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February 12, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-12

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, February 12, 1978-Page5

Post avant-

garde hits A2

Letting your brothers know what's' hap-
pening on other plantations.
Wearing a grey pinstriped suit and a
black turtleneck, modern jazz im-
provisor Sam Rivers gave a spon-
taneous monologue on the evolution of
jazz music Friday in the Residential
College Auditorium. The lecture was
entitled "The Struggle of Black Music
in America," but as Rivers stated:
I do my lectures like my performances,
spontaneous, nothing planned, I sort of like
to ramble like this.
The lecture complimented his per-
formance that evening at the Power .
Center by expressing verbally his
feelings towards his music and its
relation to the universe, while the con-
cert was a spiritual testimonial wit-
nessed by many. Artist-in-Residence
Leroy Jenkins performed the first act
of the evening by giving new dimen-
sions to the ways a violin may be
utilized. It is impossible to reflect the
music of these avant-garde artists
without giving the reflection some
imagery. Thus a collage of imagery and
quotations accurately portrays the
feeling received after having spent a
day with Sam Rivers.
The most successful are the talented
I can 't see making compromises.

RIVERS, a multi-instrumentalist
(tenor saxophone, alto saxophone,
flute, clarinet, and piano) is a member
of the Association for the Advancement
of Creative Music and has played with
such notables as Cecil Taylor, McCoy
Tyner and Miles Davis. Living in Soho,
New York, Riyers put together a very
successful jazz loft, Studio Rivbea,
where exciting new music is constantly
being presented.
We formed a coalition, and created a
At the evening's onset, the lights
dimmed and three black men wearing
white African shirts entered on stage.

As usual with these musicians, very lit-
tle noise was heard on stage; they sim-
ply checked their microphones and at-
tuned themselves to the directions
which would precisely integrate into a
colossal sound. Jenkins plays his violin
with bows of devotion and bends of
sacrifice, efficientally communicating
on the principals of the talking drums.
ON DRUMS sat Andrew Cyrille, one
time drummer for Cecil Taylor and
recently with the Carla Bley Band.
Cyrille uses chimes, thumb piano, slide
whistle and finger cymbals to help
create the images that the trio is
striving for. The percussion along with
piano player Anthony Davis create
surreal epics, hypnotizing you more
each concert, and always snapping you
out with a return to the original
There are some egotistical people 1 don't
feel understand what's happening and there
are some people who will never understand,
that's just the way it'll happen.
The Sam Rivers Trio took the stage
and openly expressesd the powerful
rhythm section of Dave Holland's bass
and Barry Altschul's percussion.
Holland looks like a British model for
"Old English Leather," wearing
loafers, grey knit pants and a blue tur-
Pop Music ... They don't want you to get
too good.
THE MUSIC of the trio is a statement
of our time, a living expression
reaching limits unknown. Rivers
demonstrates free-form expressionism
with two of the best studio jazz
musicians recording today. He takes
the piano after a drum solo and carries
it to strange ground, which is when
many viewers lose it and many leave.

Following Rivers' piano came a bass
solo from Dave Holland. Holland is an
improvisational bass player capable of
reaching a level rarely seen in white
All the major contributions in jazz have
been made by black musicians ... All the
major contributions in classical have been
made by white nusicians.
Sam Rivers expresses an inward
folding towards the obliteration of per-
sonal identity, surrendering himself to
the sax, as the remainder of the trio
moved in simultaneously co-ordinated
directions to a new level of spiritual ei-
tropy. But despite the intensity and
genius of his performance, Rivers dem-
onstrates that an unattainable perfec-
tion still exists in the genre of im-
provisational jazz.
The average cash outlay for health
care in 1976 was $1,521 per person in
the 65-and-over age group and $249
for those under 19.
I .A

Daily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG
Sam Rivers

at the
1306 S. University
Our New

7 days..-

Duo act marred by

ILLAND LIVIA Vanaver, formerly Bill
Vanaver and Livia Drapkin, must have been
tired when they performed at the Ark Friday
evening, assaulting our ears and eyes with assorted
Slavic, Irish, Yiddish, English, and American folk
songs and dances.
Granted, some of these songs were beautiful,
moving, or pleasantly humorous. Many were in-
tricate and all were decently executed, demon-
strating much skill, not to mention long months of
practice. The performance Was, nevertheless, slop-
It must be said that Bill's musicianship on the
TAMBURA (a mandolin-like Macedonian in-
strument), the Balkan lauto (roughly like the tam-
bura but larger) and, especially the banjo was un-
deniably outstanding. His chord work was outstan-
ding. The deft fingers of his left hand located the
swiftly shifting chords with admirable skill. Using the bare
fingers of his right hand, or finger picks, he picked
out some severely intricate melodies. He was a
pleasure to watch as well as to hear.
His guitar playing, however, came across as
strained. His chord work shared many of the
qualities he demonstrated on the tambura,
lauto, and banjo. The other instruments having
narrower necks, the guitar neck could have been too
large for his hand to stretch comfortably around.
'This is confusing since, at the age of 24 he has been

