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February 28, 1978 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1978-02-28

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i

The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, February 28, 1978-Page 5
Corea Hancock: Acousic jazz masery

By PAUL SHAPIRO
CHICK COREA and Herbie Han-
cock offered three-and-one-half
hours of consummate acoustic jazz in
Hill Auditorium Sunday afternoon, with
a performance that will long be re-
membered by the Ann Arbor jazz com-
munity. In the final stop of their twenty-
one concert program, Corea and Han-
cock were simply overwhelming. They
received no less than five standing ova-
tions from the sell-out crpwd, ending
their unique tour on a very high note.
There is little doubt that Chick Corea
and Herbie Hancock are the most out-
standing masters of jazz piano today,
and although both of their efforts have
strayed from acoustic piano in the last
few years, there was no evidence of this
during Sunday's show. The two pianists
have had similar careers, both making
their names with Miles Davis, and both
moving on to leadership positions
within commercially successful
"fusion" groups. Hancock's Headhunt-
ers sold over a million -copies, and
Corea's Return To Forever LP's have
fared almost as well. But their great-
ness most certainly lies with their vir-
tuoso abilities on the acoustic piano,
and after years of unsuccessfully
working out a touring schedule, Corea
and Hancock have finally arrived in the
public eye together.
THE KINSHIP that has grown be-
tween these two men in years of lis-
tening to one another and on their mon-
th of performing together was clearly
expressed in the musical understanding
together was clearly expressed in the
musical understanding and sensitivity
with which they performed Sunday.
There was great joy, in the perform-'
ance, and whether playing jazz compo-
sitions, improvisational music, or a
classical piece, the'two musicians com-
municated with an uncanny degree of
precision.
Working their way through composi-
tions by Miles David, George Gershwin,
and Bela Bartok, Corea and Hancock
performed the first set entirely in duet,
their music embodying a dream-like
beauty. Returning for a lengthy second
PHILADELPHIA
EXHIBIT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Forty-five
works of art are included in a current
exhibit, "The Last Three Years: A Se-
lection of Recent Acquisitions," at the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
here.
The exhibition features oil paintings,
watercolors, drawings, preparatory
sketches, tapestries and a stained glass
window, by artists such as Anshutz,
Calder, Kline, Lafarge and Parrish.
Closing date for the exhibit is April 19.

set, each played a solo improvisational
piece. Although their styles are quite
different at times, the results were
surely the same: pure magic.
Corea's intricate, winding solo piece
was heavily infused with the Latin in-
fluence that has become his trademark.
Combining pulsating Latin rhythms
with a relentlessly strong right hand,
Corea's work was reminiscent of his
two solo albums, Improvisations I and
II, recordings which have greatly influ-
enced jazz pianists of this decade.
HANCOCK'S PLAYING was based to
a great extent on the blues, featuring
the gentle and graceful touch that has
made him the most pronlinent jazz
musician since his arrival with the

legendary Miles Davis Quintet of 1963.
Never have the fine acoustical qualities
of Hill Auditorium been put to such
good use.
The performance reached a peak as '
the two returned together playing Han-
cock's "Maiden Voyage" and Corea's
"La Fiesta." During these two num-
bers the extraordinary talents of these
two men, their lightening fast hands,
powerful and distinctive styles, and
ultimately their great love for the
piano, mesmerized the 4,600 plus audi-
ence into a total silence. A short encore
of blues followed, as did a final, thun-
derous ovation marking the close of a
very special series of jazz perform-
ances.

