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November 18, 1984 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-18

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The Michigan Daily - Sunday, November 18, 1984 - Page 7

Pope headlines at Ark

(Continued from Page 6)
couraged Odean's musical endeavors.
"And when i think back to all those
-years I lived at home and studied, and
not once did my parents tell me to go
ut and get a job, because they saw how
.serious I was about music-and they
wanted me to be independent. They
gave me a gift, allowing me the time to
develop, to get inside myself. I'll
always be grateful."
Pope's playing has been favorably
compared with that of John Coltrane,
the departed giant of the tenor
saxophone. It is worth recalling their
common experience in the southern
churches as well as the Philly scene. As
a youngster, Pope attended Banjamin
Franklin High School, where he began
his formal training under the brilliant
tutelege of masters such as Benny
Golson and Jimmy Garrison. His first
saxophone lessons occurred at the
Wurlitzer School of Music under the in-
struction of a man named Segeal.
Pope recalls studying the works of
sax men Sonny Rollins and Chu Berry
but at an early age, he forsook all the
records he had by sax players. His
feeling was that he needed to develop
his own sound. Ah! The agony of in-
fluence.
He turned primarily to the work of
pianists and drummers. He studied
harmony and theory with Ray Bryant
before he came under the guidance of
the legendary Hassan Ibn Ali, perhaps
his greatest influence. The structures

and theory Ali worked with were light
years ahead of their time, and Pope
began to develop the means to tran-
spose his mentor's ideas for the
saxophone.
He also studied with bassist Jymie
Merrit who was a member of Max
Roach's mid-sixties bands. When Max
formed a new group Merrit dropped
Pope's name and the result was a one
year stint for the young lion working the
grand master of Bebop rhythmic for-
ms. This experience, in '67 and '68 was
another period of education for Pope
who acknowledges Roach's abilities as
a player and a teacher.
By 1971, Odean Pope had organized
his own group, called Catalyst, which
recorded four LP's for Muse records
before disbanding. They were a true
fusion band whose musics were well
ahead of the mainstream jazz-rock
sound. Catalyst faded away in 1975 and
two years later in 1977, Pope formed his
Saxophone Choir. Here was a band
whose conceptual roots were found in
Pope's youthful involvement with the
church.
"I was brought up in the church, and
they used to have choirs that I would
sing in. Deep down I always asked
myself how it would sound to have nine
saxophones do the same thing," he
said. Deep.
The Saxophone Choir still performs
occasionally in Europe and America.
In fact, it was after one of the Choir's

New York gigs in 1979 that Max
Roach invited Pope to join his group for
their next tour. Pope has since recor-
ded three albums with Roach including
the stunning CBS release 'Chat-
tahoochie Red'.
1982 marked the release of Odean
Pope's first recording as a leader.
'Almost Like Me' by the Odean Pope
Trio was released on the German
Moers Music label to critical acclaim.
Another true fusion group, the band is
dominated by the powerful rhythms of
bassist Gerald Veasley and drummer
Cornell Rochester.
Hold on to your hats, folks! This band
is in town tonight! Pope is delighted
with his chosen partners, saying, ".. .
to me the drums are as melodic as any
instrument and that's where the main
energy of the group has to come from. .
. If a drummer and bass player aren't
playing with total independence and
freedom; if they're not constantly ex-
tending the rhythms, it's not interesting
for me to function."
For those interested in the music
of Odean Pope, for whatever
reason, there will be a chance to
meet the artist at Trotter House,
1443 Washtenaw. The event starts
at 4:00 tonight. For more infor-
mation, call 763-0046.

Memories
Lynn Milgrim and Patrick Dempsey star in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Neil Simon's latest comedy, which is playing at
the Michigan Theatre tomorrow and Tuesday night.
Queen Ida bringas zydeco to A2

I

(Continued from Page 6)
While the audience ("the best I've
seen in the Midwest," said Ida) grooved
on the floor, washboarder Wilburt
Lewis demonstrated a five-step dance
that included something like a square-
dancing, do-cee-doo shuffle, a
vaudeville slipping-as-you-run step,
and a funk/punk shake that had Lewis
twisting with the deftness of you-know-
who Jackson.
That variety of dance steps ac-
curately reflected the music: Both are
eclectic, drawing from many
established styles, some of which blend
but others of which grate like electric
guitar in a classical symphony or syn-
thesizer in bluegrass tunes. For instan-
ce, one song was certainly in the rock
vain, but mid-song Ida's accordion
broke through with a polka-sounding
soloe, reminding you that it wasn't
Steve Nardella or Aluminum Beach
playing.
The accordion also riddled strong
pop-country tunes that, without the ac-
cordion, might have had you thinking of
Jimmy Buffet or the Charlie Daniels
Band.
Whether or not such combinations
work depends on individual tastes, but

