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March 10, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-10

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday,-March 10, 1983-Page 7

is coming
Jazz cats, beware. Cool trumpeter
Wynton Marsalis is coming. The New
Orleans-born 22-year old with a clear
sound and a swinging -quintet behind
him visits the Power Center this Friday
at 9 p.m.
Marsalis surprised the jazz world
with a very exciting and successful
debut album around this time last year.
The record, Wynton Marsalis, featured
members of what is now the Wynton
Marsalis Quintet: brother Branford on
saxophone, pianist Kenny Kirkland,
drummer Jeff Watts, and new bassist
Phil Bowler.
If description is absolutely
necessary, call the music post-bop. Or
better yet, call it swinging. Marsalis
plays in the best tradition of Louis
Armstrong, Fats Navarro, and the
other trumpet greats.
Prior to the Power Center
appearance, Wynton will be talking
with jazz afficiondos at Schoolkid's
Records (523 E. Liberty). At 4 p.m. the
entire quintet will lead a special jazz
workshop over at the Trotter House
(1443 Washtenaw). Tickets for the
Friday concert are available through
Eclipse Jazz (763-5924) at $8.50 apiece.
Be there.
- -Ben Ticho

(A Series)
Thursday, March 10 8 PM
Friday, March 11
At Noon
Lunch (Home-made Vegetable Soup) is available at $1.00
GUILD HOUSE, 802 MONROE (662-5189)
Program is sponsored by Guild House Campus Ministry and funded in part by
Michigan Commission/United Ministries in higher education.

Daily Photo by WENDY GOULD
Innovative dance tops off the evening

Impact Jazz, the University's jazz
dance troupe, will present their annual
concert at Mendelssohn Theater.
The show runs two hours with three
acts of a wide variety of selections
ranging from the music of Bruce
Springsteen, David Bowie and the Cat
People to a rendition of the Leonard
Bernstein overture from West Side
Story. Most choreographers are Impact
dancers except for guest

choreographer Sherry Kohn, a dance
major who will present a piece
accompanied by the music of Phil
Collins. Congo drummers will also be
there to enhance an African-American
This year's leader is Barbara Siff
who has been rehearsing the troupe
since mid-September. Lighting designs
are by Tony Nye, a student of Huron
High who has assisted previous
University dance concerts this year.

After ' Saturday night's show the
company will continue its Tuesday
night Jazz workshops which have been
successful and great fun so far.
"This show has something for
everyone, a touch of classical ballet, a
taste of modern, a sensation of jazz and
an ethnic dance, as well" says Amy
Parish, the company's production
manager and an enthusiastic
performer in tonight's concert. For
more information call UAC 763-1107.
-Julie Bernstein

Avant-garde opera in Detroit

By Bob Weisberg
R OBERT ASHLEY has returned,
once more. The former director of
Ann Arbor's Legendary ONCE group
will be presenting his latest avant-
garde venture, the opera Atalanta,
tonight at 8 at the Detroit Institute of
the Arts.
Those who were here in the turbulent
r60s may recall that the ONCE group con-
sisted of a bunch of musical innovators.
These composers/musicians were
disillusioned with what they perceived
as a staid University music scene and
as a result they presented a massive
array of new music works and perfor-
mers via annual festivals and regular
concerts.. Eventually Ashley forsook
the midwest for Mills College in
Oakland, California (only George Cac-
cioppo, who works at WUOM, remains
from the group) and other projects but
not without leaving behind a legacy of
offbeat compositions.
His most recent and grandiose
project is the three-part series (Ashley
prefers not to use the word "trilogy") of
operas of which Atlanta is the first
part. Actually, the second opera -
Perfect Lives/Private Parts - has
already been produced and much of it is
available on record. Ashley is never one
to do things the obvious way.
The performance that will take place
tonight will be a sort of scaled-down
version of the production that opened
'this November in Paris and drew
generally enthusiastic if somewhat
bewildered reviews at the Lovely Music
Festival in New York in January. Gone
will be the "dancers" and some of the
elaborate lighting and stage decor, but
'Ashley promises that this touring ver-
sion will be as good as the original.
Ashley will still be front and center,
-assuming the role of the three central
characters in each of the opera's three
half-hour "anecdotes" (Ashley likes
"threes). "Blue" Gene Tyranny (a.k.a.
Robert Sheff) will improvise on
keyboard while Paul Shorer mixes and
presents - in a manner not predeter-
mined - the taped orchestral parts.
For those in need of a refresher, the
Greek myth Atalanta is essentially
about a goddess who is pursued by
4 three suitors who do not succeed until
one finally outsmarts her by dropping
three golden apples which she stops to
pick up.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Ashley
explained how the three suitors -- as
well as the victorious. one - are
represented by his three characters.
"Atalanta is herself a fairly extraor-