Max Morath revives
Ragtime with style

By BILL BARBOUR
THE EARLY twentieth century
seems very distant from today; it
came before video tapes could preserve
its images perfectly, and records could
capture its sound precisely. To learn
about this period, one can either go to a
library, or observe the song, dance, and
humor of someone who understands the
era. Max Morath is such a person and
on Sunday afternoon he led an enthusi-
astic full house at the Mendelssohn
Theater on a joyous romp through the
period he calls The Ragtime Years.
The Ragtime Years is a one-man
show with a simple set: a hat rack, an
old style phonograph, a piano, and
Morath on stage. The show is a history
lesson concerning the early part of this
century. The Ragtime years, as defined
by Morath, extended from 1893 to the
beginning of World War I. They were
the years when ragtime, "the first
popular music," was king. The show
chronicles the period by following the
development of ragtime and its relation
to historical events.
The music was quite well-performed,
with Morath playing a variety of songs,
some familiar and oth s unfamiliar.
Many of the tunes, such as "The Enter-
tainer," "New Rag," and "Maple Leaf
Rag," are by Scott Joplin, the king of
ragtime; others, like "Pickles and
Poppers" (used as a campaign song by
presidential candidate, William Jen-
nings Bryan in 1908) and "Cannonball
Rag," are by lesser known ragtime
composers.
THREE TUNES, however, stood
above all the rest. The first of these was
an untitled number which featured

Morath siuiging a duet with the previ-a
ously mentioned phonograph. This re-
quired precise timing and coordination,
both of which were there.
The second memorable song was
"Nobody," by Burt Williams, a black
minstrel singer who performed with the
Ziegfield Follies. The lyrics of this tune
were brilliant, crafted in such a way
that made me laugh and cry inside at
virtually the same time. The final num-
ber was a rare treat; although it has
never been written down, the song - a
funeral number - has survived to this
day through the oral tradition.
THE CONCEPTION of the show was
very good, but it was Morath himself
who made it a true success. The one-
man show was kept alive every minute
by Morath's constant and unrelenting
energy. He is a performer of rare
quality, and possesses talents missing
in many performers today: profession-
alism, verve, and pizzazz. His wit is
sharp, and his stare magnetizing.
Above all, he has brought a glimpse of a
period which is otherwise hard for
today's audiences to appreciate.
"The legacy is a strange one,"
Morath said. "It will never happen
again." Hopefully, the same cannot be
said of Max Morath and The Ragtime
Years. Quality performers and per-
formances are hard to find.

Daily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG
Jazz virtuosos Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock received an overwhelming response during their concert at Hill
Auditorium Sunday afternoon. Pictured above are Corea, top left; Hancock, top right; and both performers during
an interlude where they performed on the inside of the pianos.
Promising young pianist debuts

t

By MARK JOHANSSON
A N ASPIRING young musician re-
-ceived a peculiar introduction to
Ann Arbor during the third concert of
the Musical Society's Debut Recital
Series, Saturday night in Rackham
Auditorium. Currently on his seventh
United States tour, Aleksander
Slobodyanik gave his first performance
here to a reserved and cautious audi-
ence which only filled two-thirds of the
hall.
Aleksander Slobodyanik
Rackhan A uditoriumn
February 25, 1978
Twenty-four Preludes, Op.28............... Chopin
Sonata No. 6, Op.62,...................... Scriabin
Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka ....... Stravinsky
The first half of Saturday night's
program consisted of the Twenty-four
Preludes, Op. 28, by Frederic Chopin.
The Preludes, rarely performed as a
set, were written by Chopin during a
Majorcan holiday with George Sand
when he was immersed even more
deeply than usual in the music of Bach.
These brief mood pictures, like those in
Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, go
through all of 'the major and minor
keys.
SLOBODYANIK'S performance of
the Preludes was good, but -not over-
whelming. The best aspect of his play-
ing was -his great control over both
dynamics. and tempo through the
myriad of meters, volumes, harmonies,
and melodies contained in the Preludes.
In Prelude No. 4 in E minor, the tone
was firm and strong, yet beautifully
mellow and full.sThegartist seemed in
complete control. No. 17 in A-flat major
was also outstanding, as the melody
was kept clearly above the complex
chordal accompaniment, and even with
considerable emotion it was still deli-
cate and floating.
Slobodyanik proved he could play left
hand octaves in No. 22, and in No. 24, he
played with the right hand, where a
strong melody was played in octaves
over thundering left hand arpeggios.
After intermission, the Sonata No. 6,
Op. 62 by Alexander Scriabin was
played. Slobodyanik gave a good per-
formance, again having unusual, con-
trol over the wide range of rhythms and
dynamics, as well as the slowly shifting

