Personnel: Maynard Ferguson, Ernie Royal, Al Derisi, Rick Travis, Joe Ferrante, Stan Fishelson, Al Stewart, Jimmy Nottingham (trumpet), Eddie Bert, Jimmy Cleveland, Sonny Russo (trombone), Herb Geller (alto saxophone), Al Cohn, Budd Johnson, Frank Socolow (tenor saxophone), Ernie Wilkins (baritone saxophone), Hank Jones (piano), Milt Hilton, Arnold Fishkin (bass), Jimmy Campbell, Don Lamond and Rosie Johnson (drums).
Executive producer: Steve Backer
Personnel includes: Maynard Ferguson (conductor).
In 1956 Maynard Ferguson had the opportunity to put together a "dream band." Fortunately (in addition to a tour), the orchestra cut a pair of albums, most of which is included on this single CD. With arrangements from Al Cohn, Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Giuffre, Ernie Wilkins, Bill Holman, Marty Paich, Willie Maiden, Johnny Mandel, and Herb Geller, it is not too surprising that these charts sound both modern and quite exciting. In addition to Ferguson's high-note trumpet work, the main soloists are trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, altoist Herb Geller, and Al Cohn on tenor. Overall, this music serves a particularly strong start to Maynard Ferguson's career as a major bandleader. ~ Scott Yanow