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November 19, 1972 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-11-19

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Sunday, November 1 9, 1972


Page Th l

Sundy, ovemer 9, 972 HE ICHIAN AIL

Pf-Il Th


BUSBY BERKELEY. "The master of scenic prestidigitation." With
Gloria Stuart, Dick Powell.
FEDERICO FELLINI presents "The Sweet Life" and the sad decay
of Contemporary Rome.



James Taylorf

JAMES TAYLOR played his sad
songs for a large crowd at Crisler
Arena Friday night, and t h e
feeling of self-pity mixed w i t h
forlorn romanticism was certain-
ly one of deep satisfaction f o r
most, if not all in attendance.
Taylor opened the show by in-
troducing his back-up group, the
Section, who are now recording
on their own for Warner Bros.
records. His words - "prepare
yourselves to have your e a r s
cleaned out" - failed to ring
true though, as the all-instrumen-
tal band played long and 1 o u d
without much apparent show of
talent or inspiration.
The band, comprised of respec-
ted session men, Daniel "Kootch"
Kortchmar, Russell Kunkel, Le-
land Sklar and Craig Doerge,
opened with a poorly-mixed num-
ber, then proceeded into a fair-
ly-jazzy version of Otis Red-
ding's standard, "Sittin' On the
Dock of the Bay." Kortchmar
seemed somewhat more interest-
ed in putting on a good show
than playing his guitar, while
bassist Sklar played overly loud
and slightly (quite annoyingly)
out-of-tune. Pianist Doerge's
work was uneven, while Kunkel's
drumming was adequate to good,
depending primarily on the vol-
ume put on his miked drums.
Unfortunately, the band did not
improve with the passing of their
Their longest number, a vary-
ing piece called "Mahudavah,"
sounded very interesting in a
musical sense but what it lack-
ed in its execution was enough
to render the work ineffective.
Generaly, the piece was musical-
ly wasteful, as it lacked cohes-
iveness. Each member played
against and not with the others,
creating free-form, jazz-based
garbage along the lines of neo-
classic Pink Floyd. In o t h e r
words, sheer boredom.
Another long piece, a series
of intertwined numbers begin-
ning with "Second Degree" and
ending with "Zippo Dippo,"
sounded overly tinny with touch-
es of Chicago, Santana and, once
again, Pink Floyd thrown in for
good measure. Somewhere in the
middle of this long section of
their set, was a good, thought-
fully-short drum solo by Kunkel
and an adequate percussive
movement by Kortchmar, Kunkel
and Doerge with Sklar holding
down the bass chores. Other
than these aforementioned mo-
ments, the rest of the piece was
too drawn-out and repetitive to
maintain the audience's interest.
Their best number was a dance
tune called "Doin' the Meat-
ball." The music was basic rock,
and their performance of the
song was straight-forward a n d
showed signs of inspiration. So
it would seem that the Section
should stick to the more-stand-
ard, less-complicated rockers,
and leave the difficult time-con-
sumers to bands with more tal-
ent and desire.
THE SECTION plays music
which is, in itself, interesting;
their performance of it is not.
It's as simple as that.
James Taylor opened his por-
tion of. the show with his stan-
dard opener, "Sweet Baby Jam-
es." Accompanying himself on
an electrified Gibson acoustic,
he proceeded through about a
half-dozen songs, including an
excellent version of "Long Ago
and Far Away." Also, Taylor
got off an inspired version of

lyrical craftsman
#9E 2%#EN Ma.*.*.*.*. .. .%#2#0 WEE ##s.:......sm55

"Makin' Whoopee," a song made
popular many, many years ago.
Kortchmar joined Taylor on
electrified dobro for "Lo and
Behold." The dobro added a
"certain" necessary touch of ras-
pyness and, as a result, the song
was fuller-sounding and subse-
quently better. Kunkel and Sk-
lar then helped out on a couple of
songs, including Taylor's lyri-
cal "Something" from the Ap-
ple album. Taylor's reading of
the song lacked the feeling of
earlier performances, but it was
nonetheless full and pretty.
Two Taylor classics received
slight, jazz-improved rework-
ings, "Sunny Skies" and Carole
King's "You've Got a Friend."
"Sunny Skies" was somewhat
lost in all the "trimmings," while
Taylor's hit single fared some-
what better, as it was more go
than show.
Taylor showed some energy in
an excellent version of "Caro-
lina On My Mind," certainly one
of the two or three best songs of
his set. He then proved himself
a fine guitarist on an instrument-
al piece called "Instrumental No.
2." Kortchmar and Taylor trad-
ed licks, with Taylor appearing
to be the most impressive guitar-
ist of the two.
lor's set was given over to elec-
tric numbers employing the en-
tire Section band and the ar-
tist, and, in most cases, t h e

