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February 14, 1979 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-14

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 14, 1979-Poge 5

BobJ
By LEE LEVINE
"When I was a student," Bob James
reminisced, the Hill stage seemed
"way out of reach." James graduated
from the University in '63 with an M.A.
in music - he went here for un-
dergraduate school, too. Today, he is
one of the most prolific jazz artists on
the scene, and Sunday night, he not only
reached the Hill stage, but all of his
audience, whisking it away on a
musical excursion of mellifluous and
harmonic delights interspersed with
hot, biting brass and spine-tingling
soloing.
James has been alternately praised
and criticized for various aspects of his

ames' triumphant

music. His critics opine he is the king of
"overdub" jazz - that he sweetens his
recordings with strings and soft adjun-
ctive bits and pieces of refinement. His
productions are, at least," meticulous.
They exhibit precision-like
flawlessness, and this, it is argued, is
the problem. They are too neat, too pat,
and the music imposes limitations upon
itself. Music must take risks and free
itself from its constraining hand. And
yet, it is generally agreed that James
remains an exceptional keyboard
stylist, and that his production and
arrangement techniques have helped to
make many important jazz artists
more accessible. Sunday night, these

positive plaudits were evident. Over-
dubbing and production charac-
teristics, of course, have no impact on a
live performance.
It was these elements - the spon-
taneity, creativity, and lack of con-
straints inherent in the live production
which made Sunday's performance
very special. Moreover, very rarely is
such an amalgam of exceptional
musicians put together on one stage.
James utilized 15 of the very finest
session men around, most of whom had
never played live together before. The
resulting enthusiasm was apparent -
head nodding, hand clapping, and back
slapping were the order of the evening
as each musician revelled in his coun-
terpart's performance. But maybe
more amazing and important 'in the
overall effect was that the musicians
had rehearsed only once for four hours
on Sunday afternoon, and, according to
James, reluctantly at that. The
musicians' desire to just go out and
play was the explanation. Incredibly,
with rare exception, the band came
together perfectly; the strong
dynamics, subtle nuances, and concor-
dant blend typify a band which has
played together for years. Integral to
the whole process was the man sitting
in the middle - James, leader,
arranger, and axis of the band,
eschewing the usual embellishment and
simply playing the hell out of the music.
Opening the first set with "West
Chester Lady," the band ebulliently set
out to emulate James'.intensity on the
keyboards. The song forged its way,
exhibiting James' characteristically
light, bouncy phrasing and breezy
vamping on Fender Rhodes piano.
These stylings were laid over a heavy
funk rhythm. The power of the brass
was pleasantly surprising and the
playing which followed James' lead
was hot. In contrast to the enthusiastic
and emotional soloing of James and
tenor man Mike Brecker was the placid
and emotionless Eric Gale. But his
soloing was anything but emotionless
as its laconic-but-directed attack
pushed the band to greater heights.
Thetnext song, "Angela," the the
from the TV show Taxi, was played
sans brass, featuring the resonant
vibrato of able sideman George
Marge's flute. The song was beautifully
melodic and featured extensive soloing,
but more than any other song during
the evening, it was restrained, much
like the studio version. "Heads,"
powered by Marge's baritone sax and
the throbbing brass section, was quite
different (as many of the songs were)
from the studio version. James played

alternately on acoustic grand ao
tric piano and trumpeter Ron
exhibited a piercing, textured,
register attack on trumpet folio
a crowd-pleasing fretless bass
Gary King. King, playing bass-p
funk, exhibited his sustained no
ding technique to perfection.
Brecker followed with an exp
tenor solo, utilizing the full rang
horn in communication wi
audience.
"I Want To Thank You," feat
wailing solo by David Sanborn
amm
funky "Night Crawler" finished1
st set. "Night Crawler" display
exhilarating sax-trumpet int
with the Brecker brothers, only
followed by a disappointing &
solo (half of it was played off-mi
was therefore inaudible to the a
ce).
The second set featured songs s
"Carribean Nights," "Wom
Ireland," "Touchdown," and"
All Alone." The soloing for this s
superlative; it featured scinti
solo interplay between guitarist
Gale and Hiram Bullock, Mike B
and David Sanborn, the entire tr
section of Randy Brecker, Ron'
and Mike Lawrence, and finall;
James and Hiram Bullock. Thes
binations' work was vigorous an
tivating,snot only for theraudien
for the musicians themselves, a:
of them had interacted in such a c
before. The two premier jazz r
and blues sax men today - B

