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July 08, 1978 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

te.of Summer'

inevitable hourly shuffle onstage between sets
became a time for just about everyone to line up
somewhere, whether it be for chicken and ribs at
one of the understaffed refreshment stands or for
an empty stall in the men's room. The wait for
both items was mercilessly long, yet it seemd to
bother few. Here was a chance to meet fellow
jazz buffs, to talk about the music, the perfectly
beautiful weather, or just about the long lines.
MULTICOLORED BLANKETS and sleeping
bags scaped a carpet on the lawn sur-
rounding the amphitheatre. Festival-goers were
allowed to bring anything they wished onto the
grounds with one official exception-glass con-
tainers.
Late in the afternoon, when the temperature
had cooled considerably, the air became thick
with frisbees. At times, hundreds of the spinning
plastic discs tinted the sky red, blue, yellow, and
green, giving the grounds a carnival-like at-
mosphere.
The great musicians enjoyed their holiday
from the dark nightclubs, too, gathering in small
clumps in the backstage parking lot, mugging
unabashedly for fans' cameras, and joking with
admirers.
In twilight, pianist Chick Corea and vibrahar-
pist Gary Burton were treated to a tremendous
ovation, performing duets with such closeness
and skill that the two instruments frequently
sounded meshed into one. One musician was able
to catch falling crescendos where the other left
off and lyrically raise them back up again like
ocean waves. Burton and Corea, who are
phenomena by themselves in their virtuosity
over their instruments, created together one of
the stunning mucical highlights of the daylong
festival. The set climaxed with "La Fiesta," an
untiring Spanish-style tune by Corea. Their ap-
pearance, like therir list of recordings together,
was all too short.
Corea returned soon after with his new, 13-
piece to ring ensemble to heat up the night chill.
The pianist, wearing a boisterous flowered shirt
picked up hileon a recent tour of Hawaii, direc-
ted the unusual group through avariety of light
numbers from his more recent albums. The en-

he annual Newport Jazz Festival, where they were treated
(lower left), the hard-driving saxophone of Sonny Rollins
tra (below).
ewarded generously by a steadily attentive
udience. Charles Mingus was the subject of a
'ibute in the next act, which featured several of
ie outspoken bassist's compositions performed
y a specially-assembled All-Star orchestra.
lthough Mingus, who is said to be very ill, was
ot present, artists like Eddie Gomez, Pepper
dams, Frank Foster, Slide Hampton and Mike
nd Rancy Brecker supplied brilliant solo work.
Much of the audience spent the afternoon
>aming the grounds of the Performing Arts cen-
r, letting the live music surround them like
ool shade in the cloudless sunlight. The

semble included a four-piece string section and
an extra piano to complement the more conven-
tional brass and rhythem sections. Featured on
woodwinds was Corea's longtime accompanist
and friend, Joe Farrell, with Gayle Moran ap-
pearing as vocalist and pianist. The result was a
beautiful, richly-balanced and jumping set. And
when, in the middle of Corea's "Mad Hatter
Rhapsody" pianist Herbie Hancock stepped in to
duel musically with the leader, the performance
practically took off.
Only one act could have possibly topped the
Corea ensemble. Jazz buffs gazed in awe as, one
by one, a group assembled onstage composed of
the super novas of the culture. The strange mix
of jazz styles and idioms could never be forgotten
once seen and heard this Saturday night: a sax
line consisting of Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon
and Mike Brecker, with Dizzy Gillespie and
Randy Brecker on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on
piano, George Benson and Larry Coryell on
guitars, Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, drummers
Roy Haynes and Tony Williams and vocalists Al
Jarreau and DeeDee Bridgewater.
To hear the entire group tear into Dizzy
Gillespie's exotic be-bop classic "Night in
Tunisia," listeners might have thought they wer
in jazz heaven. The performance was simply un-
paralled to anything ever heard before in jazz,

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