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March 04, 1977 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-03-04

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rido}r, Mdreh 4, 19 / 7


Page Seven

SIDEO E Records in Review

_ , __.

Michael Franks"Sleeping
Gypsy': Well tempered blend
By MICHAEL BAADKE tive, featuring Joao Donito's The only tune on Sleeping
CLEEPING GYPSY (Warner frenetic piano accompaniment, Gypsy that misses is "Antonio's
Bros. BS 3004) is Michael and a wide variety of percussive Song/The Rainbow," dedicated
Franks' second album to receive'{ effects by Ray Armando. to Antonio Carlos Jobim. It's
wide distribution, and on the lyrically vague compared to the
whole, it is a pleasant and well- ALTHOUGH Franks claims he rest of the album, and the mu-
constructed collection of tunes. is "Prince of cynics," some of sic is unimpressive. It's n.'t a
The material lacks some of the the wryness of The Art of Tea bad tune, but it's out tf place
consistency an4 strength of his is toned down on the new LP. here.
excellent last record, The Art of Yet he still comes up with a bit- THROUGHOUT most f the
Tea but none of the songs on
Sleeping Gypsy are bad; one or ing line like "I hear from my LP, the music is top-notch. It's
two just seem out of place. ex-/On the back of my checks," extremely listenable and relax-
Franks is best known for and in eleven words he's sliced' ing, and each of Franks' side-
"Popsicle Toes," his single last a woman to ribbons. Franks men show a flair for what they
year from the previous album. possesses a power of word usage do. The band is composed of
His music is a subtle blend of' which sets him above many oth- very respected jazz studio mu-
well-tempered jazz and soft er songwriters; he can express sicians; Larry Carlton, Wilton
rock, coupled with imaginative in jut a few lines what otners Felder and Joe Sample from the
and often humorous lyrics. might write in a whole song. Jazz Crusaders, and drummer
Franks makes extensive use of Many of Franks' songs are ex- John Guerin of the L. A. Ex-
the metaphor in his songs, pro- aminations of love with a press. Michael Brecker and Da-
viding a welcome relief from tongue-in-cheek irony. '"Chain vid Sanborn, both fine saxo-
the blandness that pervades Reaction" is a tune loaded with phone players, also lend their
much of contemporary music. incongruent descriptions of love, talents on this album.
This lyrical ingenuity is ex- leading the listener to believe There is a light feel to Sleep-
hibited throughout Sleeping Gyp- that love really is an incompre- ing -Gypsy which makes it an
sy in songs like "Don't Be Blue" hensible mess. "In The Eye of;I enjoyable, album, free from
and "B'wana - He No Home." the Storm" adds this thought: complexities. Michael Franks
The latter is easily the most "It just ain't like Cole Porter' utilizes an original style of mu-
solid cut on the album, as It's just all too short order."' sical expression, a quality which
Franks relates the attempts of One suspects that the problem is increasingly hard to find, ald,
an unsuccessful recluse to re- with "short-order love" is that seems destined to grow, cick-
tain his privacy. The music on you can't send it back t, the as word of his talent spreads, he
this tune is particularly inven- kitchen. , ly in popularity.

Jinis a'1it

Ian explores romance

Michael Franks

Santana gives fstivalnf snnd

J ANIS IAN is slowly- en
as a major spokesper
cause of romance in con
rary music. On her eig
mum, Miracle Row (Co
PC 34440), her songs sh
both the beautiful and the
sides of love. She's also
s o m e experimentation
mood changes, showing;
and welcome versatility
Breaking away s o m e
from the style of her pr
LP, Aftertones, Janis uti
wider variety of musical
on Miracle Row: for the
part the tunes are mores
than her earlier songs, 'al
there are a few veryr
ballads on the album. T
terchanging of musical
creates a pleasant h
which complements Ian's
remarkably well.
One of the more mellow
on the LP, "Candlelight,
deeply p e r s o n a I song
deals with romantic insec'
This is the type of song l
forms best; her voice pe
reflects the mood of the
softly .interpreting each1

son for
hth al-

with beautiful precision. Her ac-;
companiment on piano also fits
comfortably, providing a subtle
emphasis to the urgency of the
song's message.

