Page 6--The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 20, 1985
McFerrin lets kids play
By Marc Taras
THE BOBBY MCFERRIN solo
vocal recital at the Ark Saturday
night was a special treat. I haven't had
this much fun since I was seven or
eight. Winning hearts seems to be Mc-
Ferrin's stock and trade. The audience
at the Ark was no exception. McFerrin
carefully and lovingly created an at-
mosphere so secure that a room full of
adults were able to liberate the child
within in complete safety. The crowd
was only staid in the sense of sitting in
place-you know-a concert rather,
than a dance situation. I was sitting on
the floor rocking and squealing. When it
came to easy laughter and song, Mc-
Ferrin and his audience were equally
The show began with a special sur-
prise as virtuoso violinist Randy Sabien
took to the stage for a brief solo flight.
Beginning with the Ellington standard
"Things Ain't What They Used To Be",
Sabien was utterly compelling from
jumpstreet. Maybe it was the room. It
was as if I had never heard the violin
before. Really heard the voice. His
phrasing and technique were spellbin-
ding. The brief set included a wonderful
version of the charming "Nature Boy"
and climaxed with a heart rending in-
terpretation of Charles Mingus' eulogy
for Lester Young, "Goodbye Pork Pie
Hat." I was so glad that Randy would
pause to remind us all of Pres' beauty
in this way. A gem.
But Bobby McFerrin was the real
star of Saturday's minstrel show, His
first set was mostly comprised of spon-
taneous vocal improvisations. He didn't
offer titles but the meaning was clear. I
made up my own names.
He warmed up with "Heartbeat Chest
Thump Hum Chant". McFerrin may be
the master of the human instrument.
Here he demonstrated uncanny rhyth-
mic sense, beating his chest as a
resonant drum while simultaneously
modulating his voice as the breath is af-
fected by the thumping. You had to be
there. Next he did the "Full of Love
Sing Along", encouraging the audience
to repeat increasingly complex scat
lines until he would take it right to the
sky and out of our throats. His Chest
Drum version of 'Got the Feelin'
(Baby! Baby! Baby!) was warm and
raw and incredibly sexy.
He offered a brief rendition of "B &
W", the duet he recorded with Wynton
Marsalis but resisted audience requests
for "I Feel Good" and "I'm My Own
Walkman" kindly enough, saying,
"Some things you only wanna do once,
man!" Instead he offered an im-
provisation- I call "Breathing Lessons
From Ghana". This piece began with
breathing rhythms and before it was
over McFerrin was literally speaking in
tongues, and the audience understood
Bobby encourages audience par-
ticipation and the individual realization
of the human voice as the primary in-
strument. We all sang along like
children as he urged us to "Sing For
Your Life." A group rendition of
"Amazing Grace" reminded us of all
we had forgotten. His cover of Lennon
and McCartney's "Blackbird" let the
bird take flight. But it wasn't until the
children's songs that we really all came
out to play.
The "Wizard of Oz" medley was
tremendous. Imagine a crowd of adults
chanting "Yo-eee-yo. Yooo." in unison
while some crazy cat acts out the death
of the wicked witch of the west! Wild.
And how about the TV theme from "The
Beverly Hillbillies". Big Fun. The
audience chants the asides as one;
Daily Photo by KATE O'LEARY
AMERICAN AND FOREIGN CAR SPECIALIST
Installed By LOW AS
SMALL CARS PARTICIPATING
One of the finest names DEALERS
Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin was right on the mark at the Ark last Saturday.
"Black gold. Texas tea." But the
highlight was joining in on "The Itsy-
Bitsy Spider" complete with the visual
hand motions. It was a real trip. Bobby
McFerrin is a magical heart with love
My advice is that the next time that
Bobby McFerrin is in town and wants to
know if you can come out to play, say
"yes" children and sing out loud for
. _ '
Starbound amateurs str
By Jacqueline Raznik
L IGHTS FLOODED the Lydia Men-
delssohn Theatre at intermission
revealing a house filled to capacity and
charged with excitement. It was only
half way thtrough the show, but
producers Carol Allis and Allison
Roberts could exhale at last. Their
many long weeks of frustration and
diligence had culminated February 16,
in Starbound '85, a success story and an
extravaganza at that. Sponsored by the
University Activities Center and
American Express, the Starbound '85
Talent Search Finals showcased the
cream of student talent at the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Although the sequel
seldom matches the original, this
year's Starbound in many ways sur-
passed its sole predecessor, Starbound
Starbound '85 incorporated the MTV
Rock-Alike contest, a campus wide
in automotive parts!.
(1/2 mile East of US 23)
educational program and fundraiser
for the National Multiple Sclerosis
Society, into the evening's celebration.
