A trio of Maynard Ferguson 70s gems – wrapped up together in a single package! First up is Chameleon – funky Maynard Ferguson – and one of his sweetest albums of the 70s! The set features a wonderful remake of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" – done here as a big band version that countless other groups would copy during the 70s – in a way that almost showed that Maynard had a more farther-reaching influence at the time than Herbie! Other tracks are equally great – and mix in funky rhythms with some mellower moments – all topped by great solo work from players who include trombonist Randy Purcell, baritone saxophonist Bruce Johnstone, and keyboardist Alan Zavod. Apart from "Chameleon", other titles include great covers of Wings' "Jet" and Stevie Wonders' "Livin For the City" – plus "La Fiesta", "Superbone Meets The Bad Man", and "Gospel John". Conquistador is a jazz funk masterpiece, and it's proof that Maynard Ferguson always had a good head on his shoulders, and were waiting for a record like this to really come into his own! The arrangements shine with a smooth electric sparkle that reminds us of the best albums on Kudu or CTI – and even his normally "too hot" solos fit in perfectly with the band's smooth funky grooving. Our favorite tune is the spacey sample cut "Mister Mellow", but the whole album's pretty darn nice, including "Soar Like An Eagle", "The Fly", "Conquistador". Heck, we even like the funky version of "Theme From Star Trek"! Hot is full on disco grooving from Maynard – a fact that's apparent from the album's first cut – "Rocky II Disco"! The track takes off from Bill Conti's original Rocky theme with a nice kind of funky soundtrack approach – leaving room for a tenor sax solo, and featuring some great spoken bits and punching bag work from Sly Stallone himself! Other tracks are equally slick, but mix it up nicely – and highlights include the Indian-styled "Om Sai Ram", a take on "Naima", and the cuts "Topa Topa Woman", "Dayride", and "Theme From Star Trek". And heck, Maynard even plays a bit of the "superbone" – a combination valve and slide trombone, invented by himself!
(Includes original slipcase.)