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September 28, 1978 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-28

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Page 6--Thursday, September 28, 1978-The Michigan Daily

A

weekend jazz oasis.

Ellington is forever

U

BY R. J. SMITH
Introducing a piece by Charles
Mingus which Eclipse Jazz, the
student-run jazz promoters, had com-
missioned, Mercer Ellington told the
Hill Auditorium crowd, "I don't know
the symbolism of Eclipse, but rather
than covering something up, it sheds a
tremendous amount of light."
Long before last weekend's jazz
festival was over, I think a lot of people
had the same idea.
Consider the logistics of the thing.
Between Thursday and Sunday ap-
proximately 100 of the top jazz
musicians in the world were in town,
playing collectively for over 30 hours.
There were premieres and workshops,
and there were the performances
themselves: Dexter Gordon and John-
ny Griffin engaged in a hard-bopping
cutting match, Mercer Ellington
showing Ann Arbor his loving brand of
the, Ellington charisma, Sun Ra
rocketing into the unknown.
TO SAY THE least, the festival was
an audacious congregation of in-

strumentalists. An examination of one
instrument, say the tenor saxophone,
exhibits the range of playing presen-
ted: from the traditional of Gordon and
Griffin to the forefront of modern jazz,
represented by Chico Freeman and Sun
b D
Ra's sax men, the sweep of post-war
improvisitory approaches was
represented even-handedly.
There is also much good to be said
about the bookings of musicians in ac-
cord with the Ellington theme of the
festival. There were big bands, an
arranger of Ellingotn's, an admirer

A 13)1a SPECIAL ATTRACTION
Ter
The ther Half
by Elinor Jones directed by Amy Saltz
The words of the world's greatest female writers come to life in this new
play with music by KATHRIN KING SEGAL, Using journals, speeches,
letters, poems, and songs, the play illuminates the lives of over twenty
women writers, from 600 B.C. to the present and including the works of
VIRGINIA WOOLF, JANE AUSTEN, MARY SHELLEY, EDNA ST. VINCENT
MILLAY, the BRONTE SISTERS, JOAN DIDION, and LILLIAN HELLMAN.'
It is a tribute to the spirit, dedication, and creativity of all womanhood.
8p.m. Tuesday, October 3+
TRUEBLOOD THEATRE
Tickets Available at the P T P Ticket Office
Michigan League, 764-0450
and also at the door.

who has dedicated several albums to
the Duke's music, singer who has been
performing Ellington songs for,
decades, and musicians who have
played with Ellington at different
periods over many decades.
And most importantly, there was the
Ellington orchestra itself. Far from
being an anachronism, it won over the
audience on its own merits, breathing
renewed spirit into songs and
arrangements which will never die.
With any festival there are a few bad
pennies that invariably turn up, and
this also was the case with the Ann Ar-
bor Jazz Festival 1978. Along with unin-
teresting performances delivered from
the so-called "cross-over" performers,
there were also poor sets by Stan Getz
and Mose Allison.
BUT IF THE Tigers were batting the
average that this festival achieved,
they'd be in first place. Much credit
should be given to the people at Eclipse,
for the shows all ran smoothly, with
rarely a slip-up in anything from
ushering to sound and lighting. The
only major problem of the festival, in
fact, had nothing to do with Eclipse:
Sun Ra, preparing to play for about
three hours, helda lengthy afternoon
practice that delayed the start of
Saturday night's show.
Important seeds have been sown in
the Ann Arbor community, seeds which
help assure the growth of a vital jazz
following. To be sure, this following
contains a certain amount of elitist
trend followers lapping it all ujp to
show they know what's going on.
SNOOTY EGGHEADS notwithstan-
ding, the city seems to be building into a
special place for jazz events. And with
concerned people, be it buying records
or working for a radio station, reasons
for optimism are flourishing. This may
prove to be a really exciting time for
jazz supporters - already Ann Arbor
has garnered an enviable reputation for
sustaining and appreciating the music.
Eclipse spokespersons are reluctant
to talk of plans for next year, saying
they are "still recuperating" from this
year's festival. Plans for next year's
event will not be discussed until
January - the word on whether this
year's festival was a financial success
or failure has not even been registered
yet.
So long, Ann Arbor Jazz Festival
1978.
Come back next year.