lumbia THE"FIRSTmTWO songs on
owcase side one stand out as the strong-
e bitter est tunes on the album. "Party
doing Lights" is a devastating journey
w i t h through an'evening party, which
a new ends with the hostess terribly
in her disoriented, trying desperately
to regain some sense of nor-
w h a t mality. As is the case through-
revious out the album, vocal arrange-,
lizes a ments on this song are superb.
' styles The eerie nonchalance Ian dis-
e most plays brings to mind the chilling
rocking vocals on an earlier record; The
though Secret Life pf J. Eddy Fink.
mellow "I Want To Make You Love
'his in- Me" is another paean to ro-
forms mance, but here Jan sings with
>aIance a power and exhuberance which'
songs fits the tune well. The vocal har-
monies supplied by Claire Bay
tunes add to the song's strength, her
is a v o i c e working perfectly with
which. Ian's.,
urities. Ian's most definite turn to-
an per- ward rock is the tune "Let Me:
rfectly Be Lonely,", which opens side'
lyrics, two. A very strong percussion
phrase accompaniment pounds through-1

out the song, and a strong elec- W t W E NWEN1
tric guitar dominates much of
the song's instrumental break. By RIC SHAIIIN Which brings us to the band's
Once again, the words fit the 0N OCCASION, Santana has namesake. Devadip Carlos San-
music, with Janis expressing' been'CCSedN bySomeao tanaes beailuarork,
her independence in lines like: been accused by some of tana does beautiful guitar'work,
constantly sounding the same, ranging from muted sad tones,
Ooo, let me be lonely from song to song. Those critics to songs that use classical gui-
I'd rather be by myself will not be satisfied with his tar work, to the wailing riffs
than with you acting holy latest, Festival (Columbia - which have made him famous.
I want to be with the one 34423). Just about everyone else The intensity of his various solos
I want to be will be, though; it is not just is the artist's personal touch.
or else I want to be free music, it is reproduced emotion. Santana's guitar work also
With a good backup crew, the helps to set the tone for each
THE MOST evident changes .album comes alive at various song. There are some songs that
on Miracle Row are 'the instru-| points, sounding much like a the guitar leads, taking the mu-
mental backing and Ian's vo- "festival". These tracks contain sic to crescendoes which climax
calization. Both are less re-= the best of both worlds: the un- in beautiful twists back to tht
served, as , though Ian is at- tamed fury and intensity of San- song's pattern. Other tracks
tempting to break free of the tanas' fusion, coupled with beau-! have Santana moving in, out,
"mellow" stereotype she has tiful instrumentation and care- and through the body of the mu-
bee nassociated with. The lush fully planned smoothness and so- sic. These add great contracts,
orchestral arrangements found phistication. The music has. showing the virtuosity of the
on her last few albums have more Latino overtones than performer.

rP'W V %0V IVAV roffN vi w UN

now been virtually abandoned,I
and in their stead the back-upi
band comes through much more
powerfully than it has before.
These musicians' talent is quite
evident when contrasting their
work on Miracle Row with the
last LP. It's a pleasing change,
one that delights rather than'

many of the earlier albums, butI
this only serves to enhance them
general flavor of the work. The
band sounds as though it got to-,
gether just to play for fun, not;
cut an album, and this sponta-
neity is the record's strong

startles, and it brings a
pect of good things to co


Gato be Caliente!':
Lukewarm, but not too hot

pros- THREE MAJOR percussion-
ists - Gaylord Birch, Chepito
Areas, and Raul Rakow - add
to and fortify the great tradi-{
tion that Santana has in this de-
partment; they all complement
each other, while maintaining,
both the spontaneity and;
smoothness needed for this type
of music.

Three singles have hit the ra-
dio (not that 'that means any-
thing): "Let the Children Play",
"Give Me Love", and "Let the
Music Set You Free". The only
problem with any of them is
that "Give Me. Love" sounds a
lot like Earth, Wind, and Fire's
"That's the Way of the World".
But even that isn't a real prob-
This album was dedicated to
Stevie Wonder. Bob Dylan, and
Muhammad Ali. The music in-
cludes the smoothness of Won-
der, the emotion of Dylan, rnd
the punch of Ali. If Festival is
any forecast, then this will be
a great year for music.


