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January 28, 1983 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-28
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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

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Buddy Rich Big Band
Hill Auditorium
8 p.m., Friday, January 28
By Todd Levin
THIS ARTICLE is not for the people
who know and have experienced
live the sheer excitement of the Buddy
Rich Big Band. This article is for people
who have possibly heard his name but
for whatever reasons have never heard
him play.
Have you ever seen a musical group
and enjoyed them so much that the next
time they played in your area you were
first in line, for tickets? And then after
seeing the group for a second time, you
were first in line again when they came
around to your area a third time? And
etc. ..
This will be my seventh time seeing
Buddy Rich, and I was first in line for
tickets, as usual.
While I certainly can't pretend to
know all your likes and dislikes, I can
tell you that anyone that I have ever
spoken with that has seen this
phenomenal Big Band machine has
come out of the auditorium in a daze of

utter amazement.
Buddy started playing in 1937 with the
Berigan Band and from there he took
up with such names as Dizzy Gillespie,
Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Charlie
Parker, and Oscar Peterson. From
there he moved to playing Jazz at the
Philharmonic in 1948. In 1952 he formed
his own small group but it only lasted a
short time because he missed "the Big
Band thing. You don't shout with a
small band." In 1959 he started playing
with the Harry James Band.
But the new Big Band sound started
in 1966, after Rich battled back from a
heart attack. In 1975 he reorganized
with musicians straight out of high
school and colleges like North Texas
State and Berkley to recharge the
band's batteries. The present average
age of his band members is a mere 23
years old. Without this infusion of
young blood we would not have the ban-
ds of Herman and Kenton; Maynard
Ferguson would not be having his suc-
cess; and Toshiko-Tabackin and Don
Ellis would not be adding their personal
colors to the Big Band Sound.
And speaking of college-aged
musicians, this concert will be an extra
special treat because the Washtenaw
Community College Big Band and our
very own University of Michigan Jazz
Band will join Buddy and his band.
For a concert like this, the ticket
prices ($6.50-$8.50) are better than just
reasonable - they're quite good and
the box-office says they still have good
seats left. So let's try to remedy that
problem.

ransition
Trans
Neil Young
Geffen Records
By Larry Dean
There was an article in that once-
great rock rag called Rolling Stone a
few years back wherein the writer
ironically called Neil Young "the last
American hero." If that particular
irony escapes you, then consider the
fact that Neil is a Canadian.
There. You have a perfect example of
the kind of contradictions that make up
the Young vocabulary - the kind that
are so wonderfully exemplified on this,
Young's eighteenth album and his first
for pal David Geffen's new label.
Trans-music is synthesizer music;
the synthesizer is something that
Young has never been fond of using in
his music. Again, contradictions
abound: try and imagine "Heart of
Gold" with a looping Keith Emerson
Moog solo in the middle, or "Cinnamon
Girl" with Devo (chums of Neil's, it's
true-Mark Mothersbaugh and the
dudes were his major source of in-
spiration for the Rust Never Sleeps
campaign-Mark coined the phrase-in-
question, and Devo appeared in the film
version of the tour) as backup band.
Tough, eh? But don't underestimate the
Y of CSNY too soon.
The thing that makes Young a hero
period, American citizenship not-
withstanding, is that he does change,
he does explore new musical avenues
and with such dire sincerity that you
must at least give him credit-you don't
have to like the music to appreciate a
contemporary musician who isn't
afraid to try something new. Young is
the prototype of the Madame Mon-

tessori of rock music.
A varied career has led Young to
Trans. His first solo album came out in
1969, when he was 24. He had already
hit it big with Buffalo Springfield and
figured it was time to hone his chops on
his own.
In the fourteen years between, Young
made good on his iconoclasm by setting
a few precedents. Time Fades Away
was the first live album of all new
material, like its follower years later,
Rust Never Sleeps. Somewhere in the
shuffle, Stephen Stills asked Young to
join Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and his
brief alliance with those three gents
gave them some of their best and most
varied songs, as well as guitar playing
that could convert your eardrums per-
manently. Decade, which came out in
1977, is a three-album-set that encom-
passes the span of Young's music up 'til
then and pretty well pushes itself as the
closest thing to a "greatest hits" album
that Neil will probably ever get away
with. In 1979, The Village Voice named
him "Artist of the Decade."
Trans is the result of two very dif-
ferent sides of the Neil Young spec-
trum, one of which is shiny-new and
totally unexpected. Most of the songs
are comprised of just Neil playing
around with computerized synths and
other electronic instruments. The
vocals are run through a Vocoder,
which is a machine that makes the
human voice sound like. . . well, a
machine. Occasionally an untreated
guitar lick or tambourine shake will
filter through, but the songs are mostly
synthetic-sounding, kind of like what
Merle Haggard would sound like being
produced by Kraftwerk.
Seriously, the German group Kraf-
twerk were a big inspiration for Trans.
While recording re-ac-tor, Young's
previous album (an amazing jux-
taposition to Trans with its distort-o-
matic guitars and thumping drums),
word is that Computer World by Kraf-
twerk was Neil's fave album at the time
(pray he doesn't hear the new Journey
album, or anything played by Varese in
the near future. Yipes!). Inspiration
has never sounded so weird before.

