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January 21, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-01-21

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* THE MICHIGAN DAILY
music in review Wednesday, January 21, 1976 Page ive

Janis Ian's

'Aftertones

makes soulful

McCann concert
Tonight at the Union
JAZZ pianist-vocalist Les McCann will appear in concert to-
lnght at the Michigan Union Ballroom. McCann, along with

poetry

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MICHAEL BAADKE "rock poets," a group which
JANIS IAN'S newest alburr might include such notables as!
Aftertones (Columbia PC Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and
33919), follows much the same Paul Simon. The stylization of
style as her two previous Co- her songs has also followed a
lumbia LP's, Stars and Be- path of evolution similar to that
tween the Lines. Nevertheless, of Simon's; her folk sound of
Janis has been making critical the late sixties has been refin-I
improvements with each new ed into a mellower, smooth-I
album, and Aftertones comes rolling brand of rock character-;
off as a highly-polished product, ized by more orchestration and
both creative and mellow. less emphasis on acoustic guitar
The ten songs on Aftertones and piano.
showcase Janis' clear and con-
trolled vocals. On each tune her IT SEEMS likely that After-
vocal expression perfectly tones will mirror the success of;
matches her lyrical intent. This her first two Columbia albums.{
harmony is enhanced by the Janis now seems to be working
fine string arrangements which towards an image of perfec-
accompany most of the songs. tion. She is sanding off the
Janis Ian's strongest point rough edges on her songs, fill-;
has always been her lyrics. ing the empty spaces with ad-I
Since the release of the single ditional orchestration and har-
"Society's Child" in 1968, Janis: mony vocals. Her music has
has been cast as one of the particularly matured since her
ToldoSymphony
fr .
features S 1)e u s

his quartet - which fuses jazz, rock, and electronic sounds into
early Verve !MGM albums.
Janis shows on the new re- an exciting blend - will perform two separate shows - one at
cord that she can handle her- 8 p.m. and one at 10:30 p.m. McCann was recently named Best
self well with a wide range of Male Jazz Vocalist of 1975 by the National Association of Tele-
subject matter. The seriousness vision and Radio Announcers.
of "Love is Blind" is balanced
by the camp humor of "This
Must Be Wrong," a comical The concert is being produced by Eclipse Jazz, an affiliate
tribute to a lover with bizarre of the University Activities Center Concert Co-op. Also on the
inclinations. bill isMxdRr m fro ;w2fnat nn, ~~-t

Daily Photo by KEN FINK

Half the wits

Comedians Philip Proctor and Peter Bergman, who are best known as half the members of the
Firesign Theatre, display their usual madcap antics Monday night at the Matrix Theatre.

WILSON, PRINE AT THE ARK:
NRA revives inns
By JOAN BORUS tertainment at patent medicine
shows or at religious meetings
PERFORMING AT the Ark when a lot of children were
last weekend was the new- present. "Blue - haired Jim-
est edition of the National Re- my," a song filled with impos-,
covery Act since 1933, consist- sible contradictions is a goodE
ig of Dave Prine ("John example, as is the more mod-
Prine's legendary older broth- emp"ennssee Birdwalk-"
er") and Tyler Wilson. After which became a national hit in
hearing them play, it seems as the fifties.
if both musically and economic-
ally, things haven't changed But the strongest part of the
much since then. NRA's performances was de-
The NRA is a paradox of voted to their renditions of Car-
sorts. Dave and Tyler live and. ter Family favorites. The Car-
work in Chicago, yet they play ter Family was among the first
accoustically - oriented old time recorded country music per-
music that bears scarcely a formers and, as such, exerted
trace of urban blight. a powerful influence on the
And they themselves some- field, both in their playing and
how exude the atmosphere that singing style and through the
goes with the front porch rather sheer bulk of material they use.
than city smog. Dave and Tyler say that in

By TOM GODELL pite the jumping around he
T E SYMPHONIC w o r 1 d did, he never once removed his
needs a breath of fresh air, foot from the pedal. The re-
* and the Toledo Orchestra pro- sulting sound was diffuse and
videdit last Friday. muddy.
icc l J~ il tContinuing to display his
matchless taste in program- The concert concluded with
ming, Serge Fornet - the or- the Symphony 1N o. 4, "The In-
popular music field in its will- , chestra's music directore. extinguishable", by Carl Niel-
ingness to discuss such topics opened the season's fifth sub- sen. This thickly textured and
as divorce, infidelity and po- scription concert with the complex music was interpreted
litical concerns. This is a tra- "Symphony No. 7" by Jean Si- with great skill by Maestro For-
dition that goes back to the de- belius. If we know this com-- net, and the orchestra's per-
pression days, when times poser at all today, it is through formance approached perfec-
were hard and managers of the the patriotic "Finlandia," the tion. In contrast to the Sibelius,
textile mills and coal mines melancholy "Valse Triste", or orchestral balance was present,
were beginning to feel the ef- perhaps the majestic "Second and all instruments were clear-
fects of newly-formed labor un- Symphony." Nothing could be ly heard.
ions. unfortunate, as the music
The NRA closed its perform- of this composer rarely fails to PROfESSIONAL ,FAJ~r PROGRAW
ance with a modern-day song bring delight.,
which reflects this heritage, THE ORCHESTRA, and in THIS, AN ACTOR'S TRUNK
has gone in and out of 92 cities across
John Prine's "Paradise." It is particular the string section, the U.S. Now, it returns to Ann Arbor!
the one song which had the sounded best in the opening and
ability to move John and Dave's concluding sections of the work.
father, an old-tirier from Ken- In the middle, the performance
tucky, to tears, perhaps the somehow lost its sense of for- 1I