By LEE DONALDSON impulsive, perhaps mellower.I
C ATO BARBIERI is so easily The album's title is a contradic-
identified with, the south of tion since- it is closer to being
Mexico and the "nuevo" trend 'cool' than 'hot'. Barbieri plays
of jazz, that it is easy to dis- against a backdrop of soft'
regard the truly melodic quali- flames, at most.
ties of the man's playing.
Listening to Barbieri's tenor THE POPULAR cut, "I Want
sax was always like hearing You," is a graceful adaptation
that distant cry from the jungle-' of Marvin Gaye's sultry num-
city, lightly coated with desper- ber. "Los Desperados" and'
ate melancholy. Earlier albums "Europa" are the most active;
such as El Gato, Chapters, and songs on the album, and even
the soundtrack of Last Tango in they are smoothed over with a !
Paris, reflect the straining of heavy bass in the background.
tone, coupled with the tinge of "Don't Cry Rochelle" is a sooth-'
madness. that has become his ing love ballad that captures ro-
trademark, mantic images without forcing
His latest album, Caliente! the thought.
A&M-SP-4597), meaning hot or Musicians like David Spinoz-
fiery in Spanish marks the most za 61 guitar and Ralph Mac-
notable change in approach for Donald on percussion come in
Barbieri. The Gato here is less carefully and add gentleness to

Barbieri's results. Herb Alpert's
influence as producer of this al-
bum seems minimal, since'there
are few traces of any heavy
Despite the orchestra's mel-
lowness, Gato's tenor is often!
temporarily drowned in it before!
he finally emerges like an an-
gry punk with a message. "Be-
hind the Rain" rises and falls
carelessly and never allows the'
saxophone to'- develop., "Adios}
Part II" is yet anoth. r song i
that uromises more than it even-!
tually delivers.!
Caliente, although impressive,
even moving, never attains
eno'wh direction and thus seems
aimless and unsupported. The
material is simply not solid!
enough to support an eAtire al-

'Wiener Blut':

O'peratic follies

By STEPHEN PICKOVER but it dances." And so does the
j VUROPE was in a mess after operetta.
the Napoleonic Wars. It was I Angel's new recording of
the Vienna Congress of 1914-1915, Wiener Blut (SBLX-3831), under
headed by Metternich, which the baton of Willi Boskovsky
took upon itself the task of re- conducting the Philharmonia
apportioning the continent. Hungarica, gives Strauss' whirl-
The event itself doesn't seem ing waltzes, tempestuous polkas1
to inspire much of an opera plot, and gallant gavottes an energy$
yet this reallocation is the scene and exuberance that cnnot be
of Wiener, Blut, Johann Strauss' surpassed. The many arias,
boisterous operetta. Why choose reminiscent of Offenbach, sweep
this setting? The reason, as us off our feet with their wild
Charles Joseph, Prince du Ligne tempi.
icily stated, is that "The Con-I

etta was not arranged by' similarities with Strauss' pre-
Strauss, but by Adolf Muller, vious masterpiece, Die Fleder-
son of a Hungarian composer. maus. Both include personality
When Franz Joseph requested mix-ups, though Wiener Blut's
an opera of Strauss in 1899, plot. is perhaps more intricate
Strauss was already 74 years; and definitely more confusing.
, Those characters who think they
old, and destined to die that know the real identities of oth-
year. Too tired to work on the ers are themselves masquerad-
opera, Strauss chose music from ing. And while in Fledermaus,
his earlier years, including the the cause of all the evils and
waltz Wiener Blut, from which troubles is champagne, Strauss'
the operetta takes its name. He later work blames them on Vi-
left the arranging of libretto and ennese blood.
score to Muller, a task which' On the Angel recording, the
was performed posthumously. three lovely sopranos of Anne-
The show itself contains many liese Rothenberger, Renate

Holm and Gabriele Fuchs em-
bellish this silly plot with a clear
and lilting style. Rothenberger's
and Holm's have a soft, mellow
quality about them, while Fuchs
.-playing Pepi, a character akin
to Adele in Fledermaus, gives
us a playful coquettish air.
The refined and mature ten-
ors of Nicolai Gedda and Heinz
Zednik top off a memorable re-
cording. All the characters were
established vocally rather than
dramatically, creating a feeling
in the listener of actual per-
formance quality -by their in-
tonation and delightful nuances.


