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March 18, 1979 - Image 14

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-03-18
Note:
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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, Mc

Page 2-Sunday, March 18, 1979-The Michigan Daily

R AJIRLINGS/owen gleiberman

HAVING ALWAYS been a snivel-
ling coward at heart, it probably
wasn't the wisest decision of my life to
enter a bathroom in the Times Square
subway station at 1:30 a.m. True, I'd
heard the horror stories about big city
crime, as well as a recent wave of
reports about nasty incidents in the
New York subway system. But the
place was less grungy than I'd expec-
ted, it was far from deserted, and the
inhabitants all seemed fairly sedate.
Besides, I really had to go.
So, to the john I went. Little did I
know I would be punished for the act.
Or, at least, let off with a warning.
Seconds after I entered the last stall on
the left, a shout from about ten feet
away cut into the air: "Make one false
move, motherfucker, and you've had
it!" I sat there, not making a sound, not
moving a muscle, and thanking God I
wasn't the poor schmuck who'd been
unlucky enough to walk into the paws of
some missing link-type.
In a moment, however, my silent-
observer status was on the verge of
disintegrating. A pair of shiny black
shoes slowly walked past my stall, did
an about-face, and began to pace back
and forth before it in true psycho
fashion. "Oh, Jesus," I thought to

myself, "this is it; that shouting baboon
picked you out of everyone else. He
knew there was a certified sissy in
there, a whiny collegiate vermin who
doesn't know a goddamn about Life in
the Big City.''
And the frightening thing was, he was
right. I didn't know. Only a few weeks
ago, I was telling everyone in glowing
terms about my upcoming trip to New
York, asking about -which restaurants
to go to, babbling on about seeing
celebrities-the whole starry-eyed
Midwestern kids trip. Now, sitting on
my precious toilet seat, I'd have been
glad to get out of town by sunup had the
good Lord whisked me the hell out of
that bathroom. Something quite un-
pleasant was plainly surfacing: my
bourgeois guilt. I'd read about it -in
books, seen it in the moves, and now,
here I was, trapped in a toilet in Times
Square, living out my own little guilt
trip. And it was reaching heretofore
unimagined heights.
"Listen, scum," I said to myself.
"Compared to all those starving people
in countries with names you can't even
pronounce, you live like Croesus. But
here you are, you swill, ready to give it
all to charity if the nice man outside
would kindly put away the switch-
blade."

Of course, the old b.g. and I weren't
strangers. God knows, I've had
thoughts of atoning for my economic
status by joining a Buddhist sect or,
something when I contemplate my
Saturday Night Fever wastebasket
(shamelessly indulgert), my fancy
electric typewriter (with disgusting
automatic return), and that the single
bona fide unpleasant part of the college
life-doing schoolwork-is an activity I
rarely engage in. But now my just
desserts were standing outside my
door. It's one thing to contemplate your
economic hyprocrisy as you munch'
mounds of junk food and your stereo
blasts the Ramones; quite another
when you're about to be zapped by the
collective underprivileged.
DECISION had to be made: would
I sit inside like a scared rabbit, or
face that pacing creep like an all-
American hero? If I took the first op-
tion, my self-respect would be on the
line. And, even more importantly, I'd
have to endure the snoring of the
sleeping bum in the next stall. For in-
spiration, I searched for an image of a
lowly underdog rising up to clobber his
oppressor. The only thing that came to
mind was Woody Allen in Take the
Money and Run, arguing with some

rival bank robbers, and getting a pair of
smashed glasses out of the deal.
But then I listened to a few more
snores, and the adrenalin began to flow.
Something deep inside told me the best
option was to get my ass out of the john.
And I realized that I was as innocent of
that s'brt of decision-making as a new-
born babe. For years I'd watched
people take huge chances in the movies,
and on some shallow level I'd regarded
those chances as virtually routine. But I
was so ridiculously insulated from the
horrors of life that I felt, now, as if I'd
been thrust onto some chaotic bat-
tlefield.,Only my foxhole was made of
porcelai. And John Wayne wasn't
around for advice.
I got up suddenly, whipped on my
jacket, thrust the door open, and
stalked out, not even turning for a glan-
ce as my assumed predator. And when I
emerged, I was alone. I was still in one
piece. Why my hair wasn't even
mussed. There were no neanderthal
Hell's Angels trying to pretzelize me.
But then I glanced at the clock and
noticed that it was almost 2:00 in the
moirning. I had to get back home. I
mean, nobody had stolen my money,
and I had to be up early tomorrow to go
shopping, get Broadway tickets, see the
museum, go out to eat.-..

