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March 30, 1972 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-03-30

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, March 34, 1972

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, March 30, 1972
U

A spectacular

MODAL JAZZ
Wallowing in electronics

By MARCIA ABRAMSON
Indians begins before you en-
ter the theatre, and stays with
you long after you leave.
There is carnival music play-
ing as you open the doors of
the Power Center, and there are
shooting galleries and carnival
posters inside.
And there are Indians, grim,
quiet, sitting on the floor. They
stare, and you do not know what
to do - whether to look away,
or laugh. They are actors-they
are an intrusion.
But they are not just actors,
and Indians is more than a play.
It is a document about Indians
and white men, even though it
takes the form of a spectacle,
comic and tragic, brilliant and
furious.
The best thing about Arthur
Kopit's play and the University
Players production is that po-
lemics never take over. There is
always comedy - the play nev-
er drags into rhetoric - but
the comedy does more than
break the pace. The comedy in-
tensifies the tragedy as laugh-
ter is undercut with the bitter
consciousness of the humiliation
and destruction of the Indian
people.
The Players take hold of ev-
ery opportunity offered by Ko-
pit to stage a brilliant produc-
tion, changing colors, shifting
moods and perspectives with in-
novative sets and properties.
One moment cowboys prance in

a chorus line as Annie Oakley
bumps and grinds; the next
there is a harsh confrontation
between Indian and white man,
a play-within-a-play, or a de-
scent into the very private hell
of Buffalo Bill.
It is Buffalo Bill's show in
every way. He is a comic Amer-
ican dreamer, entranced by the
myth of the west; he wants to
make it big, although his feats
are mostly mythical. He is also
a man of changing times, who
is closer to his public relations
man than to Wild Bill hickok
or anyone else - except per-
haps Sitting Bull. O.K. Carson's
Buffalo Bill is a magnificent
character, caught between his
compassion for the Indians and
his love for Buffalo Bill. Finally,
he recognizes the shoddiness of
his own life: he does not want
to die with his makeup on, and
he stops believing in his All-
American show.
Buffalo Bill, the best white
man, is guilty of many crimes
of humiliation and intolerance;
he has sold out a thousand
times. It is Buffalo Bill who
bought an Indian chief out of
jail so he could speak his sur-
render "twice a day and three
times on Sunday," and Buf-
falo Bill who featured a chained
savage Injun' in his show. The
President, First Lady (a pair of
shocking Victorians) and Sen-
ators are even worse.
The scenes shift rapidly, re-

Indians'
vealing >harsh realities (occa-
sionally overdon,, as in the
strobe-lighted massacre) and
exposing the white man's way
in bitter-comic vignettes of stu-
pidity, bigotry and humiliation.
As a contemporary writer, Ko-
pit has produced an exceptional
work, drawing on all the tradi-
tions open to him, from musical
comedy to existential drama to
the very traditional soliloquy.
He can handle it, and so can the
Players.
Besides Carson, Andre Hunt
and Brent Ramsey are excellent
as Sitting Bull and John Grass
-they are stoic, trapped, wise
and very human, not just mar-
tyrs or symbols. And Wild Bill
Hickok, played by James Haz-
lett, steals every scene he is in.
Indians will grab you and not
let you go for a while - see it.
You can read documents, learn
the history - Indians will drive
it into you
INDIAN SYRUP
American Indians taught early
colonists how to make maple sy-
rup, and today it still is produced
only in the United States and
Canada,
URANIUM LIGHT
A pound of processed and en-I
riched uranium can produce
enough electricity tolight a 100-
watt bulb for 2,600 years.

RESERVED SEATS-$3.00
Tickets available daily at Michigan Union I1

A.M.-2 P.M

. 0.

U of M Folklore Society presents
POWER BLUES
SON HOUSE, MANCE LIPSCOMB,
ROBERT PETE WILLIAMS
at the POWER CENTER
April 15-8:00 P.M.

eastern michigan university
april 9
Bowen fldhouse
8:30 p.m.
(an MEC production)
N E IL ,ls
DIAM OND "yr:.y{+:::;,, to
Sold at TICKETS
Ann Atbor Music Mart $3 50
McKenny Union $450
National Bank of Ypsilanti (Cross Street) $5 5Q

