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April 18, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-18

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Page 6-Friday, April 18, 1980-The Michigan Daily




David Bromberg did two things,
during his Michigan Theater perfor-
mance Wednesday night. Number one,
he appeared with his seven-piece band,
and led them through an inspired and
memorable set. For nearly two hours,
the band effortlessly jumped genres
and shifted gears, affirming Brom-
berg's command of' virtually every
aspect of his craft: composing and or-
chestration, instrumental and vocal
ability, and effective showmanship.
Number two, the 34-year-old Bromberg
announced that he is leaving his band
and ceasing future tours as of next
month, and he probably won't be back
for several years.
"I'm going back to school," he told
the nearly-full house after a

Roundtrip from
New York
to Luxembourg

$53 L
from Chicago
to Luxembourg

,berg pi
musician seemed to reflect this with
his somber, almost despondent eyes.
He sighed, muttered that "It would take
hours to explain," and politely adjour-
ned himself to his dressing room.
He is not easy to understand. He
never has been.
DURING MOST'of his career, Brom-
berg has had a crush on Ann Ar-
bor-namely the Ark, where he used to
play alone frequently, displaying and
refining his flatpicking ability, along
with his unique folk-jazz-country-blues
compositions. He acknowledged this af-
fection sincerely Wednesday night:
"Ann Arbor is a very special town," he
told them, "I want to play everything I
know one last time." What followed was
simply the most spirited, energetic
performance I have seen in eons. The
band, mostly long-term accompanists
of Bromberg, played their instruments
with the intensity of first-tour rookies,
not final-tour vets. Dick Fegy and Jeff
Wiser, playing a variety of string in-
struments, skillfully executed Brom-
berg's traditional and original
bluegrass and country works. Curt Lin-
berg and John Firmin made up the
"brass" section of- Bromberg's dr-
chestra, bringing Bromberg's jazz and
blues compositions to life. Steve
Mosley, on drums, and Dan Counts on
base rounded out the David Bromberg
Band. Together, all of Bromberg's ec-
centric, if not idiosyncratic com-
positions materialized with incredible
and delightful ease. A tune like "You've
Got a Mind of Your Own," a bawdy
dixieland jazz-bluegrass piece,
illustrated the exceptional range of this
band, with Fegy picking his banjo on
one side of the stage and saxaphonoist
Firmin blasting out arefrain on his
saxophone on the other; this ap-
pearance at the Michigan Theater was
nothing less than a privilege to observe.
One minute, they were engaged in a

cks his finale

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mysterious, twisted version of "What a
Wonderful World" early in his show,
"Gonna get my ass to Chicago."
Although he was reluctant to elaborate
to the surprised crowd, he explained
later backstage that he is enrolling in
Chicago's Kenneth Warren School of
Violin Making-a skill that will likely
keep him off the road for several years
while he picks it up. Why? "I don't
know," he smiled wearily after his
third and final encore, "'cause I like
it." This response ws met with an
uneasy silence, the 'dumb question'
syndrome; the question suddenly
seemed absurd. But there was surely
more to it than this; it ws writtenall
over his face. The tall, bearded

Daily Photo by LISA KLAUSNER
Noted guitarist and folk musicoligost David Bromberg as he performed
Wednesday night at the Michigan Theatre. Bromberg surprised the crowd
by announcing an indefinite retirement from performing and touring.

he Ann Arbor Filr f ive Presents at MLB; $1.50
(Peter Yates, 1973) 7:00-MLB 4
Sadly relagated to "second feature" status immediately after its release, this film about the final days
of small time hood Coyle (ROBERT MITCHUM) is one of the very few modern film noir classics. From the
director of "Breaking Away." Shot on location in Boston.
(Walter Hill, 1978) THE DRIVER 9:00-MLB4
RYAN O'NEAL is the Driver, bank robber and wheel man for a high-voltage, big-dollar heist. BRUCE
DERN is the Cop, a maniacal lawman who carries a cannon of a revolver with every bullet reserved,
for the Drive. ISABELLE ADJANI, in her American debut, is the Lady with taste for life in the fast lane.
Walter Hill "The Warriors" demonstrates a bold flair for high-speed auto chases and thrill-packed action.
Tomorrow: MarIon Brando stars in NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY and
James Dean stars in EAST OF EDEN at MLB.

