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December 08, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-12-08

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Arts & Entertainm ent Wednesday, December 8, 1976 Page Five
f

Ton Bird: Musical views ofAfrica
By MIKE TAYLOR for good, Bird agreed that its tune is not
......)NY BIRD, an exceedingly talented unlike some of Dylan's best ballads.
musician from Central Africa, was in On his album, "Outeniqua" is a majestic
t.i town Monday afternoon - courtesy of his celebration of Africa's natural beauty,'filly
record label, Columbia. Accompanied only ed out with a lush background choir. Sing-
'4._V' by his own acoustic guitar, he sang a few ing the song solo, Bird gives it a much
songs from his debut album, Tony Bird more emotional treatment, grimacing of-
~° .. (Columbia PC 34324), on WCBN-FM. After- ten during the performance. He character-
~ .'wards, he spoke with the Daily. ized the tune as "African country music"
Bird's album is a fine one. A true origi- BIRD SAID he likes playing with a band,
nal in every way, his voice is high and "but it's got to be a good one". Because
: s"Aricanea ao heroni and his music has a vast array of "fiashv wayofterwnn play-
influences, from the blues to folk to African ing their instruments", he would like to
music. His songs are filled with superb play with some African friends of his on his
imagery; he writes about his home from next album. Columbia had hired most of
various points of view, including nature, the musicians for this one.
human relatio'nships, and political situa- Although he feels his first is a good al
tions. bum, Bird thinks it could have been much
Dedicating it to Ann Arbor, Bird who is better had Columbia allowed him a freer
white) sang "Song of the Long . Grass". hand in its nroduction. He would have pre
Ostensibly about nature's cycles, it actual- ferred a more acoustic sound, with his
ly refers to the prospect of a revolution voice and gitar closer up front. -
of liberation in apartheid South Africa. "MY VOICE needs a lot of space," he
said. "You lose the effect when there's so
HE ALSO performed "Athlone Incident", nnch going on."
a narrative more obvious in its political He claimed Dylan's producer, Don De
intent. It is based on truth - a hitch-hiking Zi+o had wanted to remix the 'album, but
Bird is dropped off in Athlone, a black Col'vrmia wouldn't let him. Fortunately
g. town just outside of Cape Town, and fears nird fo fle Columbia understands him bet-
' for his life: ter now, so he has high hones for his sec-
"In a sea of downtown faces/ Isuffered and alhinm. which he thinks shonld he re
all their scorn "' rdd and released within a few months
Their anger came from places/ That "T1- ong sare there", but the recording
most whites have never known i, h- wo"ld like to do in the U. S. (Tony
And I staggered on through jungles/ Of ird u's recorded in Eneland), won't be-
sullen hissing snakes gC ""t i his nromotional tour ends,
And I cursed the law that breeds/ A man IN TIE early stages of his career, Bird
of bitter hate'' hitci-hiked from one folk spot to another
On the album, the backing for this so.ig i nRhod-sia and South Africa, playing al
is reminiscent of JoniMitchell's most re- most exclusively to all-white audiences
cent outings, and the 'voice gets some- ' This bothered him, but he had to accent
f' what lost in the clutter. Done live, however, work wherever he could find it. As the 'al
Bird's voice became very intense, and the hlii has been released in South Africa,
song became much more emotional. h/'' worried that he might not be allowed
EXPLAINING the song, Bird said he is back, something that he 'nevertheless ac-
,. { bothered by the "white complacency" he cents as possibly inevitable.
sees in South Africa, "a police state". De to scheduling problems, Bird's only
.'The limiting of the black man's free- onnortunity to play in Ann Arbor this first
dom is the limiting of the white man's be- time around was on the radio show. He
/:caus contact between them is so limited," hones, however, to come back in a few
M1 he explained. "Neither side gets a good months to play the Ark.
deal." Bird has more than enough talent to
Daily Photo by BRAD BENJAMIN After singing "Wayward Daughters", a make it, his second album should be a
beautiful song about the gap between par- treat, and his next visit to Ann Arbor will
Tony Bird
ents and their children as they leave home be an event.
NVEW LP aKES ON 1OODIE R STYLE: .