JAZZ/ r.j. smith
Jazz- from bars to BroadW,

0

sundaYimagazine HfIEBSI~C PLIZZLE

BY
S TEPHEN J.
POZSGA I
Copyright 191

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I - I - I -

L 71 INSTRUCTIONS
Guess the words defined at the
V 95 left and write them in over
their numbered dashes. Then,
B 119 transfer each letter to the cor-
H 141 responding numbered square
in the grid above. The letters
3 E printed in the upper-right-hand
corners of the squares indi-
cate from what clue-word a
particular square's letter
210 comes from. The grid, when
filled in, should read as a
quotation from a published
work. The darkened squares
are the spaces between words.
Some words may carry over
to the next line. Meanwhile,
the first letter of each guessed
word at the left, reading down,
forms an acrostic, giving the
author's name and the title of
the work from which the quote
is extracted. As words and
166 12 1 phrases begin to form in the
grid, you can work back and
157 forth from clues to grid until
the puzzle is complete.

ALTHOUGH so much of the flotsam
and jetsam of the popular arts has
fled New York City in recent years,
gurglinig westward to California and the
irrationally attractive Los Angeles, it
ain't all gone. And I'm glad for what
has remained east. Clearly, the
publishing industry will always be
rooted there (God forbid that anybody
should read much of anything
nowadays). And although something
died within me the day Johnny Carson
packed up and left, as long as guys like
Frank Stella and Joey Ramone call it
home it will remain the creative nexus
of the country to me.
Jazz emerged almost simultaneously
in many American locales, but it'had
nothing to do with New York at first. It
was not until years after migrating nor-
thward and connecting with urban
kineticism - the rhythms of big city
life - that it took root in New York. A
jazz scene was generated, eventually
establishing a microcosm for all of jazz.
Many cities have a distinctive jazz
sound, but the only sound indigenous to
New York is that which has bled from
other cities. How can there be
regionalism in a city of eight million?
Of course, New York has spawned
numerous musical movements and in-
dividualistic performers for all its con-
fusing eclecticism - be-bop exploded
there, as did so much of the avante-
garde music of the sixties. But they
radiated immediately. In lieu of any art
especially peculiar to New York, the
city has acted as a divining source for
rising young talent, offering many
chances to cut ones' teeth before en-
tering the spotlight. Its magnetism also
draws record companies, entertain-
ment industry people, and out-of-town
listeners.
But most important of all, it is a place
large and varied enough to support its
musicians. There are countless bars
and clubs, entrepreneurs' concert
programs, government-funded projec-
ts, and concerts on street corners and at
Carnegie Hall. Today, New York is
where the gigs are, where musicians
can most assuredly find employment.
"You live in Ann Arbor, you can't get
a real picture of jazz in a little bitty
town, a college town like that,"
clarinetist and saxophonist Russell
Procope told me, while resting in bet-
ween sets of a recent show in a tiny club
on Broadway. "You can't get a picture
of the world there, either!"
Where else besides New York could a
musician like Procope survive by
playing only to live audiences? Procope
is a veteran of the Duke Ellington Or-
chestra, having played with the group
for 29 years. He is a first-generation
swing musician who performs pipe-
and-slippers jazz: soothing, though not
cathartic, thoughtful, but not especially
thought-provoking. Leading his own
small groups since Ellington died,
Procope thrives in the dim pubs and
clubs around the city.
The night I saw him, he was playing
at the West End, the sort of club where
the performers call the buspersons by
their first names, and where the
familiars sit in the front, howling out

loud at anything well-played. The
group, a seasoned quintet from which
the 40-ish drummer's face stuck out like
a child's, played nothing but Ellington
music the whole evening.~ The show
bubbled with enthusiasm and ,loose
playfulness; between songs they would
joke quietly, or guffaw about a lick
someone had played in a previous num-
ber, or just dodder around a bit before
announcing the next tune.
Procope played alto saxophone the
whole evening - although he gained
fame as Ellington's clarinet player,
forced to largely because Johnny
Hodges was the alto in the Ellington

ambiguities, and the years have left not
wrinkles on his face, but the living
equivalent of a looming question mark.
The sparse audience present at the end
of the evening might indicate that it's
hard to present the music of Ellington
to a large young audience. But not in
Procope's opinion. "No, I don't see why
anyone would think that," he says. "It's
just like symphony music, or anything
else. It's not tough."
Playing only Ellington music nearly
exclusively since the Duke died in 1974,
did he sometimes feel morose when he
thought of the years with Ellington?
"Oh no, no. What's behind is behind."