dinary person," said Ashley, "so she
would pick as her mate a fairly ex-
traordinary human being. So I'm trying
to imagine- what that human being
would be.
"There are three aspects of the
character of the person: 'o'ne is the
visual visionary - Max Ernst (the
surrealist painter); Willard Reynolds
(Ashley's uncle) is a kind of narrative
storytelling visionary; and Bud Powell
(the jazz pianist) is a musical
How does this fit cohesively into the
three-opera whole? Not surprisingly,
Ashley offered an unexpected ex-
planation: "Well, (the series) is
basically sort of the linguistic history of
the United States; of the linguistic
distinctions - the idea of how the
stories of what we are and where we
came from change depending on where
you are on the American continent. The
first three episodes which comprise
Atalanta are anecdotes. They deal with
the east coast and the New World.
The next seven episodes, Perfect
Lives/Private Parts, are about the
midwest, and they're more fragmen-
"It's based on a sort of rhetorical
form," Ashley continued. "The charac-
ters in Atalanta are fixed for a certain
amount of time; you're only dealing
with a certain character. In Perfect
Lives the characters are more fleeting;
it's based on the models of Dante's In-
ferno or The Tibetan Book of the Dead

where there are many, many variations
on the characters' form. And then the
last four episodes (not yet completed)
are the west coast, and that's about the
future of the language."
It certainly does make sense, yet,
owing to Ashley's unconventional way
of presenting things, few observers are
likely to glean very much from a single
viewing. Indeed, esteemed New York
Times reviewer John Rockwell,
declared that "...it is only an opera if
you accept a much broadened definition
of the form, one that includes any
mixed-media theatrical work with lots
of music. It has no recognizable plot, it
uses no orchestra or opera singers, and
it is, like so much of Mr. Ashley's work,
almost defiantly weird."
Undaunted, Ashley has faith in his
audience. "I want them to (under-
stand)," he said. "I don't think it's
possible in any genre to understand
everything the first time out. Even in
popular music it takes time before you
can sort of get into it. You know the old
story about how the old folks couldn't
take rock and roll, and now people don't
understand what kind of thing 'new wave is.
You have to learn how to listen."
With the familiarity concept in mind,
Ashley has turned to television and
video. "The whole idea is that this was
designed for television", he said,
cautioning that mere audio versions of
the operas - conventional records -
are incomplete. "I'm sort of resisting
doing too much audio stuff before the

television because I really want
Atalanta to be thought of as an opera in
a musical-visual sense."
So far only the BBC, which will
premiere Perfect Lives/Private Parts
in the fall, has agreed to air the operas.
Ashley said that several American
broadcasters are interested, however,
and he hopes to see the production on
the air in the States within the year. Un-
til then, tonight will likely be the only
time area adventurers will have the
chance to decipher the visions of this
special native.

g e'u i

llm 'QAI



kilti7pm AND
word dooR9:lspm
co-starring TOSHIRO MIFUNE
$2 single fatUre
co-sponsored by MSA $3 oe feature
for more information-662-6598




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