ROBERT REDFORD and DUSTIN HOFFMAN play the men who cracked the
Watergate cover-up and got rid of Richard Nixon by showing theWdrld what
he was. A very tense and entertaining film that manages to detail every
incredible event leading to the resignation of an American president.
TONIGHT at 7:00 and 9:30 $1.50
Saturday: PATTON
CINEMA GUILD located at the
OLD A & D Auditorium

rousing swing tune like "Send Me to the
Electric Chair;" the next minute in a
melancholy country balld like "Sum-
mer Wages," and then a funky piece
like "You Better Watch Out," and a
rousing instrumental jig called "Mid-
night on the Water," all played with
precision and authenticity.
Although such superlatives are risky,
if not fatal in music reviews, it would
seem safe to say that, given David
Bromberg's total grasp of his trade,
and the effortless, unpretentious nature
of its execution, there are few,*if any
touring musicians today who can keep
up with him. Few performers deserve
such genuine respect than David
smusicologist, enrolling in this field of
study at Columbia University in the
late-fils. There, the Greenwich Village
coffeehouse circuit drew him away
from studying and into performing; he
accompanied people like Bob Dylan
and Chubby Checker, and became
widely known as one of the nation's
premiere "session men," (he has ac-
companied others on 75 albums, before
and while turning out his own nine
albums). In addition to Dylan and
Checker, he has played with Jerry Jeff
Walker, Ringo Starr and Tom Paxton,
all following gospel singer Brother John
Sours, who he first accompanied. His
admiration of the Weavers propelled
his career as a folk musician (which is
the logical genre with a musician of
such varied background). He has been
a staple at American folk and
bluegrass festivals throughout the
seventies, including the last two Ann

Arbor Folk Festivals. Evidently not
content with his work as a folksinger,
he pursued his ambitions in other
areas, and called together this seven-
piece band to help him. Remarkably,
much to David Bromberg's credit, he
has done this with fine results.
Yet he doesn't have that cocky, even
self-confident look of an artist who has
virtually mastered his craft. In fact, he
appears slightly depressed, introspec-
tive . . . almost like he's still not
"HE NEEDS A rest," trombonist
Curt Linberg explained backstage, with
the same look of fatigue on his face. A
bulky, veteran Bromberg bandmember
with- a greying beard, Linberg talked of
his bandleader like of father of his son.
"He can't keep this up forever; he's
been at it for fifteen years, and he's just
burned out. He needs time to slow
down, and maybe write some new
Warming up Bromberg at the
Michigan Theater were Dick Siegel and
the Ministers of Melody, a local band
who play with the same diverse, un-
predictable style that Bromberg and
company did (what a coincidence that
they'd appear together). Having per-I
formed most often in local nightclubs,
ala the Blind Pig and Floods, it was
surprising and refreshing to see this
band in control of the entire stage at the
Michigan Theater (i.e. the audience).
Siegel, the leader and dominant figure
for the Ministers of Melody, seemed
unintimidated by the surroundings, and
led the band through a diverse reper-
See BROMBERG, page 7

Chapter Meeting - Thursday, April 24 at Noon
Michigan League Conference Rooms 1 & 2
Professor Wilbert J. McKeachie (CRLT) on the work of
AAUP Committee C on Teaching, Research and Publication.
Professor Wilfred Kaplan (Math.) on the work of the State
Higher Education Capital Investment Committee.
There will be a brief business meeting for election of officers.
Those attending may take lunch trays from the cafeteria to
the meeting room. The program will begin at 12:30.



ON G t

Cinema II

r0M1* yr


(Frank Perry, 1970)
CARRIE SNODGRASS received an Academy Award nomination
for her portrayal of a wife driven to the brink of madness by
the relentless demands of her status-conscious lawyer hus-
band (Benjamin). "DIARY is the first intelligqnt film in recent
years that attacks marriage, motherhood and men without
apologizing . . . it's one of the few films that is envisioned
entirely through the eyes of a woman." (BENJAMIN AT HIS
NEUROTIC BEST!) Original un-cut version. (94 min) 7:00 only.
(Ted Kotcheff, 1974)


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