By ALLEN LOWE
The arts of the counter-cul-
ture have too often been mark-
ed: the triumph of form over
substance, with few artists rea-
lizing that the framework can
only succeed if that which it
holds has any value. Unfor-
tunately, this tendency to sub-
stitute form for substance has
seeped into jazz..
What I have in mind is the
new electronic idiom (new for
jazz, that is) in which many
jazz musicians have chosen to
perform. Miles Davis appears to
have popularized it, and many
others have followed in his
wake. The form is basically'sim-
ple -- a modal style of jazz
playing with the use of elec-
tronic instruments, as well as
the "employing of electronic
sounds. The form is very ap-
pealing, not only for its sim-
plicity, but because it is easily
accessible to audiences beyond
those primarily interested in
jazz.
There is no objection here to
appealing to a larger audience.
It is the sacrifice of the art
that raises objections. As I said,
it is a modal style of playing
that leaves the soloist almost
complete freedom in which to
move his solo.
Unfortunately, many musi-
cians cannot stand up to this
-owl

challenge, and have chosen in-
stead to wallow in the blanket
of electronics. I have in mind
the Contemporary Jazz Quintet,
who appeared here recently
with Alice Coltrane. Their per-
formance was a massive wall of*
sounds backing two, horn solo-
ists who chose only to beid
notes and run scales. The em-
phasis was always on effect -
a cracked note on the flugel-.
horn can be a lovely sound, but
only as punctuation, not as a
musical sentence; a glissando
on tenor sax can be used pur-
posefully to create a feeling of
movement, but something has
to be moving besides an empty
series of notes.
This willingness to sacrifice
content has beenunourished by
the ignorance of cultural leech-
es eager to grab onto any new
movement in the arts that stirs
their heads. One such critic
praised Miles Davis for being
the first in jazz to assume the
modal style of playing with the
album Bitches Brew. The first?
John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy
must be tossing and turning in
their graves with the knowledge
that they took steps toward
throwing out the chords ten or
more years ago. Ornette Cole-
man, the mister practitioner of
;modal jazz, has been recording
in the modal style since 1959,
and years before that he was
Thursday and Friday
Rene Clair's
Le
Million
Dir. Rene Clair, 1930
Those of you who saw
The Italian Straw Hat
will eagerly await more
of Clair's brilliant comedy.
Armand Bernard and
Phillippe Pares search for
a lost lottery ticket.
SHORT:
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
ARCHITECTURE
AUDITORIUM

kicked out of one jazz band af-
ter another because he heard his
music differently than those
around him; Davis himself was
speaking about using scales in-
stead of chords in 1960. With
his Kind of Blue, recorded in
1962, he was off and running in
the direction of modality. Da-
vis did not invent modality in
jazz, he popularized it. Though
one can argue that this accom-
plishment is as important as in-
vention, there is no question
that the roots of jazz modality
are not in-the 70's.
When the artist is overcome
by the form of his creation, the
art isdoomed. I don't have such
a dire prediction for jazz. Too
many false prophets have spok-
en premature eulogies and I see
no sign that jazz is even ailing,
much less dying. My point is
that such sacrifices of sub-
stance that have been made in
the name of form cannot help
but hurt jazz, which certainly
needs all the friends it can get,
but no new enemies.
ALL SEATS 75c
FR 9
Its
scrumdidilyumptious!
Cdr OTE0Wc(X0p' APRAIOMilPEW
"Out Disneys Disney"
Tony Mastroianna,
Cleveland Press
"A classic in the tradition of
Wizard of Ox' and will be
played annually thirty years
from now."
-L.A. Herald Examiner
MATINEES ONLY-1:00-3:30

I - , if

Friday, March 31-Pi Kappa Alpha presents:

[I

The Second

Annual PKA

Out-of-State
at the
PIKE HOUSE,
1923 Geddes
MUSIC from .7-10 P.M:
PHASE III
ALL DRINKS 10c
Except Black Coffee 8c
HOT CHOCOLATE LEMONADE ORANGE JUICE
COCA-COLA ORANGE SPRITE
STATE AND PACKARD STORE ONLY
DUNKIN'
DONUTS
To your home from ours
Fresh every four hours.
"The difference is freshness"
OPEN MONDAY-THURSDAY 7:30-9 P.M.
FRI., SAT., SUN. 7:30-3 P.M.
This offer expires April 17th
EmmEMMI

1I

41

OPEN 12:45
SHOWS AT
1 P.M.-4:30-8 P.M.
MATINEES $1.50
Mon.-Thurs. eve. $2.00
Fri. & Sot. eve. $2.50
603 E. Liberty
.DIAL 665-6290

r

The Place to
INTERESTING

Meet
People!

U

Bach Club'
Michael Vlatkoski-piano
Goldberg-Variations
REFRESHMENTS
8000 .m.
March 30, 1972, Thurs.
South Quad, West Lounge
No Musical Knowledge Needed.
Absolutely Everyone Invited.
For further info: 763-6256

WE HAVE 16 PEOPLE TO HELP YOU
WITH YOUR APARTMENT NEEDS.
ONE OF US WILL WORK HARD TO
HELP YOU FIND AN APARTMENT,
THE REST OF US WILL TRY OUR
BEST TO KEEP YOU HAPPY WITH IT.
WE THINK IT'S THE SERVICE YOU
GET AFTER YOU SIGN THE LEASE
THAT COUNTS. VISIT US SOON.

7 and 9 p.m.

75c

: ;:::

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