The Michigan Daily-Thursday, May 10, 1979-Page 7
Taking'advantage' of diversity
By MARK COLEMAN
Playing jazz-rock fusion can be a
tricky business, but Charles Perraut
seems to know what he's doing. This
twenty-year-old School of Music
graduate brought six musicians of
varying backgrounds and directions
together to form Vantage Point. It's
hard to imagine a straight-forward jazz
rhythm section, a blues pianist, and two
guitarists (hard rock and jazz/funk.
respectvely) in the same band, but here
they are united behind Perraut's stellar
work on tenor and alto sax.
Appearing at Second Chance Monday
and Tuesday in preparation (artistic
and financial) for a trip to the Mon-
tereux jazz festival in Switzerland), the
group successfully integrated the
major forms of electric music into a
Vantage Point's firm roots in rhythm
and blues become apparent during
their first piece; a rousing thumper
Song gfor summer
By MIKE TAYLOR
The best thing about the summer is that it gives you the right to open your
windows, turn your stereo up loud, and maybe even doa little dancing in the
streets. Here are some recent records I'll be playing a lot this summer:
" Roxy Music Manifesto (Atlantic) This breezy music is perfect for our
times. Bryan Ferry's cynical warble combines with Phil Manzanera's
elegant guitar and Gary Tibb's icy bass to produce advanced disco with a
" Beach Boys L.A. (Light Album)(Caribou) As a long-time Beach Boys fan
who's been disappointed by most of their seventies output, I'm glad to say
the magic's back.
" Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers Back in Your Life (Beserkly)
Richman's melodies are so simple that it almost seems you could have writ-
ten them yourself. Best bet: "I'm Nature's Mosquito."
" Joe Jackson Look Sharp! (A&M) Jackson has a great band and a great
producer, and all the wit and style of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker.
This one should be a huge hit.
* Graham Parker Squeezing Out Sparks (Arista) Speaking of Parker, I
think this one is his best yet. The horns are gone, leaving the sound clean and
precise, and the new songs are good enough to fill all the empty space. (Look
for a longer review on this page soon).
" Ian Hunter You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic (Crysalis) Hunter
has always made shattering music with a tender heart, and this LP, which
boasts E Street Band members Roy Battem, Max Weinberg, and Garry
Talent, plus Mick Ronson on guitar, is no exception..
. Tom Robinson Band Two (Harvest) My main complaint with Robinson's
first album was it's lackluster production. This time, new producer Todd
Rundgren has worked miracles, pushing Robinson's folksy political tunes in-
to pop star heaven.
with a sizzling guitar solo that sounded
like a Steely Dan session topped off by a
gritty Jr. Walker-inspired sax solo.
This mixture of modern arrangement
with authentic funk sets the mood for
While listening to this band, one
becomes engrossed by the individual
skills of its members. Mark Tomor-
sky's rock guitar playing, complete
with distortion/feedback effects and
stage moves, presents a compelling
contrast to John Lawrence's sensitive
chordings and fluid jazz runs on a
hollow body electric guitar. Lawrence
can turn around after a fairly active
jazz solo and churn out the hottest funk
rhythm ever heard at this citadel of
carbon copy dance bands.
PIANIST DON Savoie-Blue is
familiar to many through his
association with Tucker Blues Band, an
outfit which regretably broke up just as
it was coming into its own. Savoie-Blue
is a sly musician; he doesn't try to
dominate through his solos but 'emits a
seemingly effortless stream of melodic
improvisation firmly based in the
blues. His playing seems to be the
unifying element behind the disparate
solo approaches, and his compositions
(overall the band's only weak point)
are the most memorable.
The focus of Vantage Point is on
Charles Perraut. His playing flirts
across the gamut of improvisation
while skillfully keeping within the
melodic structure laid down by Savoie-
Blue and the guitarists. Trained
musician that he is, Perraut shows an
interesting approach to structure and
dynamics without ever abandoning the
earthly soulful tones that are the core of
rhythm and blues.
It's amazing that Vantage Point fits
this all together into an accessible
whole. The mebers of the group are ob-
viously well attuned to each other on
stage and their unpretentious en-
thusiasm is nothing short of infectious.
Musically, no descriptions can really do
Vantage Point justice. Suffice to say
that this is a far cry from the syn-
thesized disco-funk played by so many
recorded "jazz" artists today or the
spacy meanderings of local jazz acts
like Prismatic Band. Vantage Point
certainly doesn't fit any textbook
definitions of jazz, but the American-
music-hungry hoardes at Montreux are
going to get more than their money's
worth. Meanwhile, check these guys out
while they are still a local resource.
Prof. authors book
Glenn Knoll, University professor of
nuclear engineering, is the author of a
book, "Radiation Detection and
Measurement," just published by John
The 816-page college text provides a
basic review of the instruments and
methods for detecting and measuring
Knoll, a University faculty member
since 1962, is chairman of the Institute
of Electronic and Electrical Engineer-
ing Technical Committee on Nuclear
He received a B.S. degree from Case
Institute of Technology, and M.S. ae-
gree from Stanford University, and a
PH.D. degree from the University.