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March 02, 1972 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-03-02

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Page Two


Thursday, March 2, 1972


sign of

the times ...

Man of many mantles"

From the Briti s

England has been the starting
p 1-a c e for a disportionate
amount of fine music. While
bands of the stature of the Bea-
ties and the Stones are not com-
mon, other English bands, such
as Cream, Traffic, Jethro Tull,
Mayall, The Who, and the irre-
placeable Bonzo Dog Band, has
been nearly as enchanting in
their own way. There are, how-
ever, many more bands deserv-
ing of recognition in the United
States. Two of these bands -
Family and King Crimson -
have recently released albums..
Family, while being ones of
the most highly praised bands..
in England, have rarely played
in the United States, and be-
cause of contractual difficul-
ties,. have not even had all of
their records released here.
They have now changed from
Warner brothers to United Ar-
tists who are willing to give
them a little of the attention
they deserve. Their newest al-
bum, FEARLESS (United Ar-
tists UAS-5562), may well be
their best yet.
The group is based around
singer Roger Chapman, who,
along with guitarist Charlie
Whitney, writes most of their
sprgs. Family is worth listening
to Just to hear Chapman's gruff
inexhaustible vibrato.
The first song, "Between Blue
and Me," starts off sounding
like an innocent enough folk
song, but after the first verse is
led into rock( spotlighted by
Chapman's typically frenzied
vocal. "Sat'd'y .Barfly," about a
pick-up in a bar, is a typical
rocker with excellent use of
horns' fortsupport. "Larfsand
Sing," is noteworthy for its use
of the vocal round and harmony
singing in the. chorus. "Span-
ish Tide" is nothing short of
fantastic. It begins with a trio
of two acoustic guitars and
harpischord, which become pro-
gressively more aggressive, with
Whitney playing a few well-
emphasized flamingo lines. The
song then ploughs on into a
rock section which is kept to-
gether by some really nice Mo-
town rhythm guitar, with a
highly effective vibes solo by
The-p. l ayin g is flaw-
less throughout the entire re-
cord. Rob Townsend on drums
is always inventive and never
bothersome, while bassist John
Wetton provides a steady. bot-
torm. Whitney is normally con
tent to stay in the background,
although undoubtedly a terrific
rhythm guitarist, short and to
the point when he does step in
for a solo. Palmer is the ever-
present madman, lurking in the
background and making weird
sounds on the moog and organ,
both- exciting and adventurous

when he solos. Finally, there is
Chapman, whose voice is hard
to get accustomed to, but well
worth the effort. Fearless is cer-
tainly one of the premier al-
bums of the year.
King Crimson just released
their fourth album, Islands (At-
lantic SD 7212). While contain-
ing no instant classics like "21st
Century Schizoid Man," from
their first album, it indicates
some possible new directions for
the band's music.
The group is now a far cry
from the original King Crim-
son. Through its stormy career,.
King Crimson has managed to
hold on, often by a shoestring,
thanks mainly to guitarist-
songwriter Robert Fripp and ly-
ricist Peter Sinfield. All the or-
iginal members except for Fripp
have left the band, most not-
ably Greg Lake, who has finally
found fame with Emerson, Lake
& Palmer.
As on their past two albums,
The Sea Train concert origin-
ally scheduled for Saturday at
Eastern Michigan University
has been cancelled.
Fripp wrote all the music and
Sinfield wrote all the words.
The sound is familiar, some rock
with an occasional soft song,
contrasted with long instru-
mentals that until now have
been experimental and abstract
on the border of tedium.
The album commences with
a very deliberate soft piece en-
titled "Formentera Lady." Its
melody line is immediately es-
tablished on the cello and is
picked up by a voice sometimes
accompanied by the sparcest
guitar and piano. The flute en-
ters and picks up the melody,
soon relinquished to a solo voice.
The song fades out on :a saxo-
phone solo whose rhythm is
picked up by the drums and
carried right into the next num-
ber which is the instrumental,
"Sailor's Tale." Here, the sax
plays a steady riff over which
Fripp darts in and out with his
guitar, giving way to Collins who
goes into some jazz. As the song
progresses, Fripp is constantly
on top, laying down a wall of
chords, one on top of another,
and finally ending with the
This is the first consistent
album by King Crimson and
whereas many fans may not
find it his most satisfying, it is
a good introduction. Family
and King Crimson both stand
out above the general level of
music and both are struggling
for much-deserved recognition.

