The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 12, 1978-Page 7
UAC Special Events
THE AMEN-RA DANCE TROUPE
African Dance Program
THURSDAY, OCT. 12-8:00 PM
Michigan League Ballroom
on Beer & Cocktails
Monday Night Football on Our
Large 7 ft. Screen
Don't Stop the Carnival The Greeting
Sonny Rollins McCoy Tyner
Milesione M-55005 Milesrone M-9085
A Song For You
Pieces of Eight
By ALAN RUBENFELD
Now that the Milestone Jazzstars have come and gone,
Ann Arbor jazz-philes have had their appetites whetted
for Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, and Ron Carter.
Fortunately, all three have recently released solo albums
with their usual touring units, These albums provide an
ideal picture of where each individual is at musically, and
after Monday's show, this is obviously something Ann
Arbor cares about very deeply.
Sonny Rollins offers no surprises on Don't Stop the
Carnival. It is a continuation of the light, jazz-pop format
Rollins has utilized on his past several albums. While not
extraordinary in its content or originality, it is an
enjoyable disc and demonstrates a possibility of gaining
Rollins a wider audience accessibility. The ensuing result
is quite palatable, but one gets the feeling that Rollins is
offering the listener an appetizer of the feast of talents he
is easily capable of.
"-DON'T STOP the Carnival," the title cut, contains the
album's flashiest melody. Rollins infuses a bright,
caypso sound to the song. His tenor saxophone explores
the ranges of sound it can offer, from brilliant, bouncy
riffs to harsher, gutteral grunts. Drummer Tony Williams
offers some outstanding percussion technique, keeping
pace with Rollins' breakneck improvisation.
One possible flaw in Rollins' choice of instrumentation
shows with guitarist Aurell Ray. While sounding quite
fluid if not uninspiring with his soloing and rhythm on the
album's funkier tunes like Rollins' "Camel" or guest
artist Donald Byrd's "Non Cents," Ray sounds out of
place on the slower and more mainstream songs such as
"A Child's Prayer" and "Autumn Nocturne." Trumpeter
Byrd helps to augment the group sound, playing either in
a funkier vein of mellowly eloquent whatever the situation
Byrd and Rollins' tandem playing highlight "Don't Stop
the Carnival." The two work well together, supplying
each other with a base to work their improvisations from.
One could only wish the group performed a bit tighter and.
that Rollins' choice of instrumentation will lean to a more
acoustic persuasion in the future. A listen to some of
Sonny Rollins' older acoustic work (reissue of his Green
Dolphin Street classic is available just this month) shows
another side of a man considered the greatest tenor
It is hard to refute the claim that Ron Carter is the
greatest acoustic bass player jazz has to offer. Indeed, no
damage is inflicted on this reputation in Carter's new
album, A Song for You.
Ron Carter does not simply expand the capabilities of
the bass - he redefines them. At times, his sound can be
the richest of tones, or it can rage with a demonic fury. On
A Song for You, Carter opts for a full, sonorous texture out
of'his acoustic and piccolo bases.
The album's theme seems to be on the sedate side.
Carter features a quartet of cellos on each piece to provide
both background harmonies and melodies. The bass/cello
combination offers the listener a relatively sedate
cocktail mood. "A Song for You," the title track, is a
soulful, if not a little maudlin, melody. Jack DeJohnette's
drumming is incredibly inspiring, providing a firm
foundation for Carter to expose his musical ideas.
DeJohnette's technique is equally eloquent on the ensuing
cuts, "El Ojo de Dios" and "A Quiet Place". Always
innovative and sensitive, DeJohnette becomes the driving
force behind the unit.
CARTER OFTEN gives the listener an opportunity to
hear him playing two bases at one time, while his acoustic
bass lies down the fluid rhythm, his piccolo bass soars
above, taking the lead melody. The ensuing combination
is quite harmonious.
Carter picks up the tempo with the cooly-paced "Good
Time," with the bassist playing simultaneous lead lines on
the acoustic and piccolo basses, while the piano and cello
supply the rhythm.
A Song for You is a lightly accented albtm, filled with
prime examples of Ron Carter's bass virtuosity. While the
record does not really explore new combinations of
orchestration of instrumental groupings, it is a pleasant
mix of individual talent and tasteful accompaniment.
The influence of McCoy Tyner permeates all of jazz.
The drive and inspiration he places in his music is
limitless. His music saturates the listener with an
indelible part of the artist's spirit. Tyner has been making
his musical expressions for more than two decades. His
polytonal textures are vivid and clear.
The Greeting reaches high limits of emotional
expressiveness as well as one or two moments of
mediocrity. The opening cut, "Hand in Hand," is about
three minutes too long because of its repetitive nature,
although the opening moments showcase Tyner's brilliant
percussionist, Guiherme Franco. "Fly With the Wind," a
number from the album of the same name, containst the
spirit of the studio version less the string background.
