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April 16, 1978 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1978-04-16

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, April 16, 1978-Page 5



.... ,


Pharoah Sanders
N A RECENT Eclipse lecture at
Trotter House, Archie Shepp referred
to various legendary jazzmen and put
Pharoah :Sanders alongside such
figures as Charlie Parker, John
Coltrane and Ornette.Coleman. Indeed,
Sanders can be acknowledged as an in-
novator of our time, and this is confir-
nied by his history, which consists of
having played tenor and soprano
saxophone beside the legendary John
Today, Pharoah Sanders is ten years
beyond his work with John Coltrane,
which brought out such fantastic
albums as Cosmic Music, Live in
Japan, Om, Meditations. Whether this
puts him in the ranks of the masters I'll

Love Will Find A Way
Pharoah Sanders
leave up to Shepp and Arista press
releases. His latest album, Love Will
Find A Way, is worth a listen. I don't
think that it can be classified with the
jazz masterpieces of our time.
The album opens with the title cut, a
pleasant-sounding theme reinforced by
the Water Family, a background vocal
section. After talking with Shepp, I
have the impression that these vocal
sections are a sign of reaching a level in
jazz where the record executives feel
the album is salable enough to invest
money in vocals. Well, regardless of the
music industry scene, the vocals of
Phyllis Hyman add a stunning touch to
several of the cuts by putting an extra
feel on the jazz sound.
Once when I was talking with Sam
Sanders, a Detroit jazz musician of no
relation to Pharoah, he told me he felt
the main ingredient to Motown's suc-
cess was the mixture of a jazz orchestra
with vocals. Perhaps this album is
evidence of that theory; when listening
to "Got Give It Up," written by Marvin
Gaye, you can hear the jazz influence.
The Gaye tune made me wonder about
the direction Pharoah is taking, but I
trust it's just .a fun little tune played
very well, presenting the nine-piece
horn section that accompanies him on
this work.
Sanders' latest work has over 26
musicians, including the likes of Lenny
White, Wah Wah Watson, Alex Blake
and the producer and percussionist of
the album, Norman Connors.
The second side more clearly
represents the direction that Pharoah
Sanders has taken in recent days, ex-
pressing a slower-pace, less concerned
with avante-garde exhibitionism. The
first cut, "As You Are," brings out the
sensual tongue of Phyllis Hyman which
at some points seems middle-of-the-
road, easy-listening music.
The album, on the whole, appeals to
several tastes in listening, containing a
disco song, a little funk, a little or-
chestra, all interpreted in a jazz man-
ner by Sanders. After listening to this
album, I felt that the music recruiter
for Hollywood ought to give Pharoah a
ring, for some Of the cuts sound like
soundtracks to Hollywood films. This
isn't necessarily derogatory, it merely
expresses the sound he's exhibiting.
The last cut, "Everything I Have Is
Good," is late-night jazz sound enhan-
ced by a piano solo by Bobby Lyle. The
album is pleasant and worth giving a
listen to. It's one of those albums that
you can play while your parents are in
the room.
-by Matthew Kletter
Manfred Mann's
Earth Band
T HE GRADUAL evolution of Man-
fred Mann's Earth Band has
created a respected and rather dig-
nified rock group with a definite artistic
bent. Their latest LP, Watch, is another
conscious effort by the band to promote
their own seriousness. It is basically
successful, both creatively and intellec-
Watch is an impressive follow-up to
the Earth Band's previous album, The
Roaring Silence, which produced the
monster hit single "Blinded By The
Light." Although The Roaring Silence
does contain a number of fine tunes, the
music drags at times, and there is a
lyrical vagueness through most of the
album which tends to irritate after
repeated listenings.
Some of these deficiencies have been

