in Switzerland. His rendition on flugelhorn is hypnotic, played Ron Oswanski's beautiful solo piano accomplishment.
The Brass Attitude had a good beginning, a good middle and good ending...There is something here for every cultured jazz taste.