The cast of "How To Succeed
night. The above scene is a coff
rj1HE 12TH ANNUAL Ann Ar-
bor Community "Mes-
siah" Sing - yes folks, that's
tlhe totally unrehearsed, orches-
tra - accompanied perform-
ance of Handel's oratorio for all
you sad birds who missed last
weekend's Choral Union per-
formance - will -be held next
Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2:30 p.m. in
the First Unitarian Church at
the corner of Washtenaw and
Berkshire. If you're interested,
you're on. Just try to stay in
the right octave.
AND IF YOU haven't had
enough warbling yet, Can-
terbury House is holding audi-
tions beginning next Monday
for a February performance of
Hair. Auditions are from 7-t
p.m., and all you need is the
will to sing, dance, act, and
(presumably) grow your hair.
DANCE CAMPANY
Presents
Elzbt W eil$rmann's
THE PLANETS
by Gustave Hoist
Gay Delanghe's
LA CREATION O MONDE
by Darius Milhoud
POWER CENTER FOR
THE PERFORMING ARTS
DECEMBER 10, 11, 12.
Performances December 10,
1 1, at 8:00 P.M.
December 12 at 3:00

Dalv Photo b' BRAD BENJAMIN
in Business Without Really Trying" held dress rehearsal last
ee break.

-

MINI-COURSE
The University of Michigan will offer a Mini-
Course, No. 410, entitled "Learn to Read"
which is organized by Dr. John Hagen. The
class will meet Fridays at 9-10 a.m. between
January 21 and April 8. Registration for the
course is through Drop-Add. For permission to
register or more information contact Sharon
Carlson at 341 Victor Vaughn or call 763-
11227.

Joni Mitchell departs on

'Hejira'

By KURT HARJU
FROM HER EARLIEST songs,1
Joni Mitchell has display-
ed an extraordinary capacity
for understanding the role
change. plays in people's lives.
On her. newest album, Hejira
(Asylum 7E-1087)., she has put
into words the distance and:
closeness she feels towards
others and herself as a result
of a demanding wanderlust.
As dramatic a departure from
her previous three albums as
Blue was to her .'first three,1
Hejira (which means Moham-'
med's flight from Mecca and
symbolizes other, similar es-
capes) is Mitchell's attempt to
come to terms with her erratic
ways of discovering and aban-
doning lovers while constantly;
moving from place to place.
But now, at least, it's she who
makes the decision to leave.
On this new work, Joni has
transcended the jazz-rock influ-
ences of Court and Spark and
the L. A. Express (and the folk:
nature of her music before
then) in favor of a style that
is completely of her own mak-
ing. Her stint with Dylan's
Rolling Tunder Revue last year
must have had an impact, for:
she is asserting herself more
as an individual performer
again with less reliance on a
group sound.
FEW SONGS here have more
than three musicians perform-
ing them and Joni (for the mo-
ment) has all but given up
playing the piano. It makes
each tune less distinct from the
others than in the past but hat's
part of her plan. The* album
is basically of a series of
moody ballads - some fast
and some slow - that gradual-
ly build in feeling and mean-
ing so, by the end, the listener
has gone through one encom-
passing experience rather than
nine separate ones.
She sets the tone of the LP
with the assertion, on the op-
ening "Coyote," that she's "a