playing the guitar for nineteen years. To make mat-
ters worse, the guitar strings made awful clattering
sounds, probably buzzing against the frets.
Bill played a fantastic introduction on the tam-
bura to a Soviet Georgian dance which Livia per-
formed alone. The song and dance traditionally per-
formed for the warriors before they went off to bat-
tle is called Lesghinka." Lvia wore
Soviet dress, including slacks with
straps that buckled about her ankles, and Russian-
style boots. She also wore a frock of sorts and a
chain dangling coins strung across her bosom.
"Properly, they should have been bullets, not
coins," she explained, "but I couldn't get into dan-
cing with jingling bullets."
In addition, Livia performed English and Ap-
paladian clog dances. Bill performed as an equal par-
tner in the English dance. Although both performed
well, they were not in perfect step, which can be
forgiven as the figures were, very intricate. Livia
was the better dancer. Her dancing was, in fact,
Their singing, although it has its merits, was the
sloppiest part of the performance. Bill cut the in-
strumental introduction short in one number and
broke into song only to stop again, noticing that
Livia wasn't singing. Still strumming his guitar, he
joined her in song, presumably correctly this time,
at the next bar.
Frequently, one or the other would forget the

lyrics, spoiling the song or necessitating a fresh
start. After goofing the lines to one number, Livia
complained to Bill, "You know I can't sing after I
Although at times they sang' in strikingly
Bleautiful harmony, their intonation was poor,
possibly because Livia sang in a range much higher
than Bill.
They performed a wide variety of songs, in-
cluding the Yiddish "De Grine Kuzine," a ghost
ballad called "Lady Margaret," in which Livia
played the dulcimer, and a Soviet Georgian
travelers' song called "Hey Adila." This last one
was fun to listen to. The entire song is a tongue
twister which they sang in Soviet Georgian. Livia
explained after the show that they had to work on it
for six months before it became even intelligible.
Other songs of note were "The Range of the Buf-
falo," in which Bill played guitar surprisingly well,
the Jesse Fuller song, "Take it Slow and Easy,"
and a song by Dave Goulder, a marvelous piece of
poetry called "January Man."
Bill and Livia receive an encore. Part of the per-
formance's sloppiness could be attributed to Bill
and Livia being tired from their long drive all the
way from New York. "You look spaced," someone
remarked to Livia after the performance. "I am,"
Livia replied.

Cream Cheese Spreads:
491C per sandwich
on your choice of bagel
(Goodhru Feb. 28)
"Expert in Tray Catering"


GOOD COMPANY-Poets at MAchiga
has 28 outstanding photographs, 28 one page poems by Pulitzer
prize, Library of Congress and faculty poets. Biographical
notes by Jeanne Rockwell. Send $5.20 to NOON ROCK, 1500
Longshore, AA, Mich. 48105 or ask for this stunning color
cover paperback at Borders on State.
"A fine and worthy collection"
American Academy of Poets

F--- - I

U 1

Bassett piece at Hill

ONE PIECE SAVED the University
Symphony Orchestra concert Fri-
day evening from tedium: Leslie
Bassett's Echoes From an Invisible
World. Disappointing was the
University Symphony Orchestra
Hil Audiitoriumn
February 10, 1978
Echoes From an
Invisible World.................... Leslie Bassett
Symphony No. 4 ...,.............. Tchaikovsky
Bolero .......... .......:..... ........... R avel
Soloists: Laura Hunter and Steven Galante, saxo-
phone; Susan Pilla, flute; Diana Dickson, English
horn: Carol Gillie. bassoon; Alan Siebert, trumpet.
unimaginative programming of classic
but over-played works by Tchaikovsky
and Ravel.
Bassett, professor of composition at
U-M's School of Music since 1952, began
Echoes in 1974 in Italy. It was com-
missioned in honor of the American
Bicentennial expressly for Eugene Or-
mandy and the Philadelphia Symphony
Orchestra, who premiered the piece in
Ann Arbor twenty-one months ago in
the annual May Festival.
Friday marked Echoes' 33rd perfor-
mance. Eighteen minutes of fissures,
clashes, airs and rumblings put the
audience into a scrutinizing, receptive
THE ORCHESTRA performed the
three movements "very nicely," ac-
cording to Echoes' composer. Bassett
attended rehearsals to help the or-
chestra interpret his work. During one
rehearsal, the composer told the per-
cussionists, "You are the soloists" (the
piece is heavy on percussion). a

The conventional appeal of this piece
charmed the crowd, but disappointed
me; the production simply didn't have
any ear-perking innovations. If a
warhorse must be played, must it be
played like a warhorse?
Ravel's Bolero, another technically
well-executed yet disappointing per-
formance ended the program an-
ticlimactically. One story claims that
Ravel detested Bolero - he only wan-
ted to know if his audience would enjoy
a "bad" piece ... they did, and so did
the crowd at Hill.
The single-movement piece is a
static conglomeration of swelling, can-
tabile (singing) solos over a Spanish-
flavored, isorhythmic (one pervasive
rhythm) accompaniment, complete
with an incessant snare drum.

A Public Lecture by
Prof. Norman Stillman
SUNY Binghamton
Tuesday, February 14th
1429 Hill Street
SPONSORS: Hillel, Judiac Studies.


To the Secret Sweet/warts
In Your life
Ads will be printed Tuesday, Feb. 14
All Valentine's Day ads must be pre-
paid at 420 Maynard, 2nd floor.

I Return coupon to
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
* 342 Madison Avenue. New York. N.Y. 10017

At Tel Aviv University you
can toke courses in English.
then transfer the credits to
your college bock home.
We offer semester and
full year programs in Lib-
eral Arts. Natural Sciences.
Social Sences. Business
Judaic Studies. Hebrew


-..-.---.-- i


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