melodies and textures. The emotions
were intense, from the shimmering
broken chords where the sounds
seemed to melt together, to the
crashing, violent chords when Slobody-
anik rose from the bench, really
moving the piano.
THE LAST PIECE on the program
was Trois mouvements de Petrouchka
by Igor Stravinsky. The complex rhy-
thms of the Danse Russe were played
forcefully and with excitement. Here
Slobodyanik displayed his fantastic
technical ability, as many times his
hands were moving too fast for the eye
to follow. In the mysterious and sus-
penseful Chez -Petrouchka, all of the
notes were clear and precise, even in
the complex middle section. Slobydy-
anik's hands were flying again in La
Semaine grasso where more complex
rhythms and incredibly fast octaves
excited the audience.
Overall, Slobodyanik gave a smooth,
enjoyable performance of three dis-
tinctively different keyboard master-
works. Technically, his playing was
outstanding and very precise. All notes,
including ornamentation, were heard
clearly and fell nearly into tempo and
his control was strong. Just by listening
to his sound and watching his hands,
one could tell he was a young musician.
While playing the Stravinsky has hands
were moving unbelievably fast - faster
than almost any older pianist could
manage.
WHILE COMPARING his technique
to older artists, Slobodyanik's interpre-
tations must also be compared, because
his technical perfection also con-
tributed to some uninspiring emotions.
During the most expressive portions of
COUPON
Dissertation
F 74 Tand

his program, the sound needs to be full
and-grand, but this did not happen, due
mostly to poor phrasing and pedaling.
Often the sound was just too clear - the
individual parts were played nearly
perfectly, but the overall sound lacked
fullness, leading to some unnatural and
forced interpretations.
These problems are not unusual for a
young musician, however, as most
pianists give their most sensitive per-
formances in later life. Slobodyanik,
fortunately has a lot of time to develop
his skills, and with his already out-
standing technique we can expect much
from him.
Chartres Cathedral celebrated its
700th anniversary in1960.

Tired of
Michigan 's
long Wintersp
RELOCATE
with the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps
Seniors B.S.N. students are
eligible to apply. CALL COLLECT
(313) 22b-7795/7845
, ,

Guest Artist Series
Featuring
JAMES H.HAWTHORNE,
Guest Artist-in-Residence
Wed. Sat., March 1-4, 8pm
Sun., March 5, 2pm
Power Center

NEWS FROM THE
MAJOR EVENTS OFFICE
The long wait is over-the Starship's
latest release, "Jefferson Starship Earth,"
is due in the record stores shortly. Look for
'a lot of promo, because it's their first
album since the Starship signed with RCA .st
Jimmy Buffett's laid-back anthem called
"Margaritaville" finished as the number
eight song for all of 1977. Tickets are
still available for his appearance on the
night of March 24 at Hill Auditorium.
Please call 763-2071 for more informa-
tion .. .
The Eagles have sold 18 million albums
(world-wide) in the last 18 months (that's
right, a million per month). It's an amazing
compliment to their manager, Irving Azoff,
who recently masterminded Steely Dan's
"Aja," and is now on tour with client
Jimmy Buffett ..
.Tidbits:Little Feat has released a live
double album . . . Bob Dylond,, George
Benson, and the Beach Boys are all on
tours in Australia and New Zealand
five of the top-ten tunes, this week, are
Bee Gee-related . . . Neil and Marsha
Diamond became the proud parents of a
son, Micha Joseph, on Valentine's Day .

4-

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