return
ad elec- and Sanborn - tantalized with sly and
Tooley provocative licks and intermittently
upper smooth and whining, squawking tones.
wed by They used each other as catapults to
solo by take off and explore the limits of their
popping instruments' capabilities, building
te ben- upon each progression.
Mike The same song ("We're All Alone")
ressive contained one of the evening's most ex-
e of his citing moments; Tooley interpreted the
th the theme by setting down a solid and for-
ceful statement, reiterated even more
uring a powerfully by Lawrence, which was
and the then driven toward a climax by the star
- Brecker. He weaved in and out
toward greater heights as the trum-
peters moved along on their journey.
Earlier in the song, Gale and Bullock
had contrasted styles with Gale's laid
back and bluesy staccato runs mat-
ching Bullock's sustained and sliding
fusion type runs. In the encore, the
classical piece, "Farandole," Bullock
and James stole the show by feeding on
each other's emotions, and climbing
higher and higher with each layer of
soloing. Bullock was marvelous. With
his engaging humor and showmanship,
he strutted, slid, and discoed closer to
James with each ensuing crescendo.
One of the highlights of the set was
the serene and tranquil "Women of
Ireland," featuring a classically in-
fluenced solo by James. Ethereal and
placid, it intertwined with the haunting
the fir- sound of Marge's recorder. The song
ed an was a preview to James' classical input
erplay for the evening as he encored with
to be "Farandole." Exhibiting one of the
anborn finest arrangements of the evening, the
ke, and song rolled in, riding a majestic wave of
audien- brass. The band was tight as James and
Bullock excited the crowd with exultant
uch as solo interplay.
en of James' intensity lead the band
'We're toward a perfect performance. The ar-
et was tist reached the Hill stage and filled it
Ilating with the melodic and precision-
s Eric enriched music that has made Bob
recker .James such a major influence on the
umpet contemporary music scene today.

POT & CONTACT LENSES'
NEW YORK (AP)-Wearers of
contact lenses may suffer severe
discomfort if they smoke marijuana,
according to Dr. Harry Hollander, an
optometrist.
Hollander, author of "The Con-
sumer's Guide to Contact Lenses," says
the "smoke from pot inhibits tear flow,
creating a swelling of the cornea.
"As -a result, lenses don't feel or fit
the same, resulting in discomfort."
Production of tears, he says,
"provides a much-needed moisture buf-
fere between the eye and contact len-
ses."
Pot smoking, he adds, may alter the
chemical properties of the lenses them-
selves.
MANN THEATRES
mxVILLAGET""
MAPLE VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER
769-1300
ADMISSION
Adut-$4.0o0Child-$2.©0

PG United Ar4 ss
SHOWTIMES

MON.-FRI.
6:30-9:00

SAT. & SUN.
1:45 6:30
3:45 9:00

YOU'LL BELIEVE
A MAN CAN FL Y
SUPERMAN
MARLON BRANDO
SGENE HACKMAN
R E L E A S E D Y W A R N E R B R O S .-
SH-OWTIMES
MON.FRI. SAT. & SUN.
7:00-9:45 1:30 7:00
Tickets on Sale 30 Minutes 4:15 9:45
Prior to Showtime

Tooley
y, Bob
e com-
id cap-
ce but
[s none
.ontext
hythm
recker

Bob James Daily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG
Jazz pianist Bob James returned to his alma mater Sunday evening, for a show at
Hill Auditorium which featured stellar performances by James and many all-
star sidemen. James remains on campus throughout the week, running varjous
clinics and workshops in conjunction with the University School of Music.

THE
THE~NiIolai ayGogal
INSPECTOR
GENEPAL
Featuring
Philip LeStrange
as the Mayor
Wed.-Sat., Feb. 14 -17, 8 PM
Sun., Feb. 18. 2 PM

