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February 22, 1985 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-22

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The Michigan Daily Friday, February 22, 1985

Pianist Ozone sets

jazz'new course



by Marc S. Taras
L ike the rarest of blossoms there oc-
casionally appears in the world of
jazz a player who possesses the at-
tributes of potential genius. Such
musicians combine prodigious,
technique with an original voice that
speaks from the individual's heart of
hearts. They must couple facility with a
willingness to be emotionally tran-
sparent. Makoto Ozone, the 23 year old
Japanese piano-phenomenon, has the
necessary background, discipline, and
boldness to become such a player. This
wunderkind - who has already gar-
nered lavish (and understandable)
praise from coast to coast, and even at
his young age has already been com-
pared with jazz legends Oscar Peterson
and Bill Evans, will be offering a solo
piano recital at the Blind Pig Monday
night. You'll want to be there. You will
be swept away. You will have
something special to tell the next
generation: that you saw Makoto way
back when!
Makoto's magical new release on
Columbia records raises more
questions about this young man, but it
answers the most important one.
Listening to the record and reading the
notes by Gary Burton you'll be amazed
to discover that this world of mystical
beauty is woven by a player who
doesn't own a piano. Burton admits that
he doesn't even know how often Ozone
practices. In between the lines you'll

discover that Burton, the maestro of the
vibraphone, is as excited as any of
Makoto's most ardent admirers. But
can he play? Yes! Yes! My first im-
pression of Ozone's playing was one of
enchanting lyricism. Unwittingly I
joined the ranks of those who would
liken his style to Bill Evans. Giving life
to the music is important to Makoto
who has said, "My father always told
me that no matter how great you can
play technically, don't forget the music
is coming out of your heart." Let us
consider the deliberate path of Ozone's
precious heart..
Makoto Ozone was born March 23,
1961, and grew up in a city near Osaka
called Kobe. His father is a jazz
musician who still plays today. Makoto
took up the keyboards and taught him-
self. "I began playing when I was five,"
he explains, "I was on TV when I was
six, I began improvising at seven." At
this tender age his favored instrument
was the Hammond organ; Jimmy
Smith and Wild Bill Davis were the
players he revered. His youthful
resistance to the tedious piano lessons
in classical music which his father
suggested dampened Ozone's interest
in his current instrument. At 12 the
world changed for makoto Ozone. He
was able to attend a Japanese concert
by Oscar Peterson. He was completely
overawed and- turned around. "I saw
what he was doing with the piano and I
thought, 'this is ridiculous! that's im-
possible!' "In typically dogged fashion
Ozone glommed on to thirty or forty

Peterson LP's and laboriously tran-
scribed every piece; analyzing them,
committing them to memory. His style
had become Oscar's. Or rather, he had
so carefully studied the master as to
have absorbed Peterson's style while
simultaneously acquiring incredible
facility and technique. Soon he would
move toward his own voice.
He arrived at Boston's Berklee
College of Music at the age of 19 and
immediately astounded and delighted
faculty and other students with his
ability. His school performances
became the talk of the music scene. He
was attended by an ever widening
group which roared its approval. But
the pressure was on from teachers and
friends to drop the Peterson persona
and take up the greater challenge of
identity. He began taping his im-
\ provisational gigs and listening to the
results. One night he heard something
new! After developing his ideas to a
certain point he had the good fortune of
meeting Gary Burton (who will, in-
cidentally, be appearing with his quar-
tet at the Pig on April 25). Burton
befriended Ozone and took him under
his musical wing. "...He really helped
pull me out of that pot, to put me on my
own track."
In the meantime Makoto had become
the number one call when visiting ar-
tists needed a pianist. His skills in com-

position and arrangement were maturing
and he was playing ever larger gigs.
One performance teamed him up with
trombonist Phil Wilson and was
recorded for Shiah records. Another
was broadcast on National Public
Radio and excerpted for the Today
Show. After gigging with Makoto in
Boston, the be-bop pioneer Dizzy
Gillespie encouraged Ozone to join his
band. Makoto turned down the offer
only in order to complete his studies. He
is disciplined and deliberate.
Now we are faced with a rare oppor-
tunity to witness the fruits of the heart,
gathered from the garden of Makoto
Ozone's artistic life. He will fly like Bud
Powell, wax rhapsodic like Keith
Jarrett; but now we witness the
emergence of the heart of the young
man himself. When you hear the clarity
and warmth of his playing you will
know that Makoto Ozone is conscious,
alert, and clinging to his path in per-
severence and passion.' Monday night
at 10 p.m. at the Blind Pig we may bear
witness to the process of emerging. Of
blossoming. In brilliant loving splen-
Marc Taras will interview Makoto
Ozone on his Jazz Till Noon
Program Monday morning on WC-
BN-FM 88.3. Tentative time will be
11:00 to noon.

Makoto Ozone brings his highly appraised jazz piano talents to the Blind Pig
on Monday night.