performer was lost amid much
musical static electricity. "Chili
Dog" was cluttered with too
much piano and a seemingly slop-
py arrangement. "Country Road,"
one of Taylor's more-direct, ly-
rical songs, was completely rap-
ed by a muddled, loud arrange-
ment; the volume of the drums
and bass kept forcing the lyrics
into an uncomfortable position of
A long and complicated piece,
titled simply "Hymn," from the
new album, One Man Dog, lack-
ed the sincerity of Taylor's oth-
er songs. Complete with an un-
easy sense of everincreasing in-
ternal tension, "Hymn" suffered
from too much rock volume and
not enough sensible, lyrical full-
ness. Adding the fact that a
good deal of the piece was
straight Section-performed in-
strumental breaks, Taylor's min-
iature "Thick as a Brick" w a s
lucky to come off as well as it
Taylor did a good version of
Kortchmar's "Back On the
Street Again," and an even bet-
ter version of his own "Don't

Mixing good farce
with poor dram

Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
"Lonely" wasn't overly seni
mental or sad, it was "merel
pretty; the instruments almos
quietly backing Taylor's hig
pitched but crystal clear voic
"Steam Roller Blues" clos
out the regular show, and
though Sklar and Doerge we
inadequate, Taylor and Kortc
mar more than made up the di
ference, giving the song an ii
spired and lively reading. Kor
chmar was actually good, as I
played some mean riffs to Ta
lor's half-solid, half-improvise
Taylor came back for one ei
core which was, of course, "Fx
and Rain." Performing with jui
his guitar, he sang his muc
swooned-over hit in the san
tired and thin voice he had use
all evening, playing the chorc
and notes in the same technicall-
proficient and moreover satisfi
ing way as the twenty-odd song
before "Fire and Rain." It's n
surprising then, that both t h
man and his song were soundi
applauded .
Quite frankly, as a on-stag
performer, James Taylor is tc
tally boring. He has no stag
presence whatsoever, other tha
that of tired and true troubadou
out singing his sad songs jus
one more time. Disregarding th
man though, his "true" worth
in his music, his words. F o
James Taylor is a lyrical crafts
man of the utmost skill -- l
him stand alone on that meri




Folk duo create
O !
intimacy at the Ark
By LORRE WIEDLICH that are sensitive and out of
Friday night was one of those the ordinary: a Bob Colter song
eautiful evenings that make the about Robin Hood's dying
rk special to those of us who thoughts, the werewolf song "The
> there regularly. Guy Carawan Greasly Bride," and the much-
id Ed Trickett established an requested "Jon Hinnert," which
ny performer-audience gap. Ed sang while accompanying
Carawan and Trickett, both himself on hammered dulcimer.
ng established as important Guy Carawan was probably
grformers and interpreters of new to this audience, since he
rk music, came together to re- hasn't performed here for some
r e a t e an evening singing years. Like Ed, he is a man who
ound a campfire two years ago prefers to make music with oth-
the FoxaHollow Folk Festival. er people rather than to claim
Ed Trickett is one of the fin- the spotlight for himself. He re-
t folksingers to frequent the vived songs popular years ago
n Arbor area. His finger pick- during the folk boom. This was
g is expert and tasteful, and the spirit of the evening: Ed in-
has a knack for finding songs troduced one song with the com-
ment, "I feel an old favorite
coming on."
Guy played a variety of instru-
ments, but his banjo tunes were
particularly delightful, musical-
ly and lyrically:
Love it is a teasing thing
Shaped just like a lizard.
Crawls up and down your
And nibbles at your gizzard.
The songs the two men sang
together probably came nearest
to recreating that long ago Fox
Hollow evening. Their harmonies
were simple and effective, their
guitar parts perfectly matched,
and neither tried to dominate
the other. Ed's hammered dul-
cimer is always well received
by Ann Arbor audiences, and
the hammer and frail duets were
one of the highpoints of the eve-


