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September 29, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-09-29

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 29, 1977-Page 5

Elliott rambles at the Ark

Few performers would dare to spend
most of a concert talking and kidding
with the audience, but Ramblin' Jack
Elliott did just that Tuesday night at the
Ark coffee house. Although it sounds
bizarre, it turned out to be a warm and
uniquely entertaining evening.
In the three hours he was on stage,
Elliott played no more than, fifteen
songs, but few if any people in the
audience felt cheated. Elliott is the
most relaxed folk singer we've ever
seen, and his state of mind transferred
into the crowd, making them feel unin-
hibited and happy. When "Stumblin'''
Jack Elliott dragged his casted leg up
front for the first time, he said, "This is
going to be a two person show - Elliott
and Crutch. (I adore violence.)"
"Do you know Careless Love?",
someone in the audience asked. Elliott
replied, "I sure do, but I hate it," and
he proceeded to ponder why anyone
would like the song. He often engaged
in one-to-one dialogues like this with
members of the audience. Another per-

Rambun'Jack Elliott

Meirelles warms crowd

Maria Meirelles, pianist
Beethoven: 32 sonatas. part VI
Rackham Auditorium
Sonata no. 9in E, op.14 no. I
Sonata no. 7 in D,xop. 10 no. 3
Sonata no.25 in G, op. 79
Sonata no. 3 in C, op. 2 no. 3
Something very good has been hap-
pening in Rackham auditorium during
the last four weeks, and Tuesday night
proved no exception. Again Maria
Meirelles gave a wonderful perform-
ance, this time presenting the sixth por-
tion of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas.
The word must be getting around, be-
cause the audiences seem to be getting
larger with each performance.? In addi-
tion, those present are taking this gifted
young artist very seriously while enjoy-
ing themselves.
The most important thing Meirelles
has shown us is her ability to perform
consistently, and she has brought each
sonata to the same level of perfection.
Consistency is absolutely necessary for
a concert artist, and with her ability,
Meirelles appears to have a brilliant ca-
reer ahead of her.

Meirelles opened the program with
Sonata Op. 14, no. 1, in E. The Allegro
was done well, with good dynamics and
tempo; in the beginning, however, even
though all the notes were heard, the
sound got a bit mushy. The Allegretto is
fairly simple, with many blocked chor-
ds and was played with an exceptional-
ly good tempo. In the Rondo Meirelles
gained a little more control, and her ar-
peggios and runs were very solid.
The Sonata in D, op. 10, no. 3, was per-
formed next. The presto was very
smooth with firm ornamentation and no
lost notes. The Largo is an experiment
by Beethoven in tension and release
and is very emotional, as was
Meirelles' interpretation. She used a
full, warm tone to give a solid feeling to
the Menuetto, and fine phrasing and
good dynamics characterized the Ron-
do, along with precise runs and ar-
Meirelles.played the Sonata op. 79, in
G as well as ever I have heard it. She
began the Presto aggressively and
played the movement with much au-
thority. The texture remained smooth
even through the hand crossings, and
everything seemed in place. The An-
dante had an exceptional tone, and good
dynamics contributed to the interpreta-

tion. The Vivace felt very solid and was
clear and clean, inspite of all the notes.
The Sonata in C, op. 2, no. 3, was out-
standing, and Meirelles was at her best,
full of emotion and communicating
easily and well with her audience. The
Allegro was very precise, with the ele-
ments that make this movement, the
octaves, scalestand arpeggios all fall-
ing exactly in tempo. The contrasts in
the Adagio were brought out nicely; the
brooding, disconsolate, booming bass
opposite the floating, ethereal, right
hand eight note figures. The artist
played with a great pianissimo, and the
notes sang beautifully of both her
emotions and Beethoven's. Meirelles
used consistent dynamics throughout
the Scherzo and was very much in com-
mand. At the end, her trills were excell-
ently executed and fit into the rest of
the movement well.
After bowitg three times to a rousing
ovation, Meirelles played an encore.
Her rhythms in the Folk Song by Heitor
Villa-Lobos, were striking with skillful
attacks on the chords. After another
spirited ovation, she left the stage.
The final two recitals will be on Octo-
ber 1 and 4, at 8:00 p.m. in Rackham.
Admission is complementary.

son asked Elliott to play Woody Guth-
rie's Tom Joad. He answered, "It's too
good. Most people don't deserve to hear
Elliott's singing voice is rough, and
he mostly sings slowly, giving his songs
a touch of earthiness and sincerity.
Anytime was moving along just fine
when suddenly he stopped singing to
ask, "Where's my Coca-cola?"
Someone promptly got him one, but
that didn't satisfy him. He asked for
something to drink with it, and soon
enough, a cup of whiskey was being
passed up toward him. He never
bothered to finish the song, but nobody
seemed to mind.
Several cokes and cups of whiskey
later, Elliott said, "I am not a drinking
person. I only drink on special occa-
sions and at celebrations like tonight."
Few believed him, but the evening was
quite festive indeed. Elliott was ob-
viously having as good a time as the.
audience. From poking fun at the Daily
photographer and his charming vocal
imitations of old friends to the count-
less jokes and tales he recounted,
Elliott seemed to be thoroughly enjoy-
ing himself.
Although he didn't play many songs,
the ones he sang didn't get lost in the
surrounding abundance of talk. The tra-
ditional In the Shade of the Old Apple
Tree was funny enough to have most of
the crowd laughing and giggling. In the
case of Yankee Clipper, the talking was
definitely subservient to the singing;
Elliott stopped the song in the middle,
told a story, and then finished the song.
His guitar-playing and vocal intensity
were particularly impressive on Rock
Island Line.
All evening, Elliott complained that
his Gibson guitar was too new to play
well. "It's too dangerous to travel with
a Martin," he confided. "Give the air-
lines your guitar and you may never see
it again Elliott usually enjoys
travelling by train On the trip from
Chicago to Ann Arbor the train passed
through Kalamazoo, where Gibson
guitars are madeHe held hisguitar up-
,to the window and said "Look baby,
here's your birthplace"
Since Elliot spent many years
Jean Renoir's 1937
Grand Illusion
The great humanist of French
cinema directs what many con-
sider the most moving film about
war ever made. Two pairs of men,
from opposite sides, become
friends. The pair from the aristo-
cracy realize their way of life is
coming to an end in World War I.
Friday: Altman's IMAGES
Cinema Guild
TONIGHT at 7 & 9:05

