Gospel-inspired Genobia makes a fine debut record
Continuedfrom Page 8
have their opportunity, thanks to
this cunning gigolo.
Aiready the nerds, throwbacks to
the pre-sexual revolution days of
innocence and buttoning the top
button, are overwhelming pop-
culture. Huey Lewis is singing
about how hip it is to be square.
Pee-wee Herman is indoctrinating
the young on his Saturday-morning
show. And one of the leading
candidates for the Presidency,
George Bush, has won followers for
his toadying, wimpy, to-the-
lifeboats performance in what is
without question, the nerdiest job
in America, the vice presidency.
Bush recalls past great nerd vice
presidents like Walter Mondale
(who lost the election back when
things were relatively swinging),
Gerald Ford (whose incongruous
presidency during the peak of the
sexual revolution was the product
of the limpest ascension in the
history of American politics), and
MacDonald has brilliantly man-
aged to elbow his way into the crest
of the coming nerd wave. He is
getting rich because he is novel,
now. But in a few short years he
will be just another in a vast sea of
stuttering klutzes with slicked-back
hair and a slide-rule. No one will
want a Rent-A-Nerd in the '90s.
They will be readily available. But
by then, MacDonald will probably
be yet another step ahead of the
game, impersonating yet another
group that by, say, 1993, when all
its diseased members have been
diagnosed, will have the same
untainted allure that nerds currently
enjoy. Watch for Rent-A-Swinish-
Continuedfrom Page 8
couple of years just sort of tra -
velling around and working on
D: Since the new album's out have
you been playing many folk
C: No, I've been playing some
folk clubs, though. I've always
wanted to play at a folk festival but
I've never learned how to book
them. I really want to play the
Mariposa. I'm playing the Winni -
peg this year, I think.
Who's on this festival? Could you
tell me what the lineup is?
D: Yeah, sure. Donovan's head -
D: Taj Mahal...
D: Dave!Van Ronk...
C: Great! Man.
D: Elizabeth Cotten.
C: Oh, she's great!
D: She's just a special guest be-
cause she's not going to be able to
do a whole set.
C: Yeah, she's still great though...
Dave Van Ronk, though, he's the
Here is one wonderful new
singer. Genobia Jeter trades in some
serious gospel roots to lend a
distinctive spacious quality to some
fine, straight ahead funk tunes and a
couple of particularly sparkling
Genobia Jeter is the niece of
gospel great Rev. Julius Cheeks.
As a youth she was encouraged to
develop her gift by family and
friends, including Sam Cooke.
Cooke would never back any half-
steppers or short-strokers, right?
Genobia shines and swings on
"Sunshine" with its gospel pumped
up by Wayne Braithwaite's now-
funk production. "Blessing in
Disguise" (another Braithwaite
assist) is sweet 'n' slow. Another
ballad, "Together," features strong
duet work with Glenn Jones which
moves toward a belting finale.
Unfortunately, the record suffers
from Producer Plethora Syndrome.
A case of too many looks soiling
the cloth. We watched in sadness as
Clapton fell prey to the same
malaise. The various producers give
the album an uneven sound. It just
doesn't flow, and at its weakest
points descends to some pretty
tiring, mundane funk. But the highs
outshine the lows with power and
grace. A fine debut LP which
should excite and leave you wanting
-Marc S. Taras
"On the Burren"
In the midst of all the in-
explicable hoopla over prettified and
lightweight New Age music, there
has emerged a healthy musical sub-
species which friends have termed
"New Tradition" music. This is a
more robust sort of fare that trades
on and extends folk, jazz or
classical roots. Like its more read-
ily popularized counterpart, it is
music that is often relaxed, sooth-
ing and beautiful. But there's more.
There is substance. There is
heart and soul. There is technique
that matches thoughtfulness, and a
thoughtfulness that delivers. Gentle
rather than light. Softening rather
than soporific. Inspiring rather than
simply relaxing. The new LPs by
Keith Jarrett and Magical Strings
Continuedfrom Page S
Osmonds, Donny, once said, "One
bad apple don't spoil the whole
bunch (girl)." From The Hip is
good eats. Thumbs up.
