The Michigan Daily
Sunday, September 9, 1984
By Marc S. Taras
T HERE IS a particularly deceptive
style of Kung Fu known as the
drunken man form. The David Murray
Octet demonstrated this form as it
caroused its way into the hearts of an
animated audience at U-Club Friday
In Chinese, Kung fu means 'work
done' or 'energy spent'. And Murray's
band did beautiful work and spent
delicious energies in two high powered
U-Club sets which kicked off the season
for Eclipse Jazz.
Like the drunken man, the band
teetered along, sounding slightly
inebriated, as if the music might fall
over at any minute. But drunkenness
was not the case. It was instead a clever
use of musical slight of hand.
At 29, Murray is already one of the
most accomplished composers in con-
temporary music. His compositions are
firmly rooted in traditional swing
Forward motion is what Murray
demonstrated so vigorously. The Octet
is Murray's vehicle for tunes written
for large ensembles and Friday's per-
formances testified to his skills as an,
Murray is aware of his players and
writes for their particular abilities. The
music was spirited and inspirational,
descending from the Charles Mingus
church of Saxophone soul-saving.
The first set opened with the ap-
propriately up and out "Fast Life"
which set the tenor and emotional tone
of the evening. Billy Higgins was grin-
ning at the drumkit and kicking the en-
tire band forward.
When Murray's solo reached its peak
that forward velocity was incredible.
The beautifully funky "Morning Song"
featured both trombone virtuoso Craig
Harris and former Ann Arborite Rod
Williams on piano.
The music emerged grinning darkly
and laughing lightly. The point is
feeling good. "Dewey's Circle" served
as a showcase for Higgins and trum-
peter Roy Campbell. A riotous upbeat
swing break left happy horns chugging
over irresistible rhythmic eddies. The
duet between Harris and Campbell here
highlighted the first set.
highlighted the first set
Murray's reserve of energy was still
evident as the second set charged
along. He delighted the crowd with the
Octet's seemingly infinite array of
musical textures and colours.
The ballad "Ming" showcased Harris'
on trombone backed by sensitive en-
semble playing. Baikida Carrol showed
us that his reputation as one of the
finest trumpeters to emerge in recent
years is richely deserved.
Wilbur Morris, who records with the
Octet, combined with Higgins creating
a rich and deep rhythmic foundation.
Perhaps the greatest surprise was the
consistently strong soloing of altoist
Steve Coleman. Coleman's playing is
best described as a thoughtful, con-
sidered, and strong solo performance.-
The whole band was strong, -in
music as well as loving energy directed
at their audience. The celebratory lines
of "Flowers for Albert" brought
Murray's compositional joy to the fore
again and provided a fitting climax to
the evening, showing each player in a
wonderful light. The crowd was clap-
ping in time and swaying to the horns
that seemed for all the world like the in-
side of a glass of champagne.
The drunken man style is deceptive,
however, and David Murray's vision is
Daily Photo by CAROL L. FRANCAVILLA
Tenor saxophonist David Murray leads his octet through two sets at the 'U' Club Friday night.
Cooney dazzles folk at new Ark
By Andy Weine
T O A . NEAR-capacity crowd,
Michael Cooney shined in his per-
formance at the Ark on Friday night.
And the audience shined back, singing
along joyfully throughout the show.
Cooney's concert opened the Ark's
fall season and its new home at 637 S.
Main. The new location proved worthy
of the old Ark; its character is dif-
ferent, neither better nor worse. The
new coffeehouse has more space and
can accommodate more people, so
listeners won't be cramped shoulder to
shoulder on benches and cushions.
But that closeness was part of the old
Ark's flavor, as was the image of the
old converted house, with its doors and
windows open in warm weather. While
ventilation and "hominess" suffer a lit-
I tle at the Main Street location, the new
Ark has enough of the same flavor to
draw folk fans to many enjoyable
shows. Cooney, returning after fift-
een years, said it best-
"It's still the Ark."
Cooney played a wide variety of good
tunes, including old college songs, sea
songs, coming-home ballads, and camp
tunes. While the periods and subjects of
the songs changed, they had something
in common: good humor. For instance,
one song satirized a parental voice
warning against using the "f-word" too
much ("We sit down to have a chat, and
it's f-word this, f-word that . . ."). In
another tune, Cooney wittingly por-
trayed two characters in the story of a
"city slicker" trying to get directions
from a "country bumpkin."
