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April 13, 1984 - Image 29

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-13
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Hearts
&,minds
Joe Jackson
Body and Soul
A&M
By Byron L. Bull
B ODY AND SOUL is Joe Jackson's
growing pains album. A collection
of songs through which he wrestles with
himself to deepen the intensity of his
writing while personalizing it more.
Blending intuition with thoughtfulness
doesn't always work, and some of
Jackson's efforts here fail badly, but
those that succeed glow with a
newfound inspiration that outshines
any of his previous work.
Stylistically, the change is most ob-
vious in his sound. Jackson abandons
cool chic posture he perfected on Night
And Day for a warmer, more soulful
approach. With the exception of bassist
Graham Marby, he's dropped his for-
mer band for a larger ensemble of flute,
sax, and horns. The horns (like the
albums '50s prestige jazz-style cover)
have a slight nostalgic accent to them,
but like those in Fagen and Becker's
Steely Dan arrangements, have a
modern feel to them.
The recordings were made in a New
York hall usually used by Vanguard
Records for classical works, with an at-
tempt to capture the instrumentals
"live" aspect of the over two ceiling
mics, with remixing kept down to a
minimum. As a result the album has a
clean but remarkably soft tone, and
surprisingly so for a digital recording.
Despite the affectionate musical
references to earlier American popular
music, Jackson's writing is still
strongly rooted in the present. He
doesn't use the current-events
topicality he nearly worked to death on
"T.V. Age" or "Real Men," but still
draws heavily on feelings of confusion
and underlying cynicism, and many of
his characters here speak from an ut-
terly hopeless viewpoint.
The opening track, "The Verdict," is
one of the more extreme examples.
Loud, declamatory horns blare out over
some ridiculously heavy-handed

metaphysics. Jackson compares life to
being on stage, Wonder what the
critics have to say) and then to a cour-
troom drama (Would you testify for
me?/I think that I'd do the same for
you), but fails to make the allusion
stick. And he generates little more than"
weak self pity when he moans, It's not
easy when there's no one giving
prizes at the end.
"Cha Cha Loco," with its sharp Afro-
Cuban beat, moves better, and has a
darker, more clever sense of sarcasm
that helps. But it too gets bogged down
in its own sense of, defeatism. The
images of a celebration, with
repeatedly slipped in, sardonic-ironic
counterpoint, work in their own brief
context but fail to add up to anything in
the end.
The third track, "Not Here, Not
Now," a dark cousin to Night And Day's
"Steppin' out," hits the mark perfectly.
It's slow, beautifully desolate lamen-
tation about the broken and unfulfilled
dreams of a couple who, in the midst of
a night out on the town, stare across a
table at each other, both knowing that
the relationship is irreversably dying.
Jackson takes an old premise, but he
stages it brillantly. He sets his couple
in the middle of a festive crowd, and
uses the crowds' smiling faces to con-
trast the emptiness of his two charac-
ters. Worse, they're trapped in a
situation where they can't show their
feelings. (Not here, not now the man
pleads repeatedly to avoid a scene)
which only enforces the painfulness of
it. Jackson's hesitant, lost piano
melody, and a tender, bittersweet
flugelhorn solo by Michael Morreale
turn the song into a deathbed scene of
abandoned hope.
"YouCan't Get What You Want (Till
You Know What You Want)" and "Go
For It," the succeeding songs, both
have a hollow upbeatness to them. The
former, once it's repeated its title
chorus a couple of times has nothing to
do but fidget and whistle to itself with
some uptempo but unimaginative
Crusaders-like horn work. The latter is
an even worse anthem, with all the
cheap crowd-raising enthusiasm of the
baseball park organ it imitates.
The second side, the better of the two,
opens up with "Losaida," an in-
strumental that is Jackson's most am-
bitious arrangement to date. Harking
back to the old Manhattan big band
romanticism, it could be an overture to
some nonexistent megwork, or even the
end title to a classy mystery/drama. It
is in fact far more atmospheric than
any of the instrumentals from the

Best coach
Bud Middaugh
Forest "Bud" Middaugh has wasted
no time in making his presence felt at
Michigan. In four years at the helm of
the baseball team, Middaugh has led
his squads to the College World Series
three times and compiled an overall
record of 171-57-1 during that time.
Last year may have been his best yet.
Michigan tied Arizona State for third in
the College World Series and ended the
season, 50-9. For.his career, Middaugh
has over 500 coaching victories, in-
cluding 356 at Miami (Ohio).

