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September 30, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-30

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 30, 1980-Page 7

Tale of two tenors

The audience this past Saturday night
at toe Jazz festival got a taste of the
best, and worst in contemporary jazz.
Chico Freeman and quintet presented
an extremely progressive vision of the
musical mainstream, while Stanley
Turientine and his sextet made a
regressive stab at lowest-common-
denominator appeal.
*Sqn of respected Chicago tenortnan

Freeman built carefully considered
solos into a multi-orgasmic climax of
texture and tone.
Opening with "Undercurrents," the
Freeman group seemed to pick up
where the Miles Davis quintet of the
middle-sixties left off. Drummer Billy
Hart's cymbal flourishes at the start set
a cool distance, complemented by
vibraphonist Jay Haggard and pianist
Donald Smith's harmonics. The piece

solo into the surreal, seemingly playing
two melodies at once.
influences and the more familiar with
an easy grace, prefacing a luxuriously
warm ballad with an iconoclastic,
jagged solo. The transition, from the
expected to the unexplored, were
smoothly executed by the band mem-
bers, who often functioned as a four-
piece rhythm section, echoing and
playing off each others' ideas in a
relaxed flow that was demanding but
never presumptious.
Freeman also exhibited a pronounced
sense of humor, performing a tongue-
in-cheek vocal rendition of "You Send
Me," then adding a riveting, soul riff
out of sheer perversity. This guy could
be the next George Benson, if he wanted
to, but he's far too versatile to be
caught in that trap. Picking up soprano
sax for the final number, Freeman
played the instrument like a trumpet,
issuing assualtive, emphatic bursts of
melody while the group forged straight
ahead in a richly percussive exchange.
AFTER Freeman's triumph it would
be easy to put Stanley Turrentine and
his group down simply for playing elec-
tric music. Purism aside, that wouldn't
be fair because Turrentine was so bad
that he transcends criticism. The band,
minus Turrentine, began with a bland
up-tempo piece too turgid to be called
funk. Enter "Elektra-Asylum recor-
ding artist" Stanley Turrentine, who
led his group in a stripped-down
reading of Weather Report's "Bir-
dland" that would have been more ap-
propriate in the lounge of the Briar-
wood Hilton than Hill Auditorium. Then
came his signature piece "Don't Mess
with Mr. T," a cheaply sensual ballad
that dragged on interminably. Turren-
tine- earned something of a reputation
for sensitive 'ballad treatment fifteen
years ago, but Saturday he was content
to go through the motions, allowing a
soporific synthesizer player and ham-
fisted drummer to set the atmosphere.
Turrentine's detachment and
outright irresponsibility became ap-
parent as he left the stage ("out of
respect for the dead" sug-
gested Free Press critic W. Kim
Heron) to allow his' band to perform
John Coltrane's "Naima." The less
said about that the better; rest assured
that if there is a God in heaven, these
men will have to answer for this
malicious sacrilege.
Closing with another bald attempt at
funk, Turrentine pointed out the ob-
vious problems of matching up
"popular" jazz performers and more
serious artists. Somebody comes out
looking bad. Let's hope the audience
will take Chico Freeman's advice and
keep listening to "Great Black Music"
and relegate has-beens like Turrentine
to obscurity.
the ann arbor
film cooperative
Tonight PRESENTS Tonight
war in Vietnam, filmed from the
point of view of the North Vietn-
With short-NIGHT AND FOG
Alain Resnais' powerful and moving
exploration of Nazi Concentration
Awd . A ell Hall)


If you can live without
your cigarettes for one
day. you might find you
can live without them

9 A DAY.

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE : 115 3:15 5:15
7:,5 9:30
"Who are those guys?" And why are they chasing the nicest and cutest
outlaws in the West? It's tough for an honest thief when the world changes I I 1
and stealing as adventure becomes obsolete. But going straight is worse.
Newman and Redford have that great screenchemistry and Katherine Ross
stirs up the solution. Winner of five Academy Awards.
LJ 7:30 9:30
A masterpiece from the masters of the Western genre. John Wayne stars Honeysuckle Rose
as a man who searches 15 years for his niece who was kidnapped by 1:45 7:00
Indians... G. Is located at Lorch Hallban Cowboy
4:00 9:15 (PG)

o E 0 ,tOC' .a+"+ewrt9tOw o
dn-'. .c.oww..n, - - - Ut.nn

The D.R.E.A.D.
Will Be Available October 6 At:

Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
Tenor-saxophonist Chico Freeman turned in a startling performance to open
the Saturday night program of the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival. An extremely
versatile musician, Freeman combines disparte influences in a melodic
style that brought the Hill auditorium crowd to its feet.

Von Freeman, Chico brings a youthful
flair. and vitality to his father's in-
strument. A thoughtful and thorough
improviser, Freeman interjects sharp
epartures into avant-garde, territory
throughout his characteristical
melliflous, smooth style. Supported by
an extremely sympathetic group,

picked up momentum when Freeman's
sax lines became increasingly varied
and rich, as Hoggard and Smith
became increasingly percussive on
their instruments, matching and
mixing it up with Hart's busy attack.
By the end Freeman had extended his

Sarah Vaughn holds
her own ground

qW (continued from Page 6)
(only loud enough for the farthest
member of the audience to hear), "How
thehell am I gonna get it out of here?"
Sarah is seductive. "I've Got It Bad
Ad That Ain't Good" becomes a
frustrated lament, replete with- a
steamy oscillating tone, vulgar
gesticulation, and lyrics .so lust-filled
they become unintelligible. It doesn't
matter, though; the words aren't telling"
the story.
Sarah is clever. She sings a rosy tune
from the kids' show Sesame Street with
the lyric: "Picture a world of honey
wafm haze." She knows well that,
metaphor must have been coined with
her-is mind.
'Sarah is beautiful. Her treatment of

"Send In The Clowns" is the only one
I've heard that didn't bore me. She is so
genuinely pensive, so wistful, that
every familiar word comes across as a
newly-discovered gem. And when she
reaches for a piercing major seventh,
the effect is poignancy to the point of
Sarah is magnificent.

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