By R.J. SMITH
As if the presence of some of the most
noteworthy musicians in jazz at the Ann
Arbor Jazz Festival were not reason'
enough for celebration, there is the life
and music of a man involved here, a
man whom many would label
America's greatest composer.
Edward Kennedy Ellington rarely led
the standard jazzman's life. Son of a
Washington D.C. butler, he was born in-
to a family that was always modestly
well-to-do. From an early age he
studied music at school and privately;
however, it was the education he
received in local burlesque shows,
poolrooms, and similar dives that
proved most valuable.
He turned down a scholarship in
favor of playing gigs with diverse com-
bos, and by 1918, when he began to

establish a name for himself as a dance
musician, a brilliant career had begun.
In the futute, of course, Ellington
showed us that he was much, much
more besides a dance band leader. In
his 74 years he composed ap-
proximately 3000 works, including
songs, suites, tone poems, symphonies,
sacred work, film and TV show scores,
a ballet and lots more.
ALTHOUGH he was labelled a
"popular" artist in the worst sense of
the word by high-brows (it has been
said that the 1965 Pulitzer Prize Com-
mittee voted not to give any award for
music that year, rather than give it to
the Duke..In protest, two committee
members resigned), his works touched
as many people as any American com-
poser has.
"There has never been a serious
musician who is as serious about his

music as a ,serious jazz musian," he
said, and it was always bor out in
both his writing and his carel selec-
tion of musicians for his orchetra. The ;
Duke Ellington Orchestra always
boasted brilliant soloists, and te Duke
demanded a fierce loyalty to thimusic.
He was also very sensitive to the
styles of his musicians - for -hen one
would leave the band, it would iten en-
tail rewriting whole arrangemnts for
the new voice replacing the old ne.
It would be easier to say wat ac-
colades he has not received. t least
three nations have issued stamp in his
honor. He was awarded the Pesiden-
tial Gold Medal and the Preident's
Medal of Freedom, the latter (which
is the highest award a civilin can
receive in the United States.
In a poem titled "What Is lusic?"
from his wonderful autobiqraphy
Music Is My Mistress, Ellingtoiwrote:
What is music to you?
What would you be without musii...
A baby is born, and music put him to
sleep.
he can't read, he can't understan
a picture,
But he will listen to music...
Music is a cedar,
An evergreen tree of fragrant, dtable
wood.
Music is like honor and pride,
Free from defect, damage, or deay.
Without music I may feel blind,,
incomplete, inexistent, atropied.
As always, Ellington said thenost in
the least space. The Duke is %at last
weekend's festival was all about

Ue
Chamber Orchestra Society
gives classics an intimate touch

v

By BILL BARBOUR
Picture this scene: you are sitting at
a small dining table, well-adorned with
many sumptuous desserts, with a few
close friends. The room around you is
elegant, decorated with long flowery
curtains, aged-wood paneling, and
three classically beautiful chandeliers.
Suddenly, a small orchestra of about 16
players enters from your left. They seat
themselves quietly and begin to play a
Haydn symphony.
Are you at Esterhazy, in the late
eighteenth century, listening to the
prince's court orchestra? No. You're in
the Vandenburg Room of the Michigan
League listening to The Ann Arbor
Chamber Orchestra Society, the city's
first professional chamber orchestra.
THE ORCHESTRA, composed
mostly of recent University graduates,
begins its first full season September
30th at 8:30 p.m. in the Vandenburg
Room.