Cooney's more interesting songs had
a political tinge to them, such as one
which described worn-out activists
pouting about the threat of ther-
monuclear war while defrosting their
refrigerators. Another humoruous and
thought-provoking tune was "The
Bourgeois Blues," the lament of
someone livinig in a segregated,
wealthy white neighborhood. Though
Cooney's repertory is large, he could
add to its quality by drawing more
songs from one of folk music's most
valuable resources: progressive,
Cooney's voice was unspectacular,
but his playing was deft. On the guitar
and banjo he approached virtuosity.
The concertina (a relative of the accor-
dion), kazoo, jaw harp, and a modified
banjo complimented the familiar folk
Folklore..seemed to be Cooney's
main interest in playing, and his
folktales added flavor to the show.
Frequently he related different ver-
sions of songs, stories about the songs'
origins, and stories about the in-
struments he played. He related the
Scottish and Irish origins of the concer-
tina,for example, and told about how a
North Carolina man made Cooney's
banjo from a piece of stove pipe.
Cooney prefers to use songs he hears
rather than write and play his own
songs. The number of songs he knows
should boggle his mind, or anyone
else's. He said he once listed all the
songs he had known at one time or
another, and the total was around nine
hundred, five hundred and fifty of
which he knew at any one time.
Cooney is still learning songs. "I used
to think I knew all the great songs," he
said, "but there are great songs
This weekend, Ark audiences got a
taste of some great songs and of what
should be a good season at the Ark.
Join the / - Ipoe
PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT -
The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts is currently interviewing
students interested in participating in an alumni fundraising telethon. LS&A
alumni across the country will be called from campus. The telethon runs five
nights per week, Sunday through Thursday, September 30 through Novem-
ber 15. Each week you select two of the five nights available, .with some
opportunity to work additional nights.
Hours: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Pay: $3.55 per hour
LS&A STUDENTS PREFERRED
The University of Michigan is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer
Colour Radio, 'Colour Radio'
(Gold Mountain/A &M).
Milwaukee-based quartet Colour
Radio deserves some credit for sheer
r nerve, since they've opted to be a con-
ventional synth-based dance band at a
point when that is definitely not cool
(unless you're British, in which case it
remains questionable). Their self-titled
debut LP doesn't earn many other
credit marks, though. This is adequate,
instantly forgettabel synthpop that
already seems dated by a year or two,
not so much by the routine sensitivity-
goes-dancing lyrics or the ordinary in-
strumentation or the mildly mannered
Ric Ocasek-type vocals as by simple
The whipsnaps, occasional guitar
flourishes and business-as-usual synth
lines are enough to keep you dancing if
helped along by a Valium or two, but
nothing is capable of retaining the more
alert attention. Produced with
professional disinterest by Rick
Derringer (and with an unnoticeable
spot-the-celebrity guest backing vocal
by Rick Springfield), Colour Radio
never do or say anything momentous in
their ten tracks, though in their favour
it must be said that they certainly never
achieve any degree of real em-
It seems cruel to give another bored
shrug to yet another much-loved-on-
the-local-level band, but there's no real
punch to any of the material on Colour
Radio. They compose perfectly
passable songs of this sort ("Bound for
Life," "Straight from the Heart,"
"Adrianna Dreams"), but haven't yet
acquired the commercial knowhow of
bands like the Thompson Twins, who
have learned how to dress up an or-
dinary tune with the one or two gim-
micks that will stick like Silly Putty to a
Without those studio smarts, Colour
Radio is just another featherweight pop
also-ran, doomed to the cut-out bin
though it doesn't really sound all that
inferior to work by bands safely en-
sconsed in the top 40.
Health Service at
TUESDAY LUNCH - FORUMS
AT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER
603 E. MADISON
A New Dimension
Opportunities Available in:
STUDENTS, FACULTY, COMMUNITY - WELCOME
"THE SOVIET UNION:
IMPRESSIONS OF A JOURNALIST"
Speaker: DON FABER, Editorial Writer and Columnist for THE ANN ARBOR
NEWS who spent 3 weeks in the USSR and Eastern Europe in June, 1984.
"PERSPECTIVES ON ISRAEL TODAY"
"Settlement and School for Peace for Arabs and Jews in Israel"
Speaker: Dr. Len Suransky, UM Faculty member and educator.
"peace Prospects in Israel"
Speaker: Richard Cleaver, Peace Secretary, American Friends Service Committee
FUTURE PROSPECTS AND HOPES"
Speaker: DR. SEONG SOO HAN, UM Professor of Dentistry and Anatomy,
Health Screening Clinics for:
on the Diag -
Friday, Sept. 14, 11 am-4 pm
(Rain date: Friday, Sept. 21)
Win a Comprehensive Visual
Exam at University Health
Fill out the coupon and drop
it off at the UHS Festifall
Booth on Friday, Sept. 14