'Crucible' tells tale of hypocricy

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by Jeffrey Seller
The Crucible is a disturbing play.
Based on the famous Salem withch-
trials of 1692, it places a broken down,
troubled society of fanatics under a
microscope to be viewed with
disillusion and awe. Here, we are con-
fronted with grown men who bicker like
children and who believe without
question the hysterical antics and ac-
cusations brought forth by immature
girls and who succumb without reser-
vation to the pressures of distorted
group consensus. Clearly, this is a
diseased society, and the University
Players' production, which opened
Wednesday under the direction of
Gavin Cameron-Webb projected this
message with forceful grittiness.
The play begins with a moonlit dance
in the forest for an oppressed group of
girls. The discovery of their frolic is
misperceived as a witches ceremony
and. suddenly a crisis of staggering
dimensions develops. Witchcraft is
used as a scapegoat for sickness and
discontent, and to save themselves the

girls indipt dozens of women from the
community. When their accusations
reach out to inlcude honorable citizens
like Goody Proctor, wife of John Proc-
tor, the society breaks down, losing all
sense of reason and order.
While the production springs from an
ineffective, unclear prologue which
fails to convey the meaning and
severity of the situation that fuels the
impending crisis, it slowly develops in-
to a compelling drama which reflects
the frequently defective human charac-
ter. Men driven by greed, guilt, and
religious fanaticism judge and
manipulate the fates of others to uphold
their own pretentious, often
hypocratical values. The per-
sonification of religious hypocricy is
found in the idiotic Reverend Parris,
portrayed by Brian O'Sullivan, who
-works to maintain his power in the
church at any cost.
To shed some hope on the state of
human affairs, author Arthur Miller
gives us John Proctor - portrayed by
Erik Fredricksen - one of the thought-
ful, real humans in the play to whom we
can relate. Here is a man like you or I,
struggling with his shortcomings,
striving to better himself, and working
desperately to save his wife.
Fredricksen portrays a cynical Proc-
tor, disgusted with his society, yet still
not without a sense of humor. As our
representative in this world-gone-mad,

he binds us to the severity of the
situation. Indeed, the frequent laughter
which emanates from an audience
amused by the absurdity of the town-
sfolk's fanatic behavior, stops abruptly
when Proctor is indicted. Suddenly, the
crisis is brought to a level one finds
discomforting, if not unbearable.
His wife, Elizabeth (Patricia Boyet-
te) displays the self-righteous yet
devoted wife with a bewildered, fearful
innocence that wretches one's heart
when she is yanked from her husband in
the courtroom. Here is a tragic instance
when two individuals, equally devoted
to the welfare of the other, become vic-
tims of a manipulative magistrate. He,
to save her, declares his leechery, and
she, unknowledgeable of his confession,
denies it to uphold his dignity and
As Abigail Williams, leader of the
hysterical girls and past lover of Proc-
tor, Joy Newhouse portrays the deceit-
ful innocence of the girl well, but fails to
project the mature, strong, seductive
quality of the woman who once attrac-
ted Proctor. As a result, her role as an
obstacle to Proctor and Elizabeth's
happiness becomes blurred.
Cameron-Webb's use of an extended
thrust is extremely effective in

bringing the action closer to tie
audience. The fourth wall, charac-
teristic of the traditional proscunium
theatre, is broken down, enabling the
audience to better grasp the situation at
hand. The set, designed by Douglas J.
Miller, is at times stunning, but more
importantly, inconsistent. The first act
set, merely suggestive of place, is in
direct contrast to the intricate, realistic
structures of the subsequent settings.
Frankly, the inconsistency is uin-
justified by the style and context of the
This drama, magnifying the often
times frightening and deplorable state
of our society, was written in resporpse
to the famous McCarthy hearings of the
1950's. Yet today, as a fine piece -of
theatre about greed, religious
fanaticism, hypocricy, group confor-
mity, and political and social
repression, it is totally relevant. Its
themes, which stretch in their ap-
plicability from the Puritannical age to
the 1950's to today, still merit
recognition and contemplation.
The Crucible continues at the Power
Center through Sunday and tickets can
be obtained at the door. For more in-
formation, call -the Professional
Theatre Program office at 764-0450.


Menuhin magnificent

kink os
The Campus Copy Shop


Open 7 days a week/Mon.-Thur. till midnight.
540 E. LIBERTY ST. 761-4539
Corner of Maynard and Liberty

by Mike Gallatin
"W hat a sensational concert" was
'the general consensus at Hill
Auditorium Tuesday evening as Yehudi
Menuhin and the Royal Philharmonic.
Orchestra gave an absolutely
phenomenal performance of a superb
program. Yehudi Menuhin is best
known as a violinist but was serving as
guest conductor in a capacity which
suits him majestically. There is little
reason to sing his praises, for his
credits are well known. He is not only
an expert musician and conductor, but
he has achieved international fame as a
great humanitarian and educator.
There is a warmth and passion in his
music that transforms every com-
position he touches. Instead of coming
across sentimental and self-pitying,
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B
minor possessed a masculine toughness
and dynamic resilence which is, so
refreshing to hear. The work takes on a
totally different character from the of-
ten lugubrious reading which takes
biography and applies it to the music

The Rossini Overture, "La Gazza
Ladra" began the evening's program
on a fast-paced and victorious note. The
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played
with marvelous sonority and the over-
ture came alive with all its dazzling ex-
citement and its flurry of melodies. The
violin section in particular displayed
energy, flowing phrases, and varied
dynamics throughout this piece
(something they continued to do the
rest of the concert).4
.The brief Delius composition, "On
Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring,"
performed next, celebrates the beauty
and mystery of nature. The clarinet
plays a quiet melody in the middle of
the piece which resembles the sound of
a cuckoo..The moods of the composition
are subtle and the total effect is
strangely beautiful. The music is very
pretty as conductor and orchestra
demonstrate their capacity to interpret
with a sensitivity which prefers to hold
back slightly rather than give all. Un-
derstatement, in this respect, serves to
stimulate the imagination more than to
satiate the senses.
see ROYAL, page 9


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