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TWO SONGS on Aftertones
deal with death. "Don't Cry,
Old Man" is strikingly similar
to Randy Newman's tune, "Old
Man," although the approach
taken by Janis to the death of
the father is more sympathetic
than Newman's.
The final song on the LP, en-
titled simply "Hymn," sounds
slightly out of place. The obliga-
to vocal by Phoebe Snow is in-
triguing, but the song itself
drags somewhat, catching the
listener off-guard.
However, the album as a
whole succeeds as an effort by
Janis to refine her music into
an intricate, clean product. She I
is supported by a veritable ar-
my of capable back-up musi-
cians, and the sounds they pro-j
duce are pleasing. Janis' ap-
proach to her music is confi-
dent, almost arrogant, and this
assurance is reflected in her
songs. She knows what she's
doing, and she's doing it well.
It's possible that someday
Janis Ian will -be recognized as
a maior song stylist of this
era. Her talent is evident, and
Aftertones might be the album
which brings her abilities into
the limelight.
Ti
Adult Puppetry is
The National
Marionette Theatre
Thurs., Jan. 29-8 p.m.
a Mendelssohn
A special
children's show
Wed., .Ian. 28---1 p.m.
TICKETS:
Adults-$2.50
Children-$1 .25
Available at
Hill Auditorium
For more info calf
763-1107
presented by UAC, etc.

tittoinxe ag, one or t e city~s tinest jazz groups. Tlickets
are available at the Michigan Union Box Office, the Blind Pig, and
Discount Re ,ords (on S. University and on State St.). More in-
formation can be obtained by calling UAC at 763-1107.

;,
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best proof of its genuineness.
CALIFORNIA IS NO 1

THE NRA's repetoire traces,
the diverse roots of what is now
a commercial gold mine. They
featured several of the old ban-'
jo ballads, from which countrya
music derived both its style and
subject matter.
A good example was "LittleI
Margaret," a ballad originallyj
performed by the famous Ba-,
comb Lunsford, a North Caro-'
lina lawyer and politician.
Here the voice doesn't follow1
the melody progression of the
banjo, but forms a kind of

many ways the Carter Family SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan.
was the essence of country mu-' () - Exactly 30 per cent of
sic, with its raw-boned vocal I the country's major college{
style, awkward, unsymmetrical players list home towns in;
song structures, uneven rhy- three states - California, Tex-
thins, and unequally stressed as and Ohio. California is the
notes. Moreover, they sang leader by nine players over
about themes which were close Texas, 1.307 to 1,298. Ohio is
to the hearts of their listeners, right behind at 1,233.
one of country music's outstand- T
ing features. With their unso- The figures, compiled by an
phisticated, heartfelt style, they eCAA study, cover 12,792 play-
were able to take even the nrsion varsity rosters of the
hokiest of songs and make them chiding freshmen.
sound convincing. New York's metropolitan area<

ward motion. Dialogue between
the sections also lacked flow.
Overall, the orchestra's sound
- as exemplified by the un-
clear strokes of the muffled
tympani - was muddy.
The second portion of the con-
cert featured Rafael Orozco as
soloist in the Piano Concerto
No. 1. op. 1 of Sergei Rachmani-
nov. The music (or lack there-'
of) consists of little more than
the typically large and lush
Rachmaninov chords, numerous
scrambles up and down the key-
board, with rapid staccato pas-
sages added for contrast. I
OROZCO'S performance only
succeeded in emphasizing the
worst elements of this music.j
His approach was flashy to the
point of showing off. Yet, des-

The Acting\
company '
i 1
JAN 621 22.25
SUN MAT at 3PM
POWER CENTERF
S47 ,
-3 7

counterpoint. AS M E N T I 0 N E D,
one of country music's most
ANOTHER rarely - explored outstanding features is its abil-
facet of the old-time music that ity to transcribe into musical
appeared in the NRA's selec- terms the concerns and feelings
tions were the so-called non- of its listeners. It has been
sense songs, often used as en- among the innovators in the
SERGEI EISENSTEIN'S 1944
IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Part 1)
(AT 7:00)
The first part of Eisenstein's unfinished Trilogy on the
infamous Russian Czar. Filled with experiments in com-
position and cutting this film is his maanum opus. PART
11 WILL BE SHOWN NEXT WEEK.
INGMAR BERGMAN 1948
PORT OF CALL
5AT 9:05)
Swedish, Enqlish subtitles. Respondinq to the influence of
Italian neorealism, Berqman moves from the ficitious and
theatrical to experiment with the documentary style of
OPEN CITY.
CINEMA GUILD Both Shows Admission $1.25
for $2.00 OLD ARCH. AUD
aI

nrouced the most major col-
lege players this year. Los An-
geles ranked second.

-TONIGHT-
LUIS BUNUEL'S
BELLE DE JOUR
[19681
Catherine Deneuve stars in this film about a
bored housewife who becomes a part-time
prostitute.

Wed. only

$3.00

I

2 shows

\" 4

8 & 10:30 p.m.

DAVID BROMBERG

AUD. A
7 and 9 p.m.

ANGELL HALL
$1.25

A benefit for
the ARK
[Doors open of 7:301
761-1451

come to the show & pick up our film schedule

1421 HILL ST.

Eastern Michigan University
OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE
PRESENTS
Les McCann
ALSO FEATURED: DECADE OF DECISION
Jan. 22nd-7:30 p.m.
Pease Auditorium
AdvanCed Tickets $4.00

classroom instruction in
electronic music
the music
studio

I

i

,'f='." *"3trP*ra' ':^ ~ V

A PARAMOUNT PICTURE - ABC ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS A JERRY WEINTRAUR

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