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February 19, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-19

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S I E 1ONE musi in reiew Wednesday, February 18, 1976 Page Five

'75th Birthday Celebration:
Tribute to Copl an d's talents

BY ?,IAViN CUUINUIAiN cord set A 75th Birthday Cele-
IN THE mad rush to cash in bration (Columbia D3M-33720)
on the Buycenteniial, re- and pays ample tribute to one
cord companies, like other con- of America's most formidable
sumer - oriented -businesses, creations.
are emphasizing the patriotic
Squalitiesof their product. Old ' FROM THE delightful El Sa-
warhorses like Roy Harris' 3rd Ion Mexico of 1936 to the more
Symphony and Roger Sessions' tempermental and dissonant
2nd Symphony are popping up I Dance Panels of almost thirty
here and there, all with the years later, the album shows
good intention of "rediscover- off the eight most popular
ing" American music. works of Copland, most of
Such a noble deed is of course which were recorded within the
long overdue. The history of last five years with the London.
American symphonic music is Symphony.
essentially one of anonymity. Copland's most famous works
With the Charles Ives craze in were originally ballet scores
the late fifties, there was a such as Applachian Spring,
sudden upsurge of musical na- Billy the Kid and Rodeo and
tionalism, and American com- their popularity is largely due
posers began to sense a new- to that format. Ballet music
founded respect for their pro- generally r e q u i r e s de-
fession. finite rhythmic and coloristic
Aaron Copland, however, has elements that best lend them-
always been an exception. He selves to the storyline of the
has long enjoyed both popular dance. Yet Copland, like Stra-
and professional acceptance for vinsky, Tchaikovsky, and a few
his ballet scores and for his others had the ability to write
' ability to make money from music which lived bevond the
comnosing without sacrificing program nature of ballet and
ouality or innovation. What could acclimate to the concert
would best be described as hischacae
"areatest hits" is now avail-
able in a decorative three-re- The deceiving quality of the
-- album is its one-sided re re-

(undoubtedly the result of his
early theory lessons with Na-;
dia Boulanger). Much of Cop-'
land's music is based on a
rhythmic but cautious series of
chord progressions that move
evenly throughout the sections
of the orchestra.
If Lincoln Portrait (with Hen-
ry Fonda as narrator) is less
than a triumph, the major
"find" of the LP is Copland's
film score to Thornton Wilder's
Our Town. Arranged for orches-
tra from scraps of movie mu-
sic, Copland's Our Town duti-
fully models the quiet dignity
of old New England hymns.
Its potent but subtle texture
will surely distinguish it as
among Copland's finest works.
A M E R I C A N A is an in-
tegral aspect of Copland's im-
age, and, as this record tries to
persuade, it is often considered
the better half of his self-defin-
ed "split personality". As
doubtful as that may be, it also
says something about Cop-
land's music of America is
that attraction of illusion. Cop-
land's "Wild West" of Billy,
the Kid and Rodeo is purely

fantasy and was intended to be
Except for the inclusion of
cowboy songs, Copland's ballets
are an Easterner's conception
of the West which is as fanciful
as the clean-shaven gun slinger
from Hollywood. The import-
ance of Copland's work is less
his subject matter, which, as
we are beginning to recognize,
has had a rich tradition; but
rather, the magnificent manner
in which he wrote.
Despite the album's title, it
is more of a gift to the nation's
birthday and rightfully cele-
brates the freshness and vital-
ity which is American music.
Copland remains a founding
father of a sort to a musical re-
volution which is hardly over.
The present day site of New
Orleans was selected in the
early 1700's because it was on
a point of the Mississippi River
that was closest to Lake
Pontchartrain. Old forts of
French and Spanish construc-
tion still guard the river and
Lake Ponchartrain approaches
to the city.

The Wailers


LP--reggae classic

By KURT HARJU relative inactivity of the cur-
TN THE last few years, reg- rent rock scene. Of those work-
gae music has been mak- ing in reggae field, Bob Mar-
ing some big waves in America ley and The Wailers are fast
- influencing such diverse ar- becoming the most consistently
tists as Eric Clapton, Paul Si- interesting and entertaining
mon and Stevie Wonder - and group. Their last record, Natty
reggae has acquired a growing Dread (Island ILPS 9281), is so
cult following among many cir- popular that it is now emerg-
cles of the record - buying pub- ing as one of reggae's first
lic. classic and a standard to judge
Beginning with Jimmy Cliff other works by.
in the film The Harder They , Though Marley is not "the
Come, and up to the recent re- Mick Jagger of reggae" as
lease of the first American LP some have claimed, he certain-
by Toots and the Maytals, the ly is a dynamic figure who
unique sounds and themes of plays a sinster electric guitar,
reggae have been exciting lis-| sings powerful lead vocals and
teners who are tired of the writesthe group's raw but ex-
at best a musical
By MICHAEL BAADKE is basically we
an under-deve
KATE AND Anna McGarrigle, though hardly between Kate,
household names, have built a small repu- is somewhat p
tation as songwriters and backing vocalists. In song's salvatio
an effort to break from the background, they Most of the
have recorded Kate & Anna McGarrigle (War- gettable. Of th
ner Bros. BS 2862), an LP which can best be Mendocino" isr
regarded as a curiosity. orchestration i
Both Kate and Anna have voices that are high melody line a
and piercing. They're not particularly unpleas- "Kiss and Sa
ant, but it's the type of voice which would fit by Kate, ranks
better in a thirties musical than performing LP. Kate exh
the dozen folk-blues songs included on Kate similar to Wa
& Anna. On occasion the voices work in a stray sounds best in
tune, but for the most part they are wavering on this song
and unfitting. ances by Kate+
Kate is probably best-known for her contribu- are inventivea
tions to husband Loudon Wainwright III's al-
bums. Both Kate and Anna appeared on Lou- THE ALBUM
don's Unrequited and they have included his called "Trave.
"Swimming Song" on their LP. Although the strange song,
McGarrigles perform an interesting version provides a suit
based on banjo and button accordian, I prefer As backgrou
Loudon's more rocking original. Kate and Anna
ANNA composed the tune "Heart Like a succeed as we
Wheel," which is also found on the Linda Ron- Kate & Anna 1
stadt album of the same name. The song itself spots, is not a s