Keith Jarrett has been called "thefather of New Age music."
cimer, harps and
which covers 160
seemed to have
spirits in the rock
some ancient ess
The result is a cap
a good massage
textures are rich an
The album i
scends the genera]
joy of the ope
original called "T
"Fairy Tune," this
Go out and fi
LPs. This stuff
article. Ancient pe
golden futures ar
"Totem Poles and
The title sound
from a Rick Ja
Totem Poles andt
product of a much
Tolman once p
members of the I
After hearing the]
of the album, t
obvious to anyo
whistles, piano, that much-touted band. The
The burren is progenitors of this sound are Neil
one topography Young, Lou Reed, Keith Richards,
square miles of and a little Ramones. Credible
The Bouldings heroes that they are, some in-
tapped into the spiration is expected from Tolman
s and transmuted himself, but not enough is supplied
ence into music. to place him in the majors.
tivating sound of It is in songwriting that Tolman
authority. Firm falters. The record is an unplanned
yet relaxing; like song-cycle chronicling the rugged,
. With only an romantic lifestyle of a vagabond,
d musician the but the concept becomes more
e to sound like a sloppy and unfocused with each
Symphony. The subsequent track. Tolman posseses
id diverse. only a minimal flair for creating a
is produced by provoking guitar riff or vocal. He
recording artist also seems to have an aversion to
hnaill and tran- the letter "g," judging from song
1 sameness of that titles like "Lookin' for an Angel,"
From the piping "Nothin' Slowing me Down," and
ning piece, an "Waitin' for Rain."
'he Stairs," to the One other complaint is spe-
traditional piece, cifically about a song titled
LP is a delight. "Talking Hoover Dam Blues." It is
nd both of these simply not a talking blues number,
is the genuine as promised. One expects a lyrical
aceful dreams that exhibition with sparse musical
e made of in the substance in the style of Dylan's
"Talking World War III Blues" or
-Marc S. Taras Van Morrison's "The Story of
Them." Strangely, "Hoover" does
nan not distinguish itself stylistically
Glory Holes" from the rest of the album.
Songwriting aside, Tolman and
band play sincerely and con-
Is like it could be sistently. Jeff Kane's bass
.mes album, but dominates the rhythm section and
Glory Holes is the Tolman's own guitarslinging and
more earthy, new delivery are well executed. His self-
t named Russ production is appropriately unas-
suming. Totem Poles and Glory
layed guitar with Holes offers at least a small amount
Dream Syndicate. of promise for the future of Russ
first few measures Tolman, but after this debut it is
he similarity is still hard to call.
ne familiar with -Mark Swartz
Who cares? The momentum of
From The Hip doesn't revolve
around any simplistic moral dilem - NEL
ma; it revolves around the amazing NiEsLSONl
comic finesse of Clark (who, in
case no one noticed, displayed that Continuedfrom1
finesse - to some degree, anyway Me: Really?
-- in Porky's). He can't seem to do
anything wrong in this movie; Judd: Yeah.
every set up delivers, no matter Me:Oh, good.
how ridiculous it looks atthe Judd: So how a
outset. Clark's no slouch when it Me: Oh, okay.
comes to courtroom drama, either. business): To m
There is definite tension here, know anything
especially when John Hurt (as the seems like it'
elitist college professor up for difficult to do,y
murder) takes center stage. In short, on stage than
this movie moves. It doesn't move Making The Gra
in any paticularly compelling (silence)
direction - the final verdict isn't Me: ...uh...
even mildly suprising, and the (silence)
characters' problems aren't even Me: ...is it?