Film-maker Renoir dead

By AP and Reuter
HOLLYWOOD - Jean Renoir,
maker of classic films, has died at 84.
Son of the celebrated impressionist
painter Auguest Renoir, the French
moviemaker died Monday afternoon af-
ter a long illness at his home in the
Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles.
His family announced his death today
in Paris. Family spokesman Nick
Frangakis said Renoir's body is to be
flown to France next week for a funeral
with state honors.,
Renoir won international recognition
for his 1937 film La Grande Illusion, a
portrayal of gallantry among French
prisoners of war and their German cap-
tors during World War I.
His life was filled with honors. Among
the last was a special Academy Award
at the Oscar ceremonies April 8, 1975.
Actress Ingrid Bergman presented the
award to Renoir as "a film maker who
has worked with gra'ce, responsibility
and enviable competence through silent
film, sound film, features, documen-
tary and television."
Renoir was too ill to attend the
ceremonies. He remained in his
Beverly Hills home following an
operation on his leg.
"It was on April 17, 1915, that my leg
was struck by a German bullet," he ex-
plained once in an interview. "The bone
was badly damaged and over the years,
I have had problems with it."
Renoir spent his last months in a
wheelchair, close to paintings and
sculptures by his father, including a
full-length portrait of Jean as a boy.
Critic Penelope Gilliatt wrote once of
the director: "He makes films full of
feeling for picnics, cafes, rivers,
barges, friends, tramps, daily noises
from the other side of the courtyard."
Renoir was born Sept. 15, 1894, in
Paris, the second of three sons. The

eldest, Pierre, became an actor, and
the youngest, Claude, photographed
many of Jean's films and later worked
in television. Jean lived in Paris and at
the family farm in Provence, attending
College Sainte-Croix at Neuilly. He
immersed himself in films while he was
recovering from his war wound, and he
interested his father in the new
medium.
After the war, Renoir married one of
his father's models, . Catherine
Hessling, began working in ceramics,
and continued studying movies.
He wrote a script in which his wife
starred - Une Vie Sans Joie. Renoir
was disappointed with the way the
director interpreted his script, and
decided to become a director himself.
Nana in 1926 was Renoir's first major
film as a director. It was ambitious and
it failed, although it was later vin-
dicated as a silent-film classic. He con-
tinued making films into the sound
period, sometimes appearing in them
himself.
Fleeing the Nazis, he came to the
United States in the late 1930s, where he
said he wanted to learn filmmaking
Hollywood style by "being tossed direc-

tly into deep water - then you learn
immediately.
In 1937, fueled in part by his own ex-
periences in World War I, he directed
The Grand Illusion, considered one of
the finest anti-war films ever made.
It starred Erich von Stronheim,
Pierre Fresnay and Jean Gabin and
was voted one of the six greatest films
of all time at the 1958 Brussels Film
Festival.
Renoir tackled social problems head-
on as France's most eminent film-
maker.
The body of the film director will be
returned to France for a state funeral
and burial, a family spokesperson said
yesterday.

II-

ER
- I

I

AFRICA AND THE CARIBBAN:
A QUESTION OF LIBERAI0N
Guest Lecture by
NELSON PEERY
THURS. FEB.15-8pm-2225Ange/f Hoff
Sponsored by the Political Lecture Series Club and MSA
THE MUSEUM OF ART
and the Center for Russian
and East European Studies
announce that John Bowlt's lecture:
"Between East and West: Russian
Art of the Nineteenth Century" on
Friday, Februry 16, at 7:30 p.m. in
Auditorium A, Angell Hall, and the
reception at the Museum celebrat-
ing the Russian Arts Festival at 8:30
p.m. that evening will take place as
usual.

Tickets at the PTP Box Office
in the Michigan League
313/764.0450 & through
all Hudson's Stores.
The University of Michigan
Professional Theatre Program
Guest Artist Series 1979
Power Center " Ann Arbor
Presented as part of an
all campus Russian Arts
Festival.

Snakes have been1
over a year without+
American Museum+
tory.

know to live for
eating, says the
of Natural His-

l1

WEDNESDAY IS MONDAY IS
"BARGAIN DAY" "GUEST NIGHT"
$1.50 until 5:30 TWO ADULTS ADMITTED
FOR PRICE OF ONE

ADULTS FMI., SAT., SUN.
EWE. t HOLIDAYS $3.50
MON.-THURS. EIvi. $3.00
ALL MATINEES $2.50
CHILD TO 14 $1.50

I

I

Wayside Theatre WALT DISNEY'S
3020 Washtenaw
Ypsilanti

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative presents in Aud A
Wednesday, February 14
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To
Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb
(Stanley Kubrick, 1964) 7 & 10:20-AUD A
Dr. Strangelove (PETER SELLERS), and ex-Nazi now-American high-level
military advisor, tells the President of the impending destruction of the
world in this wonderful Cold War black comedy on sexual insecurity and
n-lrr leer - ~n .-4l11 in arn.iJ.. -.A..... DCTCD F i=CC

F

I

b

TL1

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