- otic material. His memorable, tion of and committment to the
performances with the Wail- whole reggae movement.
- ers in Detroit last fall still
outshone an appearance by "Lively Up Yourself," the
Jimmy Cliff in Ann Arbor and opening song, introduces the
Toots and The Maytals' disap- theme right away by informing
pointing debut with The Who. the listener that "reggae is an-
WITH Natty Dread, the rea- other bag". that can help one
son for the interest in them is ! "forget your weakness and
readily apparent. It is probab- dance". In many ways this ap-
ly the most accessible LP' proach is similar to the direc-
they've released so far, though I tion rock took in the mid-60's
they in no compromise the ' when it began creating a whole
rough style they, displayed on new culture among the young.
such hits as "I Shot The Sher- Instead of revolution and LSD,
iff" and "Kinky Reggae." What Marley advances the religious
sets it apart from earlier ef- discipline of Rastifarianism
forts like Burnin' and Catch A that involves a healthy devo-
Fire, though, is the LP's defini- tion to cmoking ganja.
The music itself is undeniab-
ly lively and funky enough for
any disco dancer. Though the
beat is slow and drawn-out on,
most o fthese numbers, there is
u riositso much happening within the
~uni sitybasic guitar - and - bass-drums-
keyboard set-up that it is al-
most as demanding as jazz.
eak, with an overdone lyric and "Oh Jah Seh," "No Woman No
loped melody. The harmonizing Cry," and "Bend Down Low";
Anna and Janie McGarrigle-Dow are particularly polished tracks
retty, but it doesn't provide the that feature excellent backing
n. Ivocals by a group called the I-

sentation of the composer.
While he is inexarobly linked
to the simple but dignified
Fanfare for the Common Man,
Copland is also a composer of
complexity and sophistication
as is apparent in his Piano
Sonata, the Third Symphony,
and more recently in the less-
successful Flute Sonata.
STILL, there is a wealth of
material to be appreciated
here. What is especially strik-
ing in hearing new perform-
ances of these "classics" is
Copland's great technical abil-
ity, most noticeably in his or-
chestration and chordal syntax

Records in brief

ALTHOUGHi he's generally
considered as a writer of
songs about drugs, decadence,
and despair, Lou Reed has
written quite a, few love songs.
His new album Coney Island
Baby (RCA APLI-0915) is, in
fact, comprised almost entirely
of mellow numbers, though his
conception of a love sing in a
bit unusual.
The album is characterized
by a mellowness reminiscent
of some of Reed's early work
with the Velvet Underground.
On "She's My Best Friend",

Reed sings in clear tones not
heard since his earlier work,
and the arrangements are sim-
ple but effective.
In the past, Reed's death and
violence themes have been
represented directly in albums
such as Berlin and in songs
like "Vicious", "Kill Your
Sons", and "Walk On the Wild
Side". Coney Island Baby
marks a significant advance in
that it demonstrates that Reed
can still incorporate these
themes without reducing the
quality of his music.
-ivie 1 aylor

The LUght house

combining song,
dance and drama
to communicate
the love of God.


remaining songs are easily for-
he .survivors, "(Talk to Me of) WITH their cynical attitude
W't too bad. There's a touch of towards everything from the
n the song, which bolsters the materialism of Western civiliz-
bit. ation which they term "Baby-
y Goodbye," another composition lon" to poliics.
s easily as the best tune on the and heir celebration of music,
hibits a type of blues humor loving and freedom, they seem
inwright's here, and her voice' to sum up a feeling in America
the rollicking tempo. The music today. Reggae may well be-
com one of the main forces of
is well-arranged, and perform- the 70's as some have claimed:
on piano and Bobby Keys on sax if people like the Wailers keep
and spirited, producing this kind of work.
1 closes with a traditional tune Though they have put out a
lling On For Jesus." It's a live album just recently in
arcane in some respects, but it England, Marley and the Wail-
able ending to the LP. ers are still keeping anticipa-
nd vocalists and harmonizers tions and expectations high in
are good,, but their voices do not this country. On the basis of
Natty Dread, their next LP of
ll in lead vocals. Subsequently,'new material promises to be
McGarrigle, though enjoyable in one of the highlights of the up-
solid accomplishment. coming year.


ADMISSION. ADULTS-$2.00 Advance-$2.75 at the door
CHILDREN-$1.00 Advance-$1.50 at the door



I Ilk II
"was Brillig' An Evening of Masks
FEBRUARY 19, 20, 21, 22y
EAST QUAD BUILDING, at Hill & E. University

Presented by The Word of God, Box 87, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107
7/6 OF A PLAY"
A humorous look at love, hate, marriage, divorce, infidelity, happiness,
parents, love, and sex through 4 one-act plays from Neil Simon'h
and Robert Anderson's "YOU KNOW I CAN'T HEAR YOU WHEN

JP KII WIW)Iilftrlli uhJIflp I11MU

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