The synthesizer work of Mann takes
the lead role on the new LP, rather than
being blended into the rhythm section
as it often was on The Roaring Silence.
Mann dominates the instrumental
break in "Martha's Madman," a
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Warner Bros. BSK 357
powerful song which delves into the
,shadowy world of insanity. His lively
synthesizer arrangement adds a
strangely incongruent element to the
song which quite positively promotes
its theme.
MANN'S KEYBOARDS also play an
intregal role in the Earth Band's live
version of "Quinn The Eskimo," also
included on Watch. Mann first recorded
this Bob Dylan composition about ten
years ago, and its release as a single
brought him a moderate amount of
notoriety. The updated version rocks
tremendously, in a way Dylan undoubt-
ably never intended. There's a con-
tagious energy in the way the Earth
Band performs the song, as Mann
trades off the instrumental lead with
guitarist Dave Flett; the band builds up
a frenetic pace until just the right
moment, when they calmly glide
through the last verse of the song.
There's a pleasing variety of
material on Watch which adds to the
fresh feel of the LP; most of the tunes
were composed by persons outside of
the group. The Earth Band may be
taking note of the success of "Blinded
By The Light" (a Bruce Springsteen
tune), and opting for the possible suc-
cess which such outside influences
seem to bring. Not a bad idea, really;
the weakest tune on Watch is "Chicago
Institute," an Earth Band composition
dealing with a rather hackneyed
paranoic version of the future.
The remainder of the songs are all en-
joyable, due primarily to the fine per-
formances by the band and the diverse
selection of material. Included are a
Slade tune entitled "Drowning on Dry
Land," which features solid perfor-
mances both on acoustic and electric
guitar. Chris Hamlet Thompson's
vocals on this song are quite strong,
blending well with the changing in-
strumental textures within the song. An
uptempo John Simon-Robbie Robertson
composition, "Davy's on the Road
Again," opens side two, again with
notably tight instrumental work.
Sue Vickers' "California" is one sur-
prising inclusion on the new album. By
Earth Band standards the tune is
downright mellow, dominated by
acoustic guitar and rolling smoothly
from start to finish. The surprise is a
pleasant one, as the tune works well.
Although their sound hasn't changed
all that much, the improvements made
by Manfred Mann's Earth Band have
been considerable. As veterans of the
music business, it's good to see them
finally rocking their way to the top.
"Blinded By The Light" was their
springboard; Watch could set them
-by Michael Baadke
Muddy Waters, ;
Fleet wood Mac
BLUES PEOPLE have notoriously
short lifespans. Muddy Waters,
luckily, is a survivor. Last year he
joined forces with Johnny Winter,
James Cotton, and a band of veteran
blues players to make Hard Again, a
lively collection of modern blues. Now
he's followed it up with I'm Ready,
named after a Willie Dixon song.
Fleetwood Mac made some excellent
blues music in the late sixties before
they died, only to be reborn a few years
later as a pop group. The Original
Fleetwood Mac consists of tracks
recorded in 1967 but never released.

Stripped of the gloss that charac-
t izes most rock and pop, the blues can
b an honest, emotional music form.
Unfortunately, because repetitive
rhythms often replace melodies, it can
also be deathly dull. These new records
illustrate both ends of the spectrum.
I'm Ready has the same stark,
realistic production Johnny Winter
gave to Hard Again, but it's not as
fresh. It's a carbon copy of its
predecessor, and as everyone knows,
carbon copies are never as good as the
original; they're invariably fuzzy and
less distinct. There's nothing as power-
ful as "Mannish Boy," and overall the
LP lacks variety.
ONLY ONE OF the nine tracks ac-
tually has a melody-Sonny Boy
Williamson's "Good Morning Little
School Girl." This light, breezy tune is
full of life; unfortunately, the same
can't be said for any of the other songs.
Two by Willie Dixon, "I'm Your

Hoochie Coochie Man" and the title
track, "I'm Ready," offer solid blues
riffs, great harp playing by Walter Hor-
ton and Jerry Portnoy, and passionate
vocals by Waters. But Winter's guitar'
playing is undistinguished.
Four new songs by Waters are slow
and sluggish. Excellent slide guitar by
Waters and Winter, and a few im-
pressive guitar solos by Winter make
the songs enjoyable, but hardly
anything to get excited about. "Rock
Me" and "Screamin' and Cryin"' are
substandard old Waters tunes. Ap-
parently he put his best material on
Hard Again.