gress of Vienna does not walk,'


Ramones diversif' on new [P

Sea Level shows Allman influence

THE RAMONES do not seem'
to be one of the world's most
likable bands. They wear leath-
er jackets and sneer at you from
their album covers. Their favo-
rite song themes are sex, vio-
lence, drugs, and insanity, and
their music is everything "so-
phistcated ock" is not sup-
posed to be-it sounds like a
dense battery of fifteen guitar-
ists roaring out to get you.
Even so their first album,
Ramnones, sold well and was
generally critically acclaimed.
Althooigh all the sons-s do tend

By RIC SHAHIN sound. The album as a whole ONE TRACK in particular is'
unfortunately,, this often leads' "Pinhead." The vocals on "Com- search for conformity. Opening :IHE ALLMAN Brothers Band ,has the trademarks of smooth iteresting, because it is a re-
people to conclude that the mando" s e e m greatly influ- with some catchy guitar and sound did not die with Duane I instrumenta'hsm, m x ed with arrangement of'the old Simon1
worswretushdmb.Inacualcacec"bhRgeguukiiSparr aftrandt uf da i lwgood ,v o c a I harmonies. Coin-I & Garfunkel hit, "Scarbrough
or theareustdae quite mactual-ena"ditiongther bckinSe drum work, "Now I Wanna Be hern Greg der whats - bined, these make for excellent' Fair." It is a pretty qiuet, well
ous; the Ramones deal with the mentation on "Oh Oh I Love Her a Good Boy' is a dynamic cry name. But it has been revital- opportunities to switch tempos, thought-out piece. The arrange-
ills of our society from a per- So" sounds like organ and per- 'f 0 r independence. Similarly, ized, with great results, by a or to'gradually bring up all in- ment lends t an air of lounge'
spective unique to rock. By ap- cussion, quite a break from the "Gimme Gimme Shock Treat- band called Sea Level, on their struments for crescendoes at music, complete with tinkling
pearing to be -four perfectly aw- usual guitar-bass-drums sound.- mnt," a satiric look at mental debut album of the same name strategic .moments. piano and q u i e t, yet flashy,
ful people, the Ramones are in Thus, the musical and vocal l h . (Capricorn-CP 0178). The a I b U m has the usual ed
an ideal position to analyze regidity of the first record has lth rehabilitation, sulti While the album lacks the liv Southern rock stereotype, to be There has to be a mention of
aspects of our decadent culture been replaced by a flexibility mately another statement of in- ing virtuosity of the early All- sure. There are instrumentals the horn section, which performs
in their songs. that greatly adds to the ultimate dependence. man Brothers Band, it contains as well as lyricized tracks. The on and fills out some tracks.
success of R a m o n e s Leave Two numbers extoll the joys the best facets of the latter I strong and quick piano is in This includes Rudolph Carter,
AND NOW, they have a new Home. of sex. "Buzy is a 'Headbanger" I stages. The group is composed evidence, as well as the recog- Charles Fairley, Earl Ford, Leo
album, Ramones Leave Home Three songs refer to our vio- and "Swallow, My Pride" are of Jai J oh a n n y Johanson nizable drumming of Jaimoe at LaBranche, and D o n a i d Mc-
(Sire SA 7528). Like its prede- lent society. "Clad to See You both, happy, optimistic tunes, (Jaimoe), Chuck Leavell, Lamar various points. The bass work Clire. The album was recorded
, Go" and "You $hould Never wivth the latter containing an Williams, and Jimmy Nails. Th'is good, complementing and ac- at Maron, so it seems that these
-essor, there are f o u r t e e n o" a Yo un Nv hr" wmihthe na ecn ornci 'a ,m;Wllia ms ,n im a, centing the keyboards. Nails musicians are session people.

the ABB, and is new, not just
re-released hash of old Allmian
Brothers tunes. For you non-
Allman Brothers freaks; find
someone who has the album,
listen to it, and then buy' it. It's
worth the cash, and Sea Level
deserves some recognition fcwr a
great album.

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