One of the fascinating things about my work as a journalist and filmmaker is that over the past 35 years, I have interviewed many of the musicians I idolized as a kid.
I started playing in the trumpet in the fourth grade and by junior high school, I had three heroes: Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, and Maynard Ferguson. I was lucky enough to hear Lee live at Slugs’ about a year before he left us, although we never met. Of course I heard Dizzy at gigs and shared time with him backstage at a number of venues, although we never did an interview, article, or liner notes.
A few days after his 70th birthday, which he celebrated with a gig at New York’s Blue Note, I interviewed Maynard Ferguson for a feature for the October 1998 issue of JazzTimes. I had recently purchased a High 8 video camera and started documenting my interviews on video. Of course, this is long before YouTube or web video.
Quite interesting to spend an hour with one’s boyhood idol. Maynard proved to be a warm and engaging fellow, not unlike his music.