The Original Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac
Sire SR 6045
wood Mac's blues is a good deal fresher
than Waters' new record. Perhaps it's
because of their youth, or perhaps it's
because they synthesized the styles of
many blues artists, forming a crisp
coalition of approaches.
Most of the tunes were written by
Peter Green, then one of the band's two
guitarists. "Leaving Town Blues" and
"Watch It" feature vibrant guitar riffs
and strong, earthy vocals. But "Drif-
ting" and "First Train Home" simply
plod along. "Rambling Pony No. 2" is
marred by incredibly sloppy playing.
Green's best tunes are "A Fool No
More," a slow song bound together by
stinging guitar work and urgent vocals,
and "Fleetwood Mac," a bouncy little
instrumental featuring delightful harp
playing and a few mournful saxophone
Jeremy Spencer, the other guitarist,
contributes "Allow Me One More
Show," a pleasant enough acoustic in-
terlude. He also arranged "Mean Old
Fireman," another soft change of pace.
The band seems to have no energy
during B.B. King's "Worried Dream,"
which is unfortunate since it could have
been one of the LP's highlights. On the
other hand, James Williamsn's "Can't
Afford to Do It" is a marvelous piece of
blues-tinged, danceable rock'n'roll.
The Original Fleetwood Mac must be
seen as an interesting relic of the past.
As an album, it fails for pretty much the
same reasons I'm Ready: lack of
variety, little in the way of melodies,
and unevenness. Anyone interested in
finding out what a great band Fleet-
wood Mac was before they became
trashy pop messiahs would do much
better to check out the Vintage Years
anthology or Kiln House.
-by Mike Taylor
Marlena Shaw
expect exclusively jazz market-
oriented albums to be profitable. They
must expand their repertoire to include
pop, rock or rhythm and blues. After
years of mainstream jazz participation,
Marlena Shaw plunged into the R & B
market in 1975 with an LP called Who Is
This Bitch, Anyway?
Shaw's subsequent LP's have con-
tinued this diversifying trend which has
caused some people to wonder if Shaw
is a jazz artist at all. Jazz, however, is
not a type of material; it is a way of in-
terpretation. so the only question here
is whether Shaw can handle different
songs without losing her jazz touch. Her
new album, Acting Up, proves she can
do it.
Acting Up is a versatile album. Its
songs range from ballads and blues
to jazz and disco. After the frantic up-
tempo cuts of Shaw's previous album,
Sweet Beginnings, it is refreshing to
hear Shaw singing slower,softer tunes.
SIDE TWO IS the better side. It opens
with "You Bring Out The Best In Me,"
a soul tune which was recorded several
years ago by the Natural Four. Shaw's
arrangement changes the song
dramatically. She slows down the pace,
gets inside the lyrics and releases a
sassy, sensous rendition.
The nest cut, "Dreaming," is an
easy-going number made for Shaw's
voice; a voice which, over the years,
has become polished and matured. She
reaches for notes and ties them like
ribbons. Her intonation and phrasing
comes across emphatically when
singing disco tunes like "I'm Back For
More,'" a song boasting call-response
chase with background singers. Unlike
some disco singers who scream, Shaw
handles her gutsy shouts with perfect

longer piano romp that has a catchy,
hand-clapping, toe-tapping rhythm.
It is astonishing to see Shaw's growth
as a musician considering her informal
Acting Up
Marlena Shaw
Columbia JC 35073
musical training consisting mainly of
piano lessons from her uncle and
professional gigs with the Count Basie
band and trumpeter Howard McGhee.
Shaw shows potential as a pianist,
songwriter and composer that she
ought to explore further.
"Mama Tried" is also interesting for
its portrayal of Shaw's style. She varies
the melody with high and low notes,
scooping and bending them. Shaw also
varies the lyrics by suddenly breaking
off into an ad lib monologue that goes
beyond the lyrics in telling the truth;
then just as suddenly bouncing back in-
to the lyrics to continue the melody.
The real treat of the album is the
"Theme From Looking For Mr. Good-
bar, (Don't Ask to Stay Until
Tomorrow)." Here.she expresses the
emotional confusion of a woman who
looks for love but rejects it when she
finds it. Backed by fine percussion and
string sections, Shaw tells the familiar
story as if it were completely new. The
jazz arrangement here is excellent.
Acting Up is one of the best albums
Shaw has made. Her strengths as
musician and songwriter are still-to be
fully exhausted. Hopefully, Shaw will
soon gain wider recognition as a major
jazz artist. Acting Up shows that the
potential is there.
-by Eric Smith
Iggy Pop
GGY IS A major wound to the music
industry (and most sensitive people)
that had almost healed over.
True, there are plenty of painted-
faced Bozos around today that have at-
tempted- to replace him, but they are
merely laughable pacifiers for the 8 to
13 year old set.
Iggy Pop and The Stooges, on the
other hand, enraged people. Coverage
by the media of the two is impossible to
compare. Ig was too outrageous,