"The room is small and intimate,"
says F. Carl Daehler,,the conductor of
the group, "We have a limit of 100
people for each concert, Also, the
proximity of the musicians with the
audience is very close."
Daehler has taken other, more un-
conventional steps toward bringing his
music closer to the audience. "I try to
meet all of the audience before each
concert," he explains. "The musicians
mingle with the audience before and af-
ter the concert. The people usually feel
they know everyone."
TH E ORCHESTRA was formed for
two reasons. "The first one was the
musicians in town," says Daehler, who
studied for two years in Vienna before
coming to Ann Arbor to lead the or-

and a setting like this, which isn't
been done."
The musicians seem to enjoy pifor-
ming for the small audiences thean-
denburg Room can accommodati "I
think it's a fantastic idea," notes Gagg
Powell, the group's double bassist"It
develops a communication. We get
feedback right away; we're awar of
the person we're playing for. You an
reach out and touch them."
They also enjoy the -challengeof
playing in a small group. "Thei's
more exposure," says Nancy Waring
flutist in the ensemble, "so, persona
I enjoy that more because we feel t
what we're doing is all that. more
portant, and we work even harder t o
a fine job."

~I

chestra. "
from U-M
other area
second on
togethera

in the Power Center
SALLY ANN HOWES
EARL LOIS
WRIGHTSON & HUNT
3so starring TERRY SAUNDERS
October 6-8

- "
Ob to
November 3-5

MEDIATRICS
presents
ENTER THE DR.
(Robert Clouse, 1974) Enter the Dragon is
Bruce Lee epic. Lee confronts the ruth less'
up his scrupulous female slave trade.
Sept. 28 Nat. Sci. Aud.
The Ann Arbor fim Coop
presents at Nat. Sci., Thursday
How Tasty Was My Little
(Nelson Pereira dos Santos, 1971)
An amusing investigation into the morality and po
16th century Brazil concerns a French adventurer's sti
and survive after he is captured by a cannibalistic In
cating color photography and virtually an entire cc
dialect with English subtitles.
(Philip Kaufman, 1974) WH ITE DAW
A sadly neglected film that never survived the barbar
cursed it with on its initial release. Eskimos save
who proceed to take advantage of the natives' hospi'
ture until violence erupts. Shot entirely on location,
acting by its mostly Eskimo cast. "Beautiful and fas
-Judith Crist.
TOMORROW: ROCKY
The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative Is looking f
ask for details at our showin

Most of them have graduated UPON HEARING the orchesta
and most of them play in rehearse, it's clear that they are 11
as or cities and so forth. The striving for one thing: to doia
e is the uniqueness of putting
a small orchestra with food
AGON
absolutely the finest
Han in order to break
7, 8:45, 10:30
professional job. Daehltr keeps the at-
mosphere relaxed, devting attention
to musical elements vhich separate
WOWatv good ensembles from average ones. He
y, Sept. 28 shows none of the negtivistic jibes
common among well-known
French man professional conductors. The players,
7 &-10:20 Nat. Sci. none of whom is more han six feet
litics of cannibalism in the away from him, call hin by his first
ruggle to integrate himself name.
dian tribe. Contains intoxi-
3st of nude actors. In Tupi In outlining the graip's goals,
Daehler adds, "We're ot trying to
present new music to thi audiences.
N 8:40 only NAT. SCI. We're, trying to give then something
ous distribution Paramount that they might already knw. That's a
three shipwrecked sailors little different from the orchestras'
tality and poison their cul-
the film boasts beautiful today; they're trying to eve people
scinating adventure film." something they haven't head before."
Tickets for the orchestras Septem-
ber 30th concert may be puchased by
or new members. phone (996-0066) or by writg to The
g Chamber Orchestra Societyat 903 E.
Huron.
ADVERTIEMENT
oprietor of Sagebruh
grand opening date
ney to the California Terri- for gals. Levi's jeans for guys.evi's
was there I went to seek my jackets, Levi's belts and Levi's'ana-
in gold and it was there I tela" coordinated sportswear Said
to meet Mr. Levi Strauss." Groggs, "There are no better cbthes
ugh Groggs, sometimes than those of Levi Strauss."
as Sagebrush Zeb, was un- According to Groggs; Sagerush
ind a "fortune in gold," he will be open Mondays througi Sat-
nv.IaarjIthe m~.avc'to "n cafe Ii t ira x r, if'an m ta, 0 n mnil

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MUSIC & LYRICS BY
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February 2-4

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TOO SHORTm10BOX
WIllH i'nn

Zebediah E.
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