mildly interesting - but it moves Judd: Well, I tI
and there are a lot worse things you so different tha
can do with $4.50 these days (like that one is t
paying taxes to a bungling, inter - difficult than th
ventionist administration with ties it depends more
so some of the most evil causes in twrstew
the world!). stage more and
had to learn mo
By no means does Clark pull up, to... to shoot
this off alone, however: he's backed to reduce the si
up by a wonderfully hammy en - film But I'm me
semble cast. Hurt is definitely the stage But Ican
star player - he oozes Shake -ostm e if
spearian evil with every gesture and really difficultv
dramatic pause. Darrin McGavin is material; you kn
wonderfully pompous, Nancy Mar - part It's like ti
chand is wonderfully prim, Eliz - Reiner line, I
abeth Perkins is achingly tender. polish a turd.'
And on and on and on. In fact, this Me (puzzled): El
chain has only one weak link, andJM epled):nF
that link's name is Judd Nelson Judd (explainin
-you do, it's still
It pains me to say this, because Me (agreeing):'
Judd is a very close, personal friend Judd: So that's
of mine (he is, he really is), but as try to reveal soi
"Stormy" Weathers, he simply gets that's not even tI
blown away by the rest of the cast. really tell which
He tries hard to be as big a ham as I'm just more tra
his co-stars, but everything he does Me (Mike Wa
comes off stiff and overdone. He right, have youe
looks like the only one up there with that? I mea
who isn't having any fun, and when paticularly on, l
he's asked to carry a scene Club and this la
singlehandedly, neither does the very theatricala
audience. be almost deman
But, as the greatest of the of the time, andI
(Getting down to
e, one who doesn't
about acting, it
d be a lot more
you know, Pushkin
hink that genres are
t I can't really say
e other. I think that
on your orientation
rk. I was trained in
I have to learn... I
ire how to break it
t out of sequence...
ze of a work for a
ore comfortable on
't really say which
fficult. I think it's
when you have bad
ow, that's the hard
here's a great Carl
think: 'You can't
g): No matter what
This is true.
when it's hard, you
mething in a scene
here. For me I can't
h is more difficult;
ined on one.
llace voice): All
ever had a problem
n, I've noticed that
ike, The Breakfast
ast movie you're a
actor, you seem to
ding attention alot
wondered if that's
from your theatrical training and if
it's ever been a problem.
Judd: No, I think that's from the
Judd: My responsibility as an
actor is to serve the material, and
get myself out of the way, and
those scripts called for those types
Me (agreeing): This is true.
Judd: ...You know what I mean? If
you play John Bender close to the
chest than you lose the movie.
Me (agreeing): Uh-huh.
Judd: You know whatI mean?
Me (agreeing): Yeah.
Judd: 'Cause the other four
characters, they're going to sit in
there, and they're going to write
Reporter from Texas (agree -
Judd (on a roll): The one character
has to serve as the fulcrum, as the
impetus in a conflict. So it sort of
requires that, not necesarily what I
would chose, so much as what the
Me: So you're theatrical training
hasn't been a blockade in any
Judd: Oh, no!
Me: ...I mean you don't have to
change you're mind-set...
Judd: If anything it has served to
help me because it forces you to see
the whole piece as a whole, as
opposed to seeing it little bit by
little bit, which is the way they
make a film...
Me (agreeing): Right.
Judd: ...and sometimes you forget
the whole. The whole is what the
audience sees, the whole is what
it's important to make sense of. So
I think my theater orientation is, in
fact, a plus, not a minus.
Me (seeing): I see.
Reporter from Texas: Blah
blah blah Hoffman, De Niro blah
blah blah Hoffman, Pacino, De
Niro blah blah...
Judd: If I was going to do one role
of a hunchback and a cripple for my
whole life, and that's all I was
going to do, maybe I would turn
myself into a cripple.
Reporter from Washington:
blah blah blah blah...
Judd: That's a very deep socio -
'It's really difficult
when you have bad
material. It's like a
great Carl Reiner
line: "You can't
polish a turd."
logical question you're asking.