us), but Iggy doesn't sound as
restrained as when recording with
Bowie. This LP is easy to like on the fir-
st listening, as opposed to some earlier
material that would often clear a room
of people.
"KILL CITY," the title tune, is a
strong rocker about life in the big city.
Ig sings of "winding up in some
bathroom, over-dosed and on your
knees." He has always had a unique
and poignant insight to the workings of
the world and its people.
"No Sense of Crime" is a beautiful
song with a harmonious acoustic guitar
line that's quite different from anything
the Ig has done before. "I Got Nothin"'
is a statement on the condition of his
life, somewhat self-explanatory. The
way Iggy says something, even
something simple, can conjure up a
multitude of meanings.
The photo of Iggy and Williamson on
the back cover shows Iggy with his hair
dyed white and as gaunt and twisted as
ever. Somehow, though, he still
manages to maintain his childlike
THIS COULD BE his first commer-
cially successful record, and some
people are worried over the possibility
of his converting into one of the money-
bent types found commonly in the
music business. Anyone who has delved
into the nature of his psyche and
grasped the ideas he puts forth under-
stands this couldn't be the case.
Unless he is so burned out that he is
mindless (as some have always
claimed), he will not be a pat financial
instrument for the fat-cat music in-
Whatever his motivation, people are
now cringing at the thought of hearing
Iggy Pop assault the airwaves
regularly again. I, for one, am ready.
On the other hand, a healthy dose of
Ig in the morning would help anyone
greet the cruel, harsh world.
Have you had your Iggy fix today?
-by Doug Heller
Warren Zevon
LATE LAST YEAR, Warren Zevon
returned home to Los Angeles
after a year's exodus in Spain and
Africa. He had with him memories of
people and incidents, and a bunch of
new songs. And he made an album, Ex-
citable Boy. Naturally, it's rich with
images of-friends, enemies, events, and
places. Who else but Zevon could fill an
LP with songs like "Roland the
Headless Thompson Gunner," an Irish
ballad that touches down in Denmark,
Biafra, Johannesburg, Lebanon, and
Berkeley. "Werewolves of London," a
nonsense-horror tale, and "Veracruz,"
a mystical step back in time?
Zevon first appeared a couple of
years ago in Jackson Browne's shadow.
Browne had just produced his second
album, and Zevon seemed destined for
at least some success. But like his first
album, Wanted Dead or Alive, the
record drew little attention.
Excitable Boy isn't likely to suffer the
same fate because it's a great record,
and great records always draw some
attention, even if they aren't commer-
cial smashes. Zevon's songs are
magnificent, perhaps because he lets
others help him write, and his band,
composed of Jackson Browne-Linda
Ronstadt veterans like Waddy Wachtel
and Danny Kortchmar on guitar,
Leland Sklar and Kenny Edwards on
bass, and Rick Marotta and Russel
Kunkel on drums, is energetic and
tight. Browne and Wachtel's production
is clear and crisp, and engineer Greg
Ladanyi's sound is flawless and im-
mediate. Stringing all this together is
Zevon's fluid piano and stunning voice,
an eerie cross between John Cale and
Bruce Springsteen.
THE ALBUM IS a breakthrough for
Zevon in the same way that Blonde On
Blonde was for Dylan, Born to Run was

for Springsteen, The Rise and Fall of
Ziggy Stardust and the Spicers From
Mars was for Bowie, All the Young
Dudes was for Mott the Hoople, and
Rocket to Russia wa§ for the Ramones.
This time Zevon's put all the right
ingredients together, and the result is'
explosive, magical rock'n'roll.
"Johnny Strikes Up the Band" is the
best tune about rock'n'roll since
Bowie's "Lady Stardust." The
inevitable fight for attention between
Zevon's voice and Wachtel's guitar ad-
ds to the song's tension; both of them
win. The boys go disco on "Nighttime in
the Switching Yard." The lyrics are
short and simple, but not inane, and the
playing sharp as could be-in all, a
great dance tune.
Zevon wrote "Roland the Headless
Thompson Gunner" with David Lindell,
a former soldier of fortune and owner of
,an Irish bar in Spain where he used to
sing. The tune, which follows a mer-'
cenary named Roland around the
world, is a disquieting blend of absurd
humor and pathos. "Veracruz,"
another song about war and change,


Kill City
Iggy Pop, James Williamson and Friends
Romp IMR 1018
dangerous, and perverse, and was
never treated mildly on the news.
RUMORS SPREAD about him faster
than the peanut-butter he used to cover
himself with when, in olden days, he
would swing into the audience on a
rope. Of course, no one wants peanut-
butter smeared on them; they'd back
off, and Iggy would splat on the floor.
There are plenty of soggy tales about
the exploits of Iggy Pop, but it is un-
deniable that he was ten years (or
more) ahead of his time. People today
are trying still (and failing) to do what
he did back in the '60s.
For anyone who has never heard of
Iggy, it would only be fair to say that his
music often defies precise analysis. The
lyrics are mixedly vulgar, seemingly
innocuous, deceptively ambiguous, and
usually hard to understand. But their
power and beauty comes from the
delivery. Only Iggy could scream
"Come on!" differently and in-
terestingly ten times in a row.
companiment perfectly suited the
feelings Iggy conveyed. It's when you
come to Ig himself, his voice and the
totality of his expressive self, that there
is nothing else to compare to.
Ig is Ig.
Detroit is probably the city that loves
(?) him best. After starting The Stooges
in intellectually effete Ann Arbor,
making three albums and touring inter-
nationally, Iggy suffered a breakdown
of sorts (musically, financially, or
other) and didn't release any records
during the last four years.
(who mixed Raw Power) unleashed.
(probably literally) Iggy into the world
again. They co-wrote The Idiot, which
was followed six months later by Lust
for Life, another collaborative effort.
Bowie's influence on Iggy's music is
disturbing-one or the other should
have total freedom, rather than trying
to adapt to each other's styles.
Now, on Kill City, a limited edition
pressed on puke green transparent
vinyl, Iggy Pop and James Williamson
(fnrme~r iiiitar nlaver for The Stooges)