prisoner of the white lines on,
the freeway" and sums it up!
on the closing number by speak-t
ing of 'the refuge of the roads."
In between, she compares her'
lost but free coul with Amelia
Earhart's, recounts a disillu-
sioning encounter with bluest
great W. C. Handy and analyz-
es a wide variety of different'
relationships.N
But, make no mistakes about
it, she has learned (and is nowt
presenting) her lessons welllt
enough to realize that going in
a new direction doesn't always
turn out for the better. Yet, shet
refuses to be held back by the
pain she might have to face lat-
er on. In the title song, she
notes:t
I'm so glad to be on my
own . . .
I know-- no one's going
To show me everything
We all come and go un-
known.
IT'S A WRY, almost cynical,
outlook for this bright-eyed
dreamer from Canada to have
but Mitchell has come to adjust
to and be happy with the fact
of being alone. In the powerful
"Song for Sharon," she admits
Love's a repetitious danger
You'd think I'd be accus-
tomed to
Well, I do accept the changes
Have a flair for
artistic writing?
If you are ire st
ed in reviewi-"a
poetry. and music
or writing feature
stories abo u t the
drama, dance. film
arts: Contact Arts
Editor, c'o The
.Michiga~n Dally..

At least better than I used
to do
but also willingly confesses that
all she really wants in her ex-2
tensive travelling "is to find
another lover!'
Every piece' has its own4
chemistry working for it while1
sharing an interrelated common:
ground of images and themes;
with the other eight. Complex'
and flowing, they show an re-
turning emphasis on the acous-
tic guitar and her innovative1
vocals. She keeps the jazz and
rock passages to a minimum in}
order to heighten their effect
when she does use them.
The performances and pro-
duction are superlative evenf
by the standards set by her re-
cent releases. From 'Neil
A V4 IM&A 0-5iff
~t

Youngs' haunting harmonica on
"Furry Sings The Blues" and
Larry Carlton's intricate elec-
tric guitar riffs, to her experi-
ment with three different types
of bass playing (the most not-
able being Jaco Pastorius' con-
tribution on "Refuge Of the
Roads"), it's one musical treat
after another. Likewise, the
album's artwork is a directa
outgrowth of the material con-
tained within.
During her February concert
* ---'-
I
Find What You're
Looking For in
The Classifieds

11

,t Hill Auditorium, Mitchell'
sang a new song called "Don
Juan's Reckless Daughter." In
it, she identified as she does
more fully on this LP, with
being a restless lover 'who is
following "a path with a heart."
It is often a lonely way but, as
she has shown once more, it is
sometimes the truest one to
take.

t
t
}
k
I
r

ANN AIUCCA I[M C- C r
TON IGHT
THE MAGIC FLUTE
(Ingmar Bergman, 1975) AUD. A
Never before has a work written for the stage,
especially an o p e r a, been transferred to the
screen with such charm and wit. Bergman seems
to have found an ideal collaborator in Mozart.
Whether you are an opera buff or have never seen
one before, you are guaranteed to be charmed and
delighted. Special Award, National Society of Film
Critics. ". . . joyful, imaginative screen experience
Enchanting musically and visually."-Cue
Magazine. "An absolutely dazzling, triumphantr
film."-New York Times. Josef Kostlinger, Irma
Urilla, Hakan Hagegard. Swedish with subtitles.
$1.25 7 & 9:15
Tomorrow: DAY FOR NIGHT
A-
AN All-TIME FIRST! UAC Soph Show

121 s uivrsty7th W EEK !
SHOWS TODAY AT
1-3-5-7-9 OPEN 12:45
All Seats $1.25 till 5:00

UAC in Association with CINEMA 11, ANN
-ARBOR FILM CO-OP, MSA and THE U of M
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT presents
AVANT-GARDE FILM
LECTURE SERIES
P. ADAMS SITNEY, prominent theoretician of
avant-garde films will screen Stan Brakhage's
"SINCERITY" and "THE ANIMALS OF EDEN
AND AFTER" and lecture on "Autobiography
Essence of Cinema: Recent Trends in Avant-
Garde Film," TONIGHT at 7:00 p.m. in NAT.
SCI. AUD.

I

i

presents

-M

ADMISSION FREE

r

I

N

11

Succeed
I Blust! ss
WilwzU
Braty
gkyrng

t.

d

University Showcase
Production
Sir George Etherege's
comedy
TLL" AAAkM

I.

Imr AI

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