4 May 1928, Verdun, Quebec, Canada, d. 23 August 2006, Ventura, Califonia, USA. Already a band leader in his native land by his early teenage years, trumpeter Ferguson played in the bands of Boyd Raeburn, Jimmy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet in the 40s. His breakthrough into public consciousness came in 1950 when he joined Stan Kenton, electrifying audiences with his high-note playing. Unlike many other high-note trumpeters, Ferguson proved that it was possible to actually play music up there rather than simply make noises. However, it is possible that not all his fans appreciated the skills he was demonstrating. After leaving Kenton in 1953 Ferguson worked at Paramount studios in Los Angeles before turning to band leading, sometimes with a big band, at other times with a small group. Skilful use of arrangements often allowed the Ferguson bands to create an impression of size; the 12-piece band he led at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival had all the power and impact of...
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