After fiddling around with his new
Moogs and Arps (the General Foods
and Betty Crockers of the synthesizer
family), Young culled together some of
his best buddies and recorded some
more songs, a little more in the so-
called "traditional" Neil Young vein.
They are fine and peppy and some of
the best-written in years. "Little Thing
Called Love" (no relation to the nearly-
named-the-same cousin by Queen)
kicks Trans off on a bouncy note. It has
"radio play" stamped all over it, but
whether or not it fattens the bank ac-
count for Young has yet to be seen.
"Hold On To Your Love" is keen, too,
primo stuff, and the album's closer,
"Like An Inca," an eight-minute tune in
the same sphere as "Cortez the Killer"
and "Like A Hurricane," wraps the
whole contradictory package up on a
definite and powerful note.
The synthesizer-oriented songs fare
well as oddly-appealing muzak. "Com-
puter Age" is a direct reference (read
"tip-of-the-hat") to Kraftwerk; "We R
In Control" a bundle of laughs; and
"Computer Cowboy (aka Skycrusher)"
a perfect synonymn for Young, he is the
whiny-voiced songster behind "Old
Man" and CSNY's "Helpless," playing
out the role of house musician in some
cafe straight out of Blade Runner. To
indelibly stamp the image, Young
redoes Springfield's "Mr. Soul" and if
you haven't realized this is the '80s yet,
then now's the time.
It's difficult to say whether or not Joe
Recordbuyer will like the music on
Trans-it's sort of a prerequisite to ap-
preciating it, but not a necessity. It is a
fun album, and it is, most certainly, a
"Neil Young" album-his personality
boogies through each and every note,
no matter how robotic the track. That, I
would say, is the sign of an artist in
transition, and like the best of 'em-no
matter what the category-Young
knows his stuff, and knows it well
enough to abandon its expectations and
spice up the perusual. Trans is a joy,
and at 38, Neil continues to mystify and
amaze, and, most importantly, sur-
prise.

Neil Yount

Buddy Rich: Drummer boy

Great
Geula
Geala Gill
Michigan Theatre
8 p.m. Saturday, January 29

By Jeff Gibson
WE'VE GOT A problem. First off,
I've got to write this thing and
you've got to read it. At least, those of
you who are still with me. Ya see, y'old
editor assigned me to write this
preview on some Israeli entertainer
named Geula Gill. Secondly, it so hap-
pens that I know her not from Rula
Lenska. ".Omigawd," you may well ex-
claim, "I knew it would happen!
Another quack Daily music critic!"
Now just calm down and stay with me,
we'll get through this thing together.
"What does she do?" I asked, not en-
tirely sure I wanted to find out.
"She's an Israeli folksinger or pop
star or something," explained Mr.
Editor, apparently as baffled as I.
"Oh," I sighed reluctantly and then
mumbled something unintelligible
before hanging up. The only Israeli pop
stars that I had ever heard of were
Geilte Joe and the Fish (Rhino Recor-
ds), Uzi and the Hitmen (Yiddish punk
ensemble), and, of course, Debra
Winger. My quest had begun, and I still
couldn't pronounce her first name (for
those taking notes, say it Gay-oo-Ia.

A quick perusal of her press release
seemed to confirm my worst
suspicions. In eight separate excerpts,
Miss Gill is hailed as "the only one in
the world today with the power to worry
Barbara Streisand," "a sort of Israeli
answer to Judy Garland,' and "a very
attractive performer who could have
taught Eartha Kitt a thing or two." The
list of thrushes continued: Eydie Gor-
me, Doris Day, and even, God forbid,
Anita Bryant and Twiggy.
As I progressed, it didn't get any bet-,
ter. I learned that not only had Gill
released some 20 albums, she could also
sing in 10 different languages. Finally,
the releases proudly proclaimed that
Geula Gill had been named "Israel's
Official Goodwill Ambassadress of
Song." Now we all know what that
means, right, fave ravers? Roger Whit-
taker, Nana Mouskouri, Slim Whitman
and Boxcar Willie are also "Goodwill
Ambassadors of Song." Bring on K-tel!
- Right?
Wrong. In spite of my emerging
discomfort, I decided that my own
profound sense of journalistic integrity
(Ahem - Ed.) dictated that I look past
the superficial chutzpah of said press
releases and investigate further. I went
right to the top, immediately contacting
Judy Barlas, executive director of the
Celebration of Jewish Arts, the show's
sponsor. There, I became acquainted
with the real Geula Gill as a truly multi-
talented artist.
Gill is a native Israeli who began as a
singer in the Israeli Army, where she
entertained the troops. Soon, she was
recording popular folk and folk dance
albums, all displaying her three-octave
vocal range. In 1968, she proved that
she could easily cross over into pop,
winning the Rio de Janeiro songfest.
The following year, she added yet

another dimension to her artistic repor-
toire by garnering a Tony Award
nomination for her star performance in
The Grand Music Hall of Israel. Gill
recently completed her third film, co-
starring with Charles Aznavour, en-
titled, Is Israel Real?

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Slowly, my skepticism waned,
replaced by more than grudging ad-
miration. When Mrs. Barlas played one
of Gill's albums, I knew I was done for.
"Where do you get tickets," I asked.
Mrs. Barlas smiled. "Hillel and Herb
David's studio," she answered. No
problem.

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4, ..Weekend/January 28,, 1983 3

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