Me (Dan Rather voice): Judd, when
you do a movie do you, as an actor,
have some sort of contractual
obligation to do stuff like this,
Judd: I think it all depends on the
deal that you make. I think that you
make movies, and it's a public
Me (agreeing): Uh-huh.
Judd: You make the movies to be
seen, so I feel that it's my
responsibility to be a company man
in that sense. I was hired and I was
paid and I owe it, because they hired
me to help promote the movie. So
I have no problem promoting films
at all. I have more of a problem
promoting myself, like I would
never just talk about me, more of
the work, and in this case (steering
the questions) the work I just
Me: But has it ever been a problem
when, and this may have never
happened to you, but I can see an
actor making a movie he really
didn't like, you know, seing it
afterwards and saying, 'Oh no,
this... I would't go see this if I
wasn't in it,' and then...
Judd: Well no one held a gun to
his head, did they?
Me: No, no but...
Judd: I mean, if someone holds a
gun to your head and says, 'Act in
this movie,' then okay. But if you
don't like it, I mean, if you make a
mistake and it doesn't turn out,
shouldn't you stand up for that?
Me: You think so?
Judd: Reagan's walking away from
Oliver North today, isn't he? Know
what I mean? The guy he called a
national hero a. month ago, he's
now saying, 'Oh, now I realize...'
You know what I mean? The guy's
Me (really agreeing): Uh-huh.
Judd: And I think, if it doesn't
work out so well, all the more
reason to stick with it. Not make
excuses, not not show up, not cop
a bad attitude. Movie doesn't do
well, you gotta stick with it and
take the heat.
Me: But when you're going on the
circuit and you're talking to Joan
Rivers or whatever and, you know,
'Oh, how's your new movie?,' and
if you really don't like it, will you
say that? Do you have to just say,
'Oh, it was great to work with this
talented group of people...'
Judd: Well, I've never worked on a
movie that I've hated. And hope -
fully, I never will. There have been
movies that I've liked less than
others, but there's always some -
thing that I liked. There's always
something positive to find... there's
enough negative crap in the world.
I'm not going to add to it by
bringing myself down, and bringing
my profession down, and bringing
everyone's attitude about performers
down. No, that's not my job.
Judd: Well, this was great.
Me (thankfully): Yeah, thank you.
Judd: Yeah, thanks a lot you guys.
Me (even more thankfully): Thank
Judd: Well, thank you guys very
Me (thinking this is getting a bit
silly): Thank you, Judd.
Judd: Thanks alot. Bye-bye.
Me: Take it easy.
are prime examples of this New
Tradition music and well worth
Jarrett has been called by some
the "father of New Age music."
That would seem a problem in
itself, but I am not entirely con-
vinced that it is a just accusation.
True, he moved from the beautiful
solo piano lyricism of Facing You
to the popular and visceral Koln
Concert to the enormity (ten LP
set) of the Sun Bear concerts. A ten
record set of solo piano im-
provisations? Why not record and
release it all, some asked.
With Spirits, Jarrett returns to a
notion he exploited early in his
solo career he plays all of the
instruments himself. But in this
beautiful new two-record package,
the end result is proof of the virtue
of the intention. And the honesty of
the inclination. Recorded in his
home studio and never meant for
release, these pieces, simply titled
"Spirits #1-26," evince an earnest
metaphysical quality. No kidding.
The mysticism is "almost
tangible." Check it out.
Jarrett is featured on flutes and
tablas, soprano sax, piano, glock-
enspiel and percussion, and a
panoply of recorders ranging from
sopranino to Great Bass. This is
earth and sky, river and fire music.
Thoughtful and heartfelt.
Magical Strings is the group
name adopted by Philip and Pam,
Boulding. As one might expect
from a Flying Fish release, their
music draws on Western folk
traditions rather than the jazz and
ethnic flavors of the Jarrett LP. On
the Burren is New Traditions a la
Fish, and spotlights hammer dul-
WEEKEND/JANUARY 30, 1987
WEEKEND/JANUARY 30, 1987 PAGE 9