Maynard Ferguson Interview
September 18, 2001

I had a chance to talk to Maynard Ferguson and Maynard Ferguson Music Business Director Linda Maertz briefly on September 18th about the upcoming album, Swingin' For Schuur, as well as the recent tragedies in Washington D.C. and New York. Maynard mentioned how ghastly the entire situation has been:

MF: Of course I worry about all the musicians in New York City that are friends of mine, and I'm hoping they're all ok...and that's all we can do."
Linda:  [regarding the upcoming tour] We gave everybody the choice of whether they wanted to fly out or train out, because we didn't want to make anybody fly. So far everyone has been ok with flying and they feel it's time to get back to work and time to get back to life.
MF: That's one of the things that I think is really important is just getting back to doing what we do.

The conversation took a more cheerful turn when we began to discuss the new album.
MF: We're quite happy with it because Diane Schuur and I get along so good together, and also she's got such a great range and, of course, she's a fine piano player so you have that musicianship that sometimes is not that predominate in singers. I just thought the album went great. She's got all that volume and chops and a tremendous range. And she's really a great jazz singer. We really had a great time working with her and the arrangers were all my people. Sometimes they may want to use your band but they want to use the arrangers they're more familiar with. Instead of that they're all my great guys. The band was just really together and it came together and I think that using the arrangers that are all members and ex-members of the band is one of the reasons that that part of it came out so good. And Diane was delighted with the writing, too. We're all real happy with the album. And we're looking forward to dates coming in. [With Diane]
Linda:  Not in this tour, but the next one.
MF: Right, we want the album to be out for a while.

Soon we were discussing individual tunes.
Matt: Lush Life has been the tune that I can't stop playing. I liked that one on the Live From San Francisco album as well.
MF:  I remember when we did that with the Harmon mute and Ron Pedley on the piano, I think. I might be wrong there. [Note: he's right]
Matt: Besame Mucho, the trade off at the end, reminded me of Cheshire Cat Walk.
MF:  (laughs) Yeah, that was a lot off fun. And she's good at that!
Matt: Yeah, she is. Sometimes when a solo starts and it's her you think it might be a trumpet for a split second.
MF: I know, yeah. That sound of hers is perfect for us.

Thanks to Maynard and Linda for taking the time to speak with me!