following Woody Guthrie around, he is
often compared to him. In an evening,
Elliott typically plays several of Guth-
rie's songs; Tuesday evening was no
exception. Pretty Boy Floyd had been
requested the night before. "Here it is
- sorry to keep you waiting," he said.
Elliot also sang two talking blues tunes.
Talking Columbia, and a number about
"going for a mountain drive in a Model
T." After seeing The Grapes of Wrath,
the film based on John Steinbeck's
book, Guthrie wrote Tom Joad. Stein-
beck later commented that in fourteen
verses Guthrie said it better than did
his 550-page book. Later in the evening
Elliot honored the request and sang
Tom Joad.
Those who have come into folk music
through Bob Dylan might think that
Elliott has been greatly influenced by
Dylan's unusual singing style. In fact,
just the opposite. Since Dylan was also
attracted to Guthrie, Elliott was an im-
portant .early influence on Dylan.
Elliott performed Dylan's Don't Think
Twice, It's All Right with an arrange-
ment reminiscent of Peter Paul and

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Mary, but with a vocal which sounded
very much like Dylan himself. When he
sang the Grateful Dead's Friend of the
Devil, he sounded much like Dylan
might, had he been singing this song.
Last weekend, Michael Cooney
described Elliott as "a rumor in his own
time." Perhaps this is true; his per-
formance Tuesday night had to be seen.
Ramblin' Jack sums up the experience
best: "This has been one of the nicest
evenings as far lack as I 'can remem-
ber - which is about two and a half
months ago."


Pryor opu;
Greased Lightning (at the State) is a
charming and satisfying film that rep-
resents the triumph of a director over
his budget. The movie, though osten-
sibly classified in the B-movie genre, is
markedly superior to the rank-and-file
petty films that characterize not only
this genre (even though B-films get bet-
ter every year), but also in particular
the typical blaxploitation film which is
crass and venal. Greased Lightning
substitutes warmth for vulgarity and
talent wit for avalanches of facetious
The essential difference between
Greased Lightning, and say, Smokey
and the Bandit, is the attitude of the
film towards its characters. Richard
Pryor as Wendell Scott is infinitely
more likable and human than the slick
and phony bandit as portrayed by Burt
Reynolds. Smokey and the Bandit con-
centrates on the twisted metal aes-
thetics of endless car crashes to the
point of banality, while Greased Light-
ning focuses on one man's character
and the interesting personal experi-
ences he encounters pursuing his
career. However, any corn that could
have developed in this plot is alleviated
by the film's unpretentious, easygoing
style that refuses to be pretentious or

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The film contains a rapidly-flowing
narrative punctuated by huge tran-
sitional jumps - at one point, some
twenty years are bridged by a simple
cut. Although songs are used sporadi-
cally to identify periods of time and set-
ting, the plot retains its unity largely
through these somewhat unorthodox
The triumphant ending of the film is
predictable (both factually and
stylistically), but Pryor's fine acting
sets up so strong an empathy and iden-
tification that the audience wants to
have all of Scott's (and therefore their
own) expectations fulfilled. Dreams
that come true are the basic ingredient
of Greased Lightning and, to the view-
er, actual suspense would have been
highly unwelcome.
The director, Michael Schultz, has
matured considerably in style with this
film. Seeing his films from an auteurist
point of view suggests that he has elec-
Welcome Students
E. LIBERTY-668-9329
E. UNIVERSITY-662-0354

ted himself a cinematic spokesman of
blacks and their social existence.
Cooley High, an early Schultz film, was
an effusive, poignant mixture of pover-
ty and hope. In the film, Schultz ob-
tained a highly-textured and visually
congested view of the slums of Chicago.
Schultz's next film, Car Wash, cele-
brated the riotous, seedy gaiety of
lower class life. Although the comeay
tended to be intensely bizarre and the
film lacked any particular thematic di-
rection, Car Wash was an optimistic
film. With Greased Lightning, however,
Schultz's weak narrative style has
strengthened, and his bitterness to-
wards society has mellowed. The film
portrays and defines victory instead of
simply hinting at it (as in Cooley High),
which makes Greased Lightning a
more fulfilling experience.
Now Open at 10 a.m.
at the UNION


SEPT. 29




Division of Student Affairs, Office of Campus Life and
"The Ramblin' Kinda Guy"
with very special guest
Formerly of the LOVIN' SPOONFUL
Welcome Back Kotter
Homecoming" Show
CAT Af'T O _.

The University of Michigan
H. ROBERT REYNO1.DS, Conductor

1 1 v .

I &AIl I IIL'I...1


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