fisted, good-tim
hand played blo
blues figure, wl
melodies. He wE
of swing music
much to be liste
comedian, and
varied jazz clas
Perhaps su
ungarish homa
Ain't Misbehav
formance, fron
sets (really, ju
,the stage, witho
only a table an
show), to the e
which amounts
occasional spo
part of Waller'
more singing ar
that, exactly a
one doesn't nee
piano to have g
The fivesome
is awesomely
musical follo'
characters exp
defined, existi
fines offered b
away as soon a
is to the cast
characterizatic
and sketchy, bi
for instance, e
exuberant high
tually all the g
fers in his sing
laugh. Nell C
raucous, bawd
reveals her in
gestures and fa
voice Carter h
piercing wail c
although alwa:
effective as on
Rose."
But, of cours
is the star. A I
did everythin
blues romps to
his music, lyric
throughout Ain
Both Walle
associated wit
are distinct ar'
symbolize a ce
New York jazz
came from else
heard in New
simple, howeve
a jazz mecca.
that New York
Russell Proco
and humor in ti
no scene can b
accommodate
want a piece of
ficient artistic'
the performer.
With New
musicians mus
velocity of the
that has eaten
alive. One ma
per-and-pipe r
facing the inte
Charlie Parker
pipe.
So there is sc
ambiguous bor'
ts of the city, a
the least of
nivorousness.
ceness which
music.

A. Great of monstrous beast
B. Tentative procedure; trial
C. Engaged in contemplation;
meditative
0. TV canine star (3 words)
E. Common European finch
F. Unyokes; lets go
0. Musical interval embracing an
ctove and a second
H. "Asye_-ye rep."(3words)
1. Summons; calls forth
J. Applied science
K. Brutish; ruffian-like
1. Type of college (2 words)
M. Inability or failure to
accomplish '

26 80 14 99 110 134 152 180
9 51 167 62 74 83 106 109 119 126
5 66 122 39 145 203 195 179
37 21 57 61 70 125 135 158 178
53 56 68 77 87 89 108 118 140 148 168 164
25 40 16 64 79 112 136 165 174
3 194 200 133 153
24 6 11 67 105 121 127 144 49 172
17 84 130 183 44 27
8 76 45 90 100 115 132 144 156 69
13 93 147 117 196 199 86 207
18 171 71 10 41 116 177 209 190
12 22 50 34 103 111 159 170 210 182 176 59

N. Educate; upbringing; food
0. Oosis (2 words)
P. Restrict too much
Q. Middleman between the form and
the city (2 words)
R. Deponent
S. Determined automatically
T. Unfolding; growth
U. Queer; drunkard
V. Form poison
W. Checks; dampens
X. Swear to; manifest

7 160 63 175 191 150 128
23 155 75 96 85 142 151 48 188 19
2 20 97 113 186 181 204 197 201
4 33 46 81 98 104 114 143 154 1
29 35 189 91 205 185 72
38 54 31 43 78 88 94 102 107 1
32 55 65 82 139 162 173 202 193
192 163 47 58 187
19 30 60 73 92 95 124 206 131 1
1 138 208 52 161 146
36 15 28 137 123 42

AIN'T *
MISBmEHiAVPIN9

saxophone section. The quintet also in-
cluded bassist Peck Morrison, who
played with the Duke during the fifties
and sixties. No matter how many times
these men play Ellington compositions

E AST OF the West End and just off
of Broadway, in quite a different
way, jazz is being presented. to coun-
tless many who have never heard of a
musician like Procope, and who would

20 169
01 149

Answer to Previous Puzzle:
"In the experience of initia-
tion through which shaman
passes, the mythic images
woven into a society's fabric
suddenly become not only
apparent but often enacted
and made boldly visible and
relevant for all. "
(Joan) Halifax,
Shamanic Voices

'Waler and Procope symbolize a certain element common
to New York jazz musicians-their music came from else-
where, but can only be heard in New York.'

(for instance, they used "Jeep's Biues'".
three times as a set closer), it seems
impossible that they could ever fail to
sound relaxedly fresh. The Ellingtonia
flowed freely ("Warm Valley," "Take
The A Train," "In A Mellow Tone,"
"Yesterdays"), and although tenor
saxophonist George Kelley sounded a
bit out of place with his hotter, cutting-
session approach, it never failed to
click.
. Erocpe'S ind contains:numerOs.

never set foot in a place like the West
End. And yet for all its mass appeal, it
too is exclusively of New York.
As it says in the Playbill for the
award-winning musical Ain't
Misbehavin' Fats Waller was a man
who "never slowed down through all
the years of one-night stands, big-time
radio, triumphant concert tours of
Europe and Hollywood films." Waller,
born in 1904, refined and advanced the
stride style of pino. playing - a two-

09

R. J. Smith is co-editor of the"

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