Maynard Ferguson – Hot (1979)

Walter Maynard Ferguson (May 4, 1928 – August 23, 2006) was a Canadian jazz musician and bandleader. He came to prominence playing in Stan Kenton‘s orchestra before forming his own band in 1957. He was noted for his bands, which often served as stepping stones for up-and-coming talent, and his ability to play expressively and accurately in a remarkably high register.


Hot could be the absolute worst of trumpeter Maynard Ferguson‘s ’70s recordings. It’s not just that it contains more over the top versions of theme songs — “Rocky II Disco” anyone? — and generally vomitive dancefloor-ready production, but more to the point, ‘ol MF just doesn’t sound good. His chops, long overworked by years of obscenely high trumpet squealing, are beginning to let him down. The problem is particularly glaring on the “Gospel John” reworking “Gabriel,” in which Ferguson “fracks” and plays out of tune more than once. Beyond his generally tired-sounding performance, the album feels rushed and features a lousy mixed-bag track selection. To these ends, you get the odd faux raga “Om Sai Ram,” featuring MF attempting to replicate a traditional Indian instrument with a muted trumpet, a kitschy disco-style version of “Theme from Star Trek,” and an average version of John Coltrane‘s “Naima.” Similarly, Stanley Clarke‘s “Dayride” is a forgettable ’70s big-band funk/Latin number and “Topa-Topa Woman” is just too silly to bother with.

A1. Rocky II Disco – 7:11
Composed By – Robbins, B. Conti, C. Connors
A2. Gabriel – 6:22
Composed By – Maynard Ferguson, Nick Lane
A3. Om Sai Ram – 7:46
Composed By – Maynard Ferguson, Nick Lane, Vemu Mukunda

B1. Theme From Star Trek – 5:04
Composed By – Alexander Courage, Gene Roddenberry
B2. Dayride – 5:50
Composed By – Stanley Clarke
B3. Naima – 4:36
Composed By – John Coltrane
B4. Topa-Topa Woman – 4:53
Composed By – Biff Hannon, Vemu Mukunda
Composed By, Written-By – Maynard Ferguson



Sylvester Stallone is featured on A1 song (Punching bag, dialogue)
Recorded at Media Sound, N.Y., Wally Heider and A&M, L.A., CA.
Release Date: 1979
Duration: 41:52
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul
Style: Fusion, Jazz-Funk, Funk, Disco

Label – Columbia Records

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