The song, like the newly released "Pictures," is
orchestrated to contain dynamic levels of intensity. They
are both exhilarating combinations of instrumentation
organization. The title cut features some extended solo
work by Tyner. Also, McCoy performs a solo piece written
by the immortal John Coltrane, "Naima." McCoy Tyner's
reverence for his great mentor exposes itself in the love
one feels generated by this emotional ballad. This tender
ode to Coltrane'I'former wife is onesof the highlights of
this enjoyable collection of performances by one of the
world's keyboard greats.
The major drawback of the record, as in Sonny Rollins'
live recording, lies in its fidelity of reproduction. Both
performances sound a little muddled and the separation of
instrumentation, while not always spectacular in live
recordings, seems exceptionally ambiguous here.
Nevertheless, McCoy Tyner's The Greeting, as well as
Ron Carter's A Song for You and Sonny Rollins' Don't Stop
the Carnival, are all pleasing musical packages that offer
a glimpse of jazz virtuosity, circa 1978.
By TIMOTHY YAGLE
Styx will probably never make
another album like Grand Illusion, but
though their new effort, Pieces of Eight
is not as noteworthy and probably won't
go through the ceiling like its illustrious
predecessor, the music is invigorating
One of this band's great assets, aside
from the machine-gun drumming of
John Panozzo, has always been an
ability to fit vocal textures to the tone
and style of a song. Dennis DeYoung,
Tommy Shaw, and James Young take
turns writing and singing, building up
an impressive if not overly experimen-
tal range of brilliantly-executed
musical flavors. If one can ignore their
artificial guitar, which sounds like it
was spewed out of a computer, there is
much to like here.
MOST OF THE songs retain Styx'
fusion of hard rock idioms with a
lighter, airier sound. "I'm O.K.," a
typical self-esteem song, has the same
joyous atmosphere of Grand Illusion's
"Come Sail Away," and Shaw's song
about desperate and paranoid life,
"Renegade," offers some perky, skip-
The album's real hit parade is on side
two, beginning with a blockbuster and
my personal favorite, "Blue Collar
Man." A rolling, rambunctious tune
with a strong guitar, "Blue Collar
Man" features Shaw - whose voice has
a perfect pleading quality to sing about
the woes of society's lower echelons -
complaining about constantly being on
the unemployment line.
DeYoung's devilish and bewitching
voice is tailor-made for a song about
everyone's ace-in-the-hole, the "Queen
of Spades," which is thoroughly absor-
bing by virtue of its lively accentuation.
After seven years of relatively un-
noticed work, Styx has finally garnered
some well-deserved recognition. Their
theatrics also make them superb live,
and they have an inimitable stage
presence. For Styx, music has finally,
begun to pay off in pieces of eight.
Dir. David Wiley
Director of the African Studies Center,
Michigan State University
A lecture on Friday, Oct. 13-8 PM
"Ethics and Foreign Policy:
The U.S. and efrica"
" the second in the 1978
DISTINGUISHED FACULTY SERIES
SPONSORED B Y THE
Ecumenical Campus Center
921 Church St.
The lecture will be held in the Center's lounge. All
interested persons are invited to attend.
Media t rics presents:
BLOW .UP (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)
Antonioni makes a statement on the morals of the sixties generation and
examines the theme of reality vs. unreality. David Hemmings as a "mod"
fashion photographer may have witnessed a murder and Vanessa Redgrave
may be involved: The only reality is the beauty of thesbright hard-edged
London that has come to epitomize the look of the 1960's. Music by Herbie
Hancock with the classic Jimmie Page-Jeff Beck guitar smashing sequence.
Thursday, Oct.12 Nat. Sci. Aud. 7 & 9
LA BETE HUMAINE (Jean Renoir 1938)
Jean Gabin, Simone Simon and Julien Corett in a menage-a-trois of love,
anger and death. "A masterpiece of editing and perfect simplicity . . . The
acting is of exceptional quality."-Georges Sadoul. 7 & 10:20.
THE LOWER DEPTHS (Jean Renoir 1936)
Based on a Maxim Gorky play and sgt in Renoir's dark Paris of corruption,
gambling and midnight ramblings. The Lower Depths follows Jean Gabin as
he attempts to retire his career as a thief.
Fri. Oct. 13 8:40 only Nat. Sci. Aud.
M .A .S.H. (Robert Altman, 1970)
A thinly-masked anti-war satire set in Korea, but aimed at Vietnam. A
"saucy, outrageous, irreverent film. Nothing is sacred, not medical surgery,
chastity, womanhood, army discipline, marriage, war movies, or the great
American institution of football."-Time.
Sat. Oct. 14 Nat. Sci. Aud. 7 & 9
tt . a e
fed up with
Join the Arts Page
-The Association for Critical Social Studies and theI
County Coalition Against Apartheid present:
Fri. Oct. 13, 1978 MLB-
2 SHOWS-7:30 and 9:30
Ann Arbor Premiere of a new Cuban film
Angola: Victory of Hope
This film is a compelling account of the people of Angola-their history,
their struggle, and their victory. Blends enchanting poems and songs with
battle footage and scenes from daily life.
South Africa: The White Loager
This color documentary traces the history of African nationalism and relates
it to the development of apartheid and the explosive situation in South Africa
BOTH FILMS: $2.00
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