La Fiesta – Maynard Ferguson
Published on Mar 17, 2017
from a live performance in Orange County, California — circa 1974
Been talking to Rick a lot lately as he has very kindly taken the reigns, (along with his awesome daughter Jamie Petrone*), of the service and obituary part of Aunt Clare’s proceedings. This is a more profound thing than you might be thinking because my mind was knocked off the rails so far that the angels are still using cranes and such to upright it. I want to get it in today because tomorrow is hip surgery day for Rick. Good Lord, it never ends for any of us, does it?
I have not experienced something that compares in power to this. I am still far from normal and have a really difficult time being alone. And I do mean difficult. Fortunately and thankfully there are multiple angels that have been keeping me afloat. Rick and Jamie are among them. They know not just exactly how deeply I love them.
Here’s a bit more on Rick… the man has had some fabulous experiences… and the beat goes on!
Rick Petrone played bass during what is considered by some to be Maynard’s most popular and creative period…the early and mid 1970s. Those that saw Rick play as part of Maynard’s band in concert undoubtedly remember his extended solo on La Fiesta. Since leaving Maynard’s band, Rick has had a successful and creative career. With the current release of Maynard’s “At The Top” DVD (which features Rick) as well as a new CD featuring Rick (see below for details), it seemed like a good time to talk to Rick and catch up.
- Let’s start with your musical background. Can you tell us about your musical education?I began as a violinist (horrible) moved to acoustic bass at 10, started playing gigs at 11 (no lie). Did the usual H.S. things in music. I was basically self taught until I went to Berklee 1964-69 and roomed with guitarist John Abercrombie, who was a friend from my hometown in Greenwich, CT. There I was one of 5 bass players (over 100 these days). I also met Lin Biviano and played in his Maynard band at Berklee. This band met every Saturday and little did I know where it would lead.
In 1968 I was fortunate to study and play with trombonist Phil Wilson who recommended me for Buddy Rich’s band. The band needed a fill-in for a few months while bassist Bob Magnusson dealt with some Viet Nam war problems. I stayed on for about 6 months and had blast. Buddy and I actually became friends and I saw him many times when I was on the MF band and we played on the same bill. I went back to school, graduated with a BA in Music and went on the road with the Glenn Miller band & then the Tommy Dorsey Band, both ghost bands by that time of course in 1969.
I had also gone to Berklee with old friend Joe Corsello from Stamford, CT. He recommended me to Marian Mac Partland and I joined and stayed with her for 1970 & early ’71. With her I got to play with Chuck Mangione, Sarah Vaughan, Jackie & Roy, drummer Mickey Roker, pianist Duke Jordan and Ralph Towner (when they filled in for her).
- Who were your musical influences?
Love man, just love.