I was a freshman in high school. My band director was a big band/jazz fan and especially a Maynard Ferguson fan. He was a sax player and frustrated trumpet player. I was a young hot shot trumpet player just realizing what this great music they called JAZZ was. By the time I graduated from Central High School I had played “Give it One” and “Country Road” by Maynard. I also had heard the Maynard play live as well as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and Count Basie. This was the early 70’s the era of Chicago/Blood Sweat and Tears, Tower of Power. The big band of the 30’s that was a dance band had evolved. Gone were the dances replaced by concerts. Big Bands were striving to keep “hip” by covering the great pop artists of the day. Of all the before mentioned bands only Basie truly has survived. And why – because THEY ARE BASIE. Playing the great sounds of true swing. I was also inspired by the great MASSIVE sound of the Stan Kenton Jazz Orchestra. I attended 4 Kenton clinics in my home town of Springfield at my alma mater Drury University. I will never forget the evening concerts given every night at the clinic – WOW!
Why do I say all this – because the power combined with the intimacy of a LIVE performance of a big band can NOT be really appreciated in any other method than live. You can compare that to the sound of a great symphony orchestra – recordings just do not do the same thing.
Whether the JMBAND delivers as 20 pieces or just a small combo – the feeling you walk away from a live performance is unparalleled.
I was bitten early by the sound and fury of the big bands and will until my dying day strive to keep this medium alive and thriving. I will toot my own horn and say that our patrons over the last 6 years of the JMBAND never left a performance feeling they were cheated out of what they paid for. We strive to please our fellow big band loving customers and hope you will give us an opportunity to “swing our *&%!! Off”! To steal a well quoted phrase from the one and only Buddy Rich.