The 1960s were arduous enough for big band artists. This thrilling genre of music had a substantial downturn from its heyday a couple of decades earlier. Small groups with guitars became all the rage. Big bands had to re-define themselves and refocus.
Young big band fans went gaga over high-note trumpet players. As I get older I have a hard time understanding why. My mother was once like the boy who said the emperor has no clothes. This was when I had a DVD of the Ferguson band on. Maynard was of course the grand poobah of high-note trumpet players. Mom said "if they want to play such high notes, why don't they play a different instrument?"
At the time of his untimely death, rumors were rife that Chase was going back to Woody Herman's band. His "name" presence would have been good for all involved. We never got to see that of course.
I heard Dizzy with a small combo at St. Cloud State's Kimberly Ritsche Auditorium. Dizzy's physical faculties for playing the trumpet were at a bare minimum. Remember, he had that unorthodox style of puffing out his cheeks. It's unnatural.
I remember when us kids raced to get our Prom Ballroom seats right when they opened the doors - standard custom - and we raced right past Woody himself. Woody was out in the commons area with an unassuming presence, playing some warm-up notes on his clarinet with his open case in front of him. Had this been Maynard, we would have swarmed him. We loved Woody's band but Woody himself wasn't really a cult figure. Ah, but we embraced Woody and his sound totally.
Woody Herman, RIP.
She long lean and lanky and ain't had nothin' to eat!
But she's my baby and I love her just the same,
Crazy about that woman 'cause Caldonia is her name.
What makes your big head so hard? Huh!
I love you, love you just the same,
I'll always love you baby 'cause Caldonia is your name.
My momma told me to leave Caldi]onia alone;
That's what she told me, no kiddin'!
That's what she said!
"Son, keep away from that woman,she ain't no good, don't bother with her!".
But momma didn't know what Caldonia was puttin' down!
So I'm goin' down to Caldonia's house, and ask her just one more time!
What makes your big head so hard?