Review in 'All About Jazz' On Spirits, Lasse Lindgren, a trumpet standout of some note (jazz and lead) in his native Sweden, pays tribute to one of his seminal influences,the peerless Maynard Ferguson, in a rollicking studio date whose purpose is not to copy Ferguson but to recapture his indomitable spirit. Like his mentor, Stan Kenton, Ferguson was known for his rampageous approach to big band jazz, but there are times here when Lindgren's 14-piece Big Constellation overshadows even Maynard's boundless take-no-prisoners style. For the most part, however, these are songs associated with Ferguson, framed as a whole the way he would have played them, from Joe Zawinul's shuffling 'Birdland' to the closing medley, Slide Hampton's frenzied, gospel-style 'Got the Spirit' and Ferguson's customary finale, Jimmy Giuffre's emphatic 'Blue Birdland' (with commentary by Lindgren). Sandwiched between is a smorgasbord of Ferguson favorites including his durable ballad show-stoppers, Leonard Bernstein's 'Maria' and the Gershwin brothers' 'I Can't Get Started' (on which Lindgren plays and sings, as Maynard often did). Mike Abene composed 'The Fox Hunt' and 'New Bag Blues' and arranged Sonny Rollins' flag-waving 'Airegin.' The impulsive 'Si! Si! MF' was written by trumpeter Don Rader, the fiery 'Left Bank Express' by pianist Pete Jackson, the slithering 'Serpent' by Keith Mansfield. Lindgren is standout on trumpet or valve trombone ('Birdland,' 'The Serpent'), amplifying incisive statements by trumpeter Johan Holmberg ('Fox Hunt'), trombonists Lars-Goran Dimle and Niklas Rydh, alto Johan Borgstrom, tenors Bjorn 'Skane' Cedergren and Jens Nilsson, baritone Erik Kristofferson and pianist Johan Johansson. The rhythm section, so pivotal in any Ferguson band, is marvelous, from bass guitarist Owe Almgren's resonant substratum on 'Birdland' to the excellent work by both drummers (yes, there are two), David Sunby and Goran Kroon, on every number but especially the burners: 'Birdland,' 'Airegin,' 'Fox Hunt,' 'Si! Si! MF' and 'Left Bank Express.' The album was co-produced by Lindgren and Ernie Garside, who was Ferguson's manager during the trumpeter's stay in England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. While Lindgren is careful to point out that he doesn't try to 'copy' Ferguson, there's no doubt that he and his Big Constellation have 'got the spirit,' and that spirit is palpable throughout this lively and warm-hearted tribute to the most illustrious high-note master who ever lived. John Bowers, all-about-jazz 2009.