Leonard Bernstein wears a va-
riety of mantles, and can be
heard in practically all of them
on a number of recent Colum-
bia releases. As conductor, com-
poser, pianist and even film pro-
ducer he has created an im-
pressive place for himself in the
international music world, not
withequal ,success in all areas,
to be sure, but hitting the bulls-
eye enough of the time to make
listening to him worthwhile.
One of the most worthwhile is
his collaboration with Dietrich
Fischer-Dieskau in a recital of
Mahler songs.n ( t 30942)g The
dikec co n t a >i n s four songs on
poems of Rueckert, which also
exist in orchestral versions, and
seven songs from "Lieder und
Gesaenge aus der Jugendzeit."
Fisch'er - Dieskau, who has re-
corded. more than anybody, is
a continuing wonder. His voice is,
matchless today, and he brings
to each song an endless rain-
bow of colors that are applied
with master strokes of phrasing.
"Nicht Wiedersehen," "Abloesung
im Sommer" and "Selbstgefuehl"
stand out in the "Jugendzeit"
group. The: depth of feeling in
the first, particularly, is awe-
some. In the Rueckert group,
both artists-paint delicate shades
in "-Ich arnet' einen linden
Duft." Bernstein is totally suc-
cessful in capturing the orches-
tral qualities of his part, re-
duced from the original by Mah-
ler. "Um Mitternacht," which
ends the series, ties for perfec-
tion with "Nicht Wiedersehen."
In all, this is a sublime album;
Fischer - Dieskau is so over-
whelming that one has to com-
pletely overlook an occasional
forced high note, and simply
glory in his genius.
Bernstein's Mass (M 31108) re-
reived enormous publicity, prob-
ably more than it was due. It
containsserious elements, yet is
basically a theater work, but
doesn't make it on either count.
The idea of creating a large
piece based on the Mass with
interpolations of contemporary-
flavored poetry is a good one,
but the poetry is too often hack
work, and the music descends to
this level frequently. One hears
snatches that sound startlingly
like On the Town, Chichester
Psalms and West Side Story, but
no prolonged inspiration such as
that found in those works. Some
of the Mass makes a powerful
first impression - the Gloria
Tibi, the Credo, the Agnus Dei,
but one looks in vain for any-
thing behind the slick facade of
each section. One of the singers,
in a different context, says,
"Don't look for content beneath
the style," and this seems to ap-
ply to the work as a whole.
Bernstein, it must be granted,
has all the styles down pat-
early Stravinsky, pseudo-rock,
neo - classic chorales - but it
amounts to very little. I must
add, though, that the album is
well-produced, the singing by
Alan Titus is extraordinary, and

there are a few spots that re-
fused to get out of my head for
a while. Perhaps the lack of
visual stimulation accounts for
my disaffection, yet the Credo
was presented on TV and I
didn't like it any better. Well,
the listener is his own judge.
"On the Town" sounds very
good by comparison. Not that it
needs one, with its catchy rhy-
thms and genuinely first-rate
tunes. The show was a hit in the
40's, and was successfully re-
vived last fall on Broadway.
Bernstein did some reorchestrat-
ing, and members of the original
cast, including Betty Comden
and Adolphe Greene, a g a i n
joined in recreating the original
magic of the score. The results
are on (S 31005), and are very
entertaining. The singing is
great, and Bernstein is at his
best in songs like "New York,
New York," and "Carried
Away," and the ballet music
from "Fancy Free" that was the
basis of the musical.
Bernstein is in his most famil-
iar territory with a selection of
orchestral LPs with the New
York Philharmonic. There are
mostly lighter works, short and
punchy, and he brings them off
with a lot of style.
(M 31013) Offenbach - Gaite
Parisienne; Bizet - L'Arlesienne
Suites No. 1 & 2. There are sub-
tle and lively performances, the
Bizet make up in tranquility
what the Offenbach lacks. That
Bernstein can make the latter

still sound fresh and witty is
testimony to his spirit as a con-
(M3X 31068) Even more testi-
mony is given on this three-for-
the-price-of-two set of Favorite
Light Classics. Columbia hasn't
missed much in assembling this
selection from old and new Phil-
harmonic recordings. There are
Americans - G r o f e, Bernstein
(you remember him), Ives; Rus-
sians - Borodin, Tschaikowsky,
Gliere; Frenchmen - Chabrier,
Saint-Saens; Germans -- Wag-
ner, Beethoven; Austrians - J.
Strauss, Jr., Mozart, Mahler.
Mahler? Since when is "Urlicht"
from "Des Knaben Wunder-
horn" a light classic? This must
be an underhanded attempt to
put some actual Musicke into
the set. Or possibly it isn't a
light classic yet, but has prom-
ise. I also hadn't expected to see
Ives' Circus Band March in the
set, either; it is a relative new-
comer among such standbys as
the "Ritual Fire Dance" and the
"Ride of the Valkyries." Actu-
ally, though, some of the pieces
were at one time so overworked
that one really doesn't hear
them much anymore
With the exception of the
Mahler, Beethoven's "Leonore
Overture No. 3," and a couple
more, the twenty-five pieces are
primarily fast and motorhyth-
mic, which can get tiring, but
the orchestra never flags, and
at the end is still dancing away
to Copland's "Hoedown."

For the Student Body:
* Jeans
" Bells
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reg. to $24.00
State Street at liberty

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March 7-8:30 pm
$1.50 at THE ARK, 1421 Hill Street
a Folklore Society production
This Guy Saw "Chamber of Horrors"





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UNTIL 9:00 P.M.



March 1-5, Mendelssohn Theatre

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