"Sister Angelica", opera in one act
by Giacomo Puccini taken from the
operatic trilogy 'Trittico". Libretto by
G. Forzano. "Angelique", a farce in
1 act by Jacques Ibert with words by
Nino. English texts by Herbert Win-
ters and Ezra Rachlin, respectively.
Texts revised by Josef Blatt. Josef
Blatt, Musical Director and Conduc-
tor. Ralph Herbert, Stage Director.
Lighting by Curt Osterman, Stage
Design by Alice Crawford. At Lydia
Mendelssohn Theatre, November 17-
20, 21, 1972 at 8 pm.
This fall's opera production
was an unorthodox double bill,
combining a delightful farce by
Ibert with a dreadfully boring
one act nothing by Puccini. The
two works presented fortunate-
ly had nothing to do with one
another, save the divine affecta-
tion of the titles. The entire eve-
ning was a showcase of disparate
extremes with the intermission
as the dividing line between the
land of urbane wit and the sea
of mediocrity.
"Sister Angelica," despite the
excellent Puccini score and the
equally excellent musical per-
formance, was a tedious and ov-
erbearing exercise in dramatic
morality. With the exception of
the confused stage movements of
too many nuns on a miniscule
stage, the production was good.
The quality of the singing was
impeccable, as was the quality
of the orchestra's performance.
Kim Krajewski was a fine
Angelica and Pat Deckert was a
perfectly pretentious Princess.
This was, unfortunately, little
compensation for the slow pace
and namby - pamby quality of
the libretto.
After all, an opera with an en-
tirely female cast and only one
character not dressed in a nun's
habit has three strikes against
it before it even nears the thea-
The plot of "Sister Angelica"
is fairly simple when compared
to most of Puccini's operas. Sis-
ter Angelica enters a convent
to atone for the sin of (sic) hav-
ing an illegitimate child. She
hears nothing from the outside
world until seven years hence,
when her aunt the Princess visits

her. The Princess informs her
her son's death and asks An
gelica to relinquish all rights t
her family's fortune. Angelica
consents only after a complet
breakdown and then commit
suicide, finally realizing tha
suicide too is a sin. She prays t
the Holy Virgin for forgivenes
and dies assured of salvation.
Fortunately for the audience
"Angelique" was the total anti
thesis of "Sister Angelica." Her
again the production was, excel
lent - the difference was tha
there was so much more to wor
with in the Ibert. Ashley Putmai
was an exquisite bitch in thi
role of "Angelique." Boniface
her henpecked husband, wa
well portrayed by Bruce Hall an<
Edwin Toliver was uproarious)3
funny as the gawky African King
The story of "Angelique" il
typical of the urbane Gallic wi
found in Ibert's music. Angeliqu
is such a nuisance that her har
ried spouse Boniface and hi
friend Charlot decide to sell hea
to an unsuspecting tourist. Char
lot deceives the beautiful bu
bitchy Angelique into acceptin
the plan, but things run amok un
til Boniface says to Angelique
"The Devil take'you!" The devi
appears and carries her away
only to return her because sh
has made a mess out of Hell.
"Angelique" was a sheer de
light. I guffawed and laughe
for the entire length of the farce
Special credit must be given tC
the orchestra for their superio
handling of the knotty Iber
score. The sets were charmin
and the lighting (as it was it
"Sister Angelica") was done
with extreme good taste.
Fortunately, the ,diction It
"Angelique" was much bettei
than the diction in "Sister An
gelica". There were spots where
the orchestra was too loud fox
the singers in the Ibert, but these
were few in number. How ironic
it is that "Angelique," an ir-
reverent farce, should be the sal.
vation of a banal opera dealing
with contrition and confession.


7he ~ceite

6:00 4 News
7 Movie
"Is Paris Burning?" (French-
U.S.; 1966)
50 Star Trek
6:30 4 NBC News
7:00 2 TV 2 Reports
4 George Pierrot
9 Tom Jones
50 Lawrence Welk
56 Art Auction Continues
7:30 4 World of Disney
8:00 2 M*A*S*H
See LISTINGS, Page 8



........... . . ..

In Residence Staff Application
Forms for 1973-74 Academic Year
Available Starting November 21, 1972
in Ms. Charlene Coady's Office
3011 S.A.B.
FROM 8:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M. & 1:30 P.M.-5:00 P.M.
Advisory positions generally require upperclass status for the

FILMS - Cinema Guild shows Lubitsch's Ninotchka toniglh
at 7, 9:05, Arch. Aud.; Cinema II shows Berkeley's Gol
Digers of 1935 tonight at 7 and Fellini's Lo Dolce Vit
tonight at 9, Aud A; Cinema Guild shows Brown's Th
Eagle tomorrow night at 7, 9:05, Arch. Aud.; Psych. 1T
Film Series features The Sixties; Afrikaner tomorroC
afternoon at 4, UGLI Multipurpose room.
SCHOOL OF MUSIC - Ellistine Perkins Lewis, soprano, thi
afternoon at 4:30, SM Recital Hall; Opera: Puccini'
Sister Angelica; Ibert's Angelique tomorrow night-at
Mendelssohn; Violin Student Recital tomorrow night a
8, SM Recital Hall.
MUSIC-Handel's Judas Maccabaeus will be presented thi
afternoon at 2:30 at the First Presbyterian Church (191]
Washtenaw). Donald Bryant will conduct the 50-voicc
choir and 30-member orchestra from the Harpischord.
4 Performances Dec. 2 and,3

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