Excitable Boy t
Warren Zevon
Asylum 6E-118
TIephone don 'rring/And h'sunreove1to hie
Never thought 1'd ha ve to) par so dearly
For what was a/readv mine,
or uchalong, lt time!w etnademodlIve.
Shlim olve/ando,,, lre, 33--
And abandoned love.
!A cirenall r like oa artr,.
The hurt getwor and the heart gets har der
Zevon's quite confortable make;n
fun of himself and others with nftt ,
songs like "Excitable Bo.
"Werewolves of London," jnfJ
"Lawyers, Guns, and Money."Al'
have silly, off-beat lyrics, but sem
strangely profound in their simplicftyl'
The music ranges from the bright poji
of "Excitable Boy" and "Werewolg'
of London" to the mock-seriousness'ot
"Lawyers, Guns, and Money." Mst'
importantly, Zevon and the band sefeW,
to be having great fun playing these
tunes. Too many rock'n'roll stars ha
lost their sense of humor; luckily Zey'y
still has his.
"Tenderness on the Block," co-
written with Jackson Browne, is rgt
up there with Browne's best. A love13 ,
lyrical tune, it evokes the magico1Q
growing up:
Mana, where'syourprett litle ,rjroni t,
Trying torn be/reeshe can wa/k-thats right.
She's growing up/She has a young moan waiting,
She s'gro'witp/She u" a ong an waitin,
W~ide' eve/She 'l be street wie.
To thetie/An dthe fire talk
She'llfind true love/Andtenderness on the block. -
On the inside sleeve is a photogrgh
of a plate of food prepared by Zevpngs
wife Crystal. There are potatos #1tl
parsley sprinkled on them, peas, g
nish, and bullet-shaped carrots, shaped
appropriately, because in the center;
stead of meat there is a Smith & Wess
gun. The photograph, which even ii
name, "Willy on the Plate 'Is'zf2&A4
essence-the happy gunslinger who lil
joys above all else a good home-cooKe,
-by Mike Tafiir
Michael Franks
IVI anybody. His demeanour is sog*'
keyed that he might have been lotu
the shuffle, were it not for one fact he
is easily among the most innovdtive
songwriters to emerge from (ti
musically bland seventies. iMI
although his tunes show traces of sp
fine jazz influences, he has a sy
which is uniquely his own.
Consider - his latest LP, Burchfield
Nines. No one but Michael Franks cp ld
write a love song entitled "In Seardh'f
the Perfect Shampoo" and actdly
make the concept succeed. The
pleasant inanity of the song is whqt
stands out the most, as Franks offer4o .
"suds away' all our troubles/In ,
million ph bubbles."
The music on the song, -And
throughout the LP, is a relaxed eon-
bination of light jazz and soft rock,i ;-
Burchfield Nines
Michael Frank
Warner Bros. BSK 3/67
maculately produced and completely
free of gloss. There are no background
vocalists on this album. Franks' sub-
dued vocals quite adequately bled in
with the uncomplicated but intri A'jgg
arrangements of his tunes.
SOME OF THE finest studko
musicians on the East Coast pe
featured on Burchfield Nines, inclgdipg
John Tropea, (guitar), Steve Cadd
(drums) and Ralph MaDonald (per-
cussion). They match, if not excelldtyke
artists on Franks' two previous albums,
a crew which included the likes of
Larry Carlton, David Sanborn and Jopn

Subtlety is the key to the music on
Burchfield Nines. With five musicians
in the bank, it would be easy to overplay
Franks' melodies (and subsequently
drive them into the ground). This group
shows their professionalism by t(egi-
pering their performances to a near-
perfect degree; the balance and flowf
the music is as smooth as can be founid

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