certainly it can be said that the band
pressed and occasionally overstepped
the workable limits of juxtaposing
diametric sounds.
Ida masterfully jammed the accor-
dion, exploring its use in many styles,
soaring with the wide musical range
and attention-seizing quality charac-
teristica of electric guitar. Ida showed
that the accordion isn't just for polkas
or homesick seamen, and that music
isn't just to be mindlessly pigeon-holed.
Vicki Freedman, a zydeco fan,
testified to this. "I think its power lies
in that you can't classfy it, you can't
call it one certain thing. That's what
makes it great."
But at some point you have to
question-or at least, I question--to
what degree this fifty-year old thing
called zydeco is a valid and unique
sound in itself, distinguishable from its
influences. Where do.you find style in a
band that hops from bluegrass to
Calypso to rock to country-western?
Like some politicians, zydeco seems
to divy itself to too many special-
interest groups. And as with bar-
mitzvah bands and beginning garage
groups, its style suffers from eclec-
ticism. Until zydeco loosens its cum-

bersome ties to too many
genres-perhaps in a few years-it
remains, for me, aesthetically forget-
table.
Wait. I can already hear Friday
night's fans screaming at my words.
Let me qualify this: Zydeco is barrels
and oodles of fun; it achieves its goal,
which, according to Ida, is to "dance
and have a good time."
But it hasn't got the strong in-
dividuality that, say, reggae has. And
in the popular mind, it'll most often be
filed somewhere in country music,
which seems to have the largest thread
in the weaving of zydeco.
Though zydeco probably won't spec-
tacularly flower, that doesn't mean it
will die.
BROWN BAG LUNCH
at GUILD HOUSE, 802 MONROE
Tuesday, Nov. 20
"WOMEN'S LIVES"
(conversations on how women grow and change)
Susan Kelly, Pastoral Team Member,
St. Mary's Student Chapel
This program is sponsored by Guild House
Campus Ministry and funded in part by
Michigan Commission-united Ministries in higher education.

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Take the rap
Legendary hi-hop rap man Bambaataa mixed sound and styles at Joe's Star Lounge on Thursday and the University
Club on Friday. Read Tuesday's Daily for an interview with Mr. Bambaataa himself.
Lou Reed pleases crowd at Hill

(Continued from Page 6)
something/that you can't pronounce");
the at-the-hop pop-rockin' classic "I
Love You Suzanne;" and the Velvet-y
smooth "Fly Into the Sun."
New Sensations songs: "Turn to Me"
(which enumerates blue-Monday
bummers with some great lines, like
"And some friend died of
something/that you can't pronounce");
the at-the-hop pop-rockin' classic "I
Love You Suzanne; " and the Velvet-y
smooth "Fly Into the Sun."
Reed's always rather weak voice was
in impressively flexible form, and he
honored the audience's enthusiasm for
new songs by showing a surprisingly
-pleasure in doing ye olde chestnuts.
Lou seemed to be taking a genuinely
-'pleased look at his roots, making big
mention of his only previous A2 date,
some 20 years ago-when Andy Warhol
brought the Exploding Plastic
inevitable circus to the '65 Film Fest,
complete with the Velvet Underground
┬░and husky-voiced mystery girl Nico.
("What was it like??!?," I asked a U-
M film prof a couple of years ago. "It
vKiss Me
Kate fun
(Continued from Page 6)
;however, was that of lead Lilli Vanessi
: (Kelly Turner). Turner made the whole
evening worthwhile, if only to watch
her confidently catch the audience's at-
tention and hold it until the release of
,her last, and usually brilliant, note.
, Morway, along with John Halperin,
Gary Adler, and Ben Landmen deser-
ves further mention for the show-
stealing acapella passage in "Tom,
Dick, or Harry."
x Perhaps to the credit of Director Don
. Rice, the acting in Kiss Me Kate deser-
ves neither pan nor praise. It just didn't

was loud," he said.) "So I guess it's
been a while since I've been in Ann Ar-
bor. . . but it's been worth the wait,"
Reed said, reducing all hearts to ooze
as a fitting preface to a clamorous ren-
dition of an old fave, "White Light
White Heat."
The subsequent screamed-for encore
provided another surprise by sticking
mostly to medium/slow tempoed num-
bers rather than the usual hysteria-
inducing hits. "Coney Island Baby,"
"Some Kind of Love" and "Waves of
Fear" were audacious but successful
encore choices, and their relatively
sobering nature OK'd what might
have otherwise been a pretty corny
closer-"Rock and Roll," which Reed
intro'd as "the song-and the show."
Such stuff would be pure camp if it

emerged (as it no doubt does) from the
wet lips of, say, Van Halen. But Lou
Reed has historical justification going
for him. The triumph of the Hill show
was that it made that history come
alive-no waxworks were on display
here, man. What makes a legend
most? If you were there, you'd know
now.
The Swimming Pool Q's are yet
another smart, quirky post-artschool
kinda Southern pop band, and yours
truly probably blew it bigtime by
missing most of their opening set. What
I did see was delightful, and had the
audience in a state of high ap-
preciation-not an easy accomplish-
ment for a basically unknown outfit
playing to a crowd of committed
headliner fans.

More people have survived
cancer than now live in the
City of Los Angeles.
We are winning.
o S

i

ana E-orest

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