The sixteen emcees, contestants in the
Rock-Alike competition, have been im-..
personating their favorite rock stars
hoping to win a summer internship at
MTV. As part of the "Millions Against
Multiple Sclerosis Movement" all
proceeds from Starbound '85 will
benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
As for the Starbound finalists them-
selves-it eludes me how the judges
could have reached a decision. How
ludicrous it seems to compare the
lightness of touch and folksy originality
of pianist David Flippo in his variations
on "Aria" by Bach, to the zany circus
antics of Dexterous Dan the Juggling
Man, This is the inherent flaw of any,
"talent show", a flaw which many
shining performers painfully came to
realize as they listened to the judges'
Dexterous Dan swept up third prize, a
fifty dollar travellers check. The
audience devoured his high spirited and
daring routine, and screamed "Atta
boy, Dan!" at the juggler's en-
couragement (more often when Dan
dropped a ball). His comical rapport
enabled the audience to overlook and
even enjoy Dan's few slip-ups.
Alicia Hunter, one of the many
powerful female vocalists featured
belted out the gospel number "Because
of Whose I Am" with her unique brand
of charisma. She 'received a one hun-
dred dollar travellers check.
First prize, a five hundred dollar
check, was awarded to the well loved
"Friars", an octet within the Men's
Glee Club. Their choreography was
classic and impeccable as they perfor-
med a finely polished rendition of "Blue
Moon", featuring soloist Adam parker.
These were the winners, but I would
like to make a few honorable mentions
of my own:
Dave Crossland's gorgeous voice and
moving lyrics enabled the singer's
natural warmth and honest emotion to
captivate the audience during his
original song, "Seija". The multi-
talented Renae Morway flaunted her
versatility as she combined her
exuberant flair for comedy with a
powerful singing voice in a masterful
performance of "I Felt Nothing", and
"Somewhere That's Green".
As the closing act, Johnny Jones and
the Phones entered the limelight over
three hours after the opening number.
Nevertheless, the band revamped the
spirits of a fatigued and restless
audience with a great deal of jazzy
Assuredly, the judges tried to fight off
their weariness and maintain a fresh
and objective outlook throughout this
three and a half hour competition-but
they are only human. One must
question the justice in comparing a
vocalist who strutted on the stage at
8:15 before a highly energized audien-
ce, to a singer of equal talent, who per-
formed at 11:15 before a fidgety crowd,
following four other vocal numbers.
Undoubtedly, the energy level of the,
audience affects performance quality.
Unfortunately, that's showbiz.
Despite its lengthiness, I'm sure
Starbound '85 gave many a new ap-
preciation for the vast array of talent
within the Uniyersity of Michigan
student body. It is hard to imagine a
future Starbound surpassing this year's
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GEORGE ASHBY and CARL CONUN
of Three Cushion Billiards
To be followed by a trick shot demonstration by Mr. Ashby
Thursday, February 21 8:00pm.
Billiards and Games Room, Michigan Union
GEORGE ASHBY IS THE CURRENT U.S., champion in three cushion billiards, a six time partici-
pant in world's three cushion championships, and is the best three cushion
illiards player in the U.S. today.
CARL CONLIN Ann Arbor's own Carl Conlin is a world reknowned three cushion
BULIMIA " COMPULSIVE OVEREATING
Are You Suffering From Any Three of The Following:
cash in on your hard work before graduation'
and open the door to a top
Career in Engineering Management.
Those of you distraught over the fact
that Minneapolis' Suburbs got dropped
by their national label may take some
consolation in this LP by an often soun-
dalike NY fivesome. The Nails have not
yet achieved the degree. of musieal
variety that the 'Burbs found in th'air
near-classics Credit in Heaven and
Love is the Law, nor have they,
cultivated anything near broad a range
of deadpan humor-The Nails often
seem stuck in a groove of semi-self-
mocking, semi-snide Battle of the Sexes
action that's too insistent no to be a bit
sexist. Their toil may all be for ' naught
in any case, since The Nails may well
suffer the Suburbs' fate of being a near-
ultimate power-pop wave group at least
three years too late for anyone to
seriously care. On the other hand...a
good purist pop band is always
welcome in my camp, and the Nails are
getting there. The performance and
production (Gregg Winter) are very
confident, the general sound swinging if
not particularly moody-the basic
combo plus keyboards and a well-
employed two-man horn section. The
songs range from the merely OK to the
nearly swell, with "Dark' Brown" and
"Let It All Hang Out" frustratingly
just-about-there in the latter group. The
most addictive, and potentially most
annoying, cut is "88 Lines About 44
Women," which is a cutesy but fairly
unselfconscious rap about past
conquests-a noxious idea to be sure,
with roughly the 2-to-1 odds on bad to
good lines that the title might lead you
to expect. It's just one light, extended
melodic riff, hardly a "song" at all, but
you know how these things have a way
of planting themselves in your head.
There's rather more calculation going
on here than one might like, (you can
tell the singer's feeling deliciously
naughty every time he says fuck), but
Mood Swing is overall pretty solidly en-
joyable. -Dennis Harvey
For highly qualified students in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry,
Mathematics or hard sciences, the Navy's Nuclear Power Pro-
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After graduation, you will receive graduate level training
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To qualify you must be between the ages of nineteen and
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based Physics. You must also have at least a 3.0 G.P.A. overall
with a 3.0 in major.
The Navy Engineering Representative will be on campus Monday,
Mar. 18, and Tuesday, Mar. 19, 1985. Sign up at the Engineering Place-
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Navy Representative, or call us at 1-800-922-1702 for more information.
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