Mike's Murder soundtrack he released
last fall,
"Happy Ending" is a far more effec-
tive pop duet than anything in the last
few years. With a beautifully voiced
Elaine Caswell sharing vocals, it has
all the sweetness of an early '60s pop
love song, with more contempary un-
derpinnings. Like early Jackson songs,
it uses self doubt/confusion, but far
more effectively. Do I listen to my
head/Do I listen to my heart won-
ders Jackson, while Caswell cries Do I
look at what I see/Or be careful
what I read in longing and without the
self-effacing mockery that used to hang
over so much of Jackson's earlier
writing.
"Be my Number Two" is a decep-
tively simple, but poignant piece of post
break up blues. In it, Jackson, over a
delicate solo piano lullaby, tries to woo
a new woman's affection. Wearily he
admits And there's not much left of
me/ What you get is what you see/Is
it worth the energy?/I leave it up to
you and reflecting on the desperation
of his plea, comments frankly, I know

that it's not really fair of me/But
my heart's seen too much action.
Only a tacked on, gritty saw and bom-
bastic drum roll at song's end seem out
of place, begging for the emotional
response that the song easily coaxing
moments before.
The final track is a largely in-
strumental, uncomplicated reaffir-
mation of faith. Against a soaring of
trumpets Jackson's voice enters with
the line, Take a knife/Cut out this
heart of ice/Hold it high/walk out
into the sun. It's not a very complex
theme, but the lack of any excessive
lyrics, and the straight forward
musical delivery save it from being
overbearing. Though it's a weak song
with which to end the album.
Body And Soul marks a turning point
-in Jackson's career. By rejecting the
sophisticated overtones he pursued
before, his writing has gained an
eloquent edge it lacked before.
Whether he can take this ability beyond
introspective reflections, and broaden
his scope again remains to be seen. But
as a songwriter, he is evolving, is worth
keeping an eye on.W

Best track performance
Derek Harper
Harper leaped 25' 10%14" in the long
jump at the Big Ten indoor meet in
March. Harper finished first, set a
school record and qualified for the
Olympic trials.
Most hit records
Sue Schroeder and
Joyce Wilson
This track duo played a part in seven
school indoor records, including the
3200-meter relay at the NCAA's,
teaming with Martha Gray and Jen-
nifer Rioux.
Least known sport
Women's field hockey
Does anybody know the rules? How
about where the stickers' play? Just for
your information the field hockey team
plays on the remnants of Ferry Field,
squeezed between Ray L. Fisher
Stadium and the indoor football
fieldhouse.
Best Eddie Murphy
imitation
Bobby Knight
The head basketball coach's last visit
to Crisler Arena won't be soon forgot-
ten. Knight displayed an expanded ver-
sion of his vulgar vocabulary by
blasting Michigan coach Bill Frieder
with no less than three different
naughty words. For shame, Bobby.
Best Big Time
Wrestling imitation
Northern Michigan and
Michigan basketball teams
The two teams squared off-in a battle
royal at Crisler in December after
Wildcat guard Troy Mattson and Eric
Turner went at it. Before the melee was
over three players were ejected and
three technical fouls were called. Bill
Frieder's reaction? "Hell, I enjoyed
that game."
Best real
wrestling performance
Joe McFarland
The 126-pounder grappled his way to
second-best in the nation.

Biggest nose dive
Kent Ferguson
The junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
showed that Bruce Kimball is not the
only skilled diver in Ann Arbor by win-
ning the three-meter dive at the NCAA
championships in Cleveland.
Best sports buy (tie)
Baseball at Fisher
Hockey at Yost
You can see Bud's boys for a mere
$1 with your student ID. Hockey, at
$2 is a good deal, too; some of the best
teams in the country make stops at
Yost.

Best flipflop
A thletic Director

Don

Canham
Canham gave TV-channel 50 and
Michigan basketball fans the shaft by
cancelling a TV deal with the Detroit
station. He sold the rights to pay cable
station, Sportsview of Nashville, Tenn.
It didn't matter anyway, as Sportsview
sold the games to a public access cable
station in Ann Arbor.

Best tackle
Bruce Kimball
You've got to love the Michigan diver's spunk
noxious mascot, Brutus, Kimball took it upon
much to the delight of the Michigan fans. Late
considering moving from the pool to the gridiron

SOrderyour GRADUATION
- and BIRTHDAY
CAKES
Delicious Variety such as:
* Chocolate Decadance
C Carrot Cake
and many other unusually rich pastries and cakes
PARTY TRAYS 2.50 and up per person
CREATE YOUR OWN COMBINATIONS
* Kibbi
" Spinach Pie
* Taboulen
* Lady Fingers
Mon.-Thur, 7-6 * Chicken Artichoke Salad... 407 N. Fifth
Fri. 7-9; Sat. 7-5 665-6211

"Beer-303 N. Fri
Eee(across fromI
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Since 1935 The Natior
Drive-Thru

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Formers' Market)

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CELEBRATE with CONVENIENCE and SAVINGS
CHOOSE FROM:
" 99 bottles of domestic and imported beers.
" over 175 chilled wines.
" Kegs, munchies and more.
Never Leave Your Car
OPEN 7 DAYS TIL 2 A.M-

28 Weekend/Friday, April 13, 1984

13 W

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