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March 27, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-03-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DONNA WARNOCK Free Admission
Author of NUCLEAR POWER AND CIVIL LIBERTIES, an Execu-
tive Board Member of Supporters of Silkwood, and a founder
of Feminist Resources on Energy and Ecology, will be speaking
on CIVIL LIBERTIES AND NUCLEAR POWER
In response to the growing anti-nuclear movement, utility companies are
establishing spy networks between themselves, government intelliaence
agencies, and private security firms. A U.S. Gov't report on anti-nuclear spying
says, . . .he most important aspect is intiltration of the groups them-
selves." (Rosenbaum Report, 1974)
CONF. RM. 4, MICH. UNION 27 MARCH 8 PM
This talk is sponsored by Women's Studies, Women's Program, Science for the People. Arbor Alliance,
the ACLU, Michigan Student Assembly, and the Nuclear Issues Group
. . SPEC IAL ATTRACTIONS PRESENTS

Page 6--Tuesday, March 27, 1979-The Michigan Daily

P

MARVELOUS CONCERT AT RACKHAM

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AN ALL- PROFESSIONAL CAST IN 4 ONE-ACTS
Ihe American Dream
Ihe Zoo Story
5:00 pem
830 p. m.
listening
e&
Counting The Ways
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY EDWARD ALBEE

Follo~w the Oreg.on
By R. J. SMITH
The members of Oregon embody the
70's ideal of the un-jazz musician: one
who records for a jazz label and gets
reviewed in Downbeat, but who rigidly
holds fast to the notion that his music is
more than jazz, incorporating countless
esoteric influences to underscore that
he is something different, something
not easily labeled. Well, the music of
Oregon is something different, and yes,
their music contains much that must
not be termed "jazz", at least as we're
used to hearing the word.
But even in the category of the un-
jazz musician, after eight years Oregon
still sounds fresh and special. Their
music contains none of the egocentrism
and occasional .......one finds in Keith J.
Jarret's music, and their sound is in-
finitely warmer and more open than
many of the ECM artists..-
Oregon does not flaunt their eclec-
ticism. There are never any parts that
can be clearly termed "Indian", or
"Twentieth Century Avante-garde",
for they blend their influences
amazingly well in performances and on
record.
Their show Saturday night at the
Rackham Auditorium was a superb
display of all that is best about Oregon.
The four-man group performed a
generous show consisting of a handful F:
of intricate numbers, playing to a
responsive full house.
OF THE VARIOUS freely-
improvising groups around, many try
to achieve the sound of some sort of
spaceship, tripping through the skies
and leaving the listener taken aback
and dizzy. On ECM, a sort of austere,
mechanical chilliness seems to be what
is usually strived for, but the music of
Oregon sounds the richest of such
groups because it is so resoundingly a
natural sound. One hears trees twisting
in the breeze when Glen Moore bows his
18th century bass, and the evolution of
the seasons seems echoed in the per-
petual state of musical transition.

Trail !

Daily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG

The members of Oregon, as they appeared Saturday night at Rackham Auditorium: Ralph Towner (top left), Paul
McCandless (tr), Collin Walcott (br), Glen Moore(bl).

_

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The first half of the show, before the
intermission, was the most rewarding.
The group started out with the longest
piece they were to play the whole
evening, a work which began as a piece
by guitarist Ralph Towner and ended
with a piece penned by reedman Paul
McCandless, with what percussionist
Collin Walcott aptly described as "an
uncharted territory somewhere in bet-
ween."
The work presented well the spirit of
never-ending change instilled in
Oregon. Generally there will be a single
soloist, although the others will half-
support, half-explore on their own. The
musicians seemingly exceed the poten-
tials of their instruments, often

reaching for strange effects by ex-
ploring beyond their instruments'
range (the case with McCandless), or
approaching technique in strange
ways, such as when Moore would
scrape his bass' strings vertically with
his bow.
MEMBERS SUPPORTING a soloist
frequently put down the instrument
they were playing to pick up another -
Oregon can play over 80 instruments!
While these transitions are taking
place, the others may try to imitate the
timbres of other instruments, making
the shifting even more subtle.
Because they switch instruments so
frequently, it is hard to evaluate the
performances of any individual other

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than to say they all sound extremely
sensitive to the nature of their music.
It's also hard to say who played the
most instruments: Ralph Towner,
generally known as the group's
guitarist, for instance, played piano
(both the keys and the strings inside),
trumpet, and various percussion in-
struments. But it's very easy and ac-
curate to say that they carried off this
full-time switching of instruments and
sounds seamlessly, making it an
exhibition of remarkable virtuosity
rather than a show of mere circus-like
deft-handedness.
THE SECOND half, although
providing more variety than did the fir-
'st, nonetheless was a sizable letdown.
An untitled new piece by Towner was
shackled by itsstructure, not allowing
the group to perform their free-floating
unit improvisation. Glen Moore's
"Flatulen," which followed, started out
with very sparse unison playing - and
by the end it still seemed much the
same.
But the end of the show picked up,
and the group delivered a warm, mar-
velous encore. The strength of Oregon
is not found in their ability to play a
large number of instruments, or to
handle so many different kinds of
music. What is truly marvelous about
them is their cohesive, organic sound.
Back in music school, or back when
they were paying their dues, or back
somewhere, far removed from where
they are today, these people must have
listened to a lot of different sorts of
music; music from the Far East, from
Native Americans, from countless
modern composers. But now, only if
you strain could you hear the single
distinctive oriental timbre in a par-
ticular chord Towner- strikes, or the
blues note singing fronX the bass
clarinet of Paul McCandless, or some
tinge of Bartok in a piano run ham-
mered out by Moore. What one hears
now is Oregon music. And that music
was in full force Saturday evening at
Rackham Auditorium.

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ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE
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BEST FILM
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-National Society of Film Critics
A GEM!
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GET OUT YOUR
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MON., TUES., THURS. 7& 9'
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