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January 12, 1988 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-12

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ARTS
Tuesday, January 12, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

Three

new

soul-filled

albums

Black Uhuru
Positive
RAS Records
Positive reveals Black Uhuru are
back at their glowing best. Polished
with crisp, Worldbeat rhythms, this
new LP will definitely appeal to a
wider audience. Slashing through the
thin, exterior membranes that sepa-
rate African music, reggae, soul, rap,
and the current Afro-American craze
sweeping the U.S. called House
music, Black Uhuru create an intri-
cate labyrinth of musical diversity,
swirled and twirled into a scorching
reggae rydim.
Positive marks the return of lead
vocalist Junior Reid, along with
longtime vocalist, songwriter, and
backbone of the group, Duckie
Simpson. Puma Jones, however, has
been replaced by the ultrafunky Ola-
funke, former bassist and lead vocal-
ist of one of the top women's reggae
bands in Jamaica, Works of Women.
They have also teamed up once
again with Sly Dunbar and Robbie
Shakespeare, the most menacing
rhythm section around. Fresh from
their hot summer LP Rhythm
Killers , these guys lace Uhuru's
music with an aggressive, serrated
edge that drives the album's original
blend of sounds.
Black Uhuru rustle up a perfect
example of the peaceful, spiritual

Uhuru back in action as they con-
tinue their fight against worldwide
oppression through the power of,
reggae music. As Duckie Simpson
writes on "I Create," "Freedom of
one is the bondage of many/Riches
for a few leave the rest without a
penny/ Long live the struggle."
-Todd Shanker
Casey Jones
Solid Blue
Rooster Blues Record
A.C. Reed
I'm in the Wrong Business
Alligator Records
These two albums represent steps
into the spotlight for two o f
Chicago's most respected, able, and
veteran sideplayers. Both drummer
Casey Jones and saxophonist A.C.
Reed have played with virtually ev-
erybody who is anybody in the past
25 years of Chicago blues, including
Albert Collins for the past seven.
These albums employ many of
the same Windy City blues veterans,
including guitarist Maurice Vaughn
and rock-steady bassist Johnny
Gayden. In fact, Jones is Reed's
drummer, and Reed contributes
backing vocals to Jones' effort.
While both albums are successes,
Reed's stands out more because he
posses a gruffly, expressive singing
voice, and distinctive tenor sax
style.Wrong Business also benefits
from guest appearances by Bonnie
Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Raitt
contributes excellant slide guitar and

harmony vocals to "She's Fine" and
"This Little Voice." Vaughn turns in
excellent, relatively subdued perfor-
mances on three tracks which show
how good he can be when he rises
above his self indulgences. On "I
Can't Go On This Way," one can
hear just how big an influence Buddy
Guy had upon Vaughn's playing.
Solid Blue is also indeed good.,
solid Chicago blues. The opening
"Boogie Men" is a soulful, touching
tribute to blues greats from John Lee
Hooker to Muddy Waters to Otis
Rush and Albert Collins, all of
whom Jones has backed. Billy
Branch's harmonica wailings shine
on, this, and two other cuts. The al-
bum suffers only from Jones' aver-
age though expressive voice.
The covers of I'm in The Wrong
Business and Solid Blue both fea-
ture pictures of the artists grinning
widely. They have reason to smile.
Both have stepped out of the back-
ground and into the spotlight of the
Chicago blues scene.
-Alan Paul
Remd
Quid
We

Black Uhuru's new album 'Positive' shows their back in action again with the return
Junior Reid and other guest appearances.

ethic of the Rastafarian on the west-
ern-flavored ballad, "Cowboy
Town." Reid's soulful power em-
anates from each note as he sings,
"This a no wartime/This a Star-
time/Gunman put your weapon
down/This is not a showdown."
"Fire City" exhibits their vision of
world consciousness as Simpson's
Day-Glo lyrics explore the periphery
of South Africa's repressive
Apartheid regime. Reid's exultant
vocals spontaneously combust,
sending angry blue bolts ricocheting

through the gloom and strife that
pervade in Fire City.
Sky Juice creates a colorful per-
cussive panorama on the title cut
while Asher's moody keyboards per-
fectly capture the rhythm's pulse.
Lead guitarist Chinna Smith cracks
the whip on this tune, however,
with positively jolting guitar solos.
"Space Within Your Heart" is a
Motownish love ballad featuring
Steven "Cat" Coore from Third
World on cello and Olafunke's
soothing, ethereal background vo-

cals.
On "Pain" the band recounts a
tortuous journey into the life of the
repressed Rastas in Jamaica. The
spiritual anguish in Reid's vocals
brings a lucid message of suffering.
The song builds to a shattering
crescendo of wailing vocals, ravage-
torn rhythm, and impending revolu-
tion.
Positive is loaded with soul stir-
ring vocals and complex, high-pow-
ered reggae dance rhythms. But more
importantly, it's great to see Black

Books

The Revenge of
the Hound
By Michael Hardwick
Random House
$17.95/hardcover
The adventures of "the world's
greatest; detective, Sherlock
Holmes," continue in Michael
Hardwick's rendition, The Revenge
of the Hound. In the style of Sir
Conan Doyle, the creator of Sher-
lock Holmes, Hardwick positions
Dr. John H. Watson as chronicler.
Ie tells his.audience it is the sum-
mer of 1902 and England is prepar-
ing for the coronation of Edward VII.
Hardwick portrays Holmes as an
individual with serious flaws in his
personality - not the perfect
character one would expect. Holmes
lias been solving crimes for a num-
ber of years and has become accus-
tomed to his private, ordered life at
221B Baker Street. He has also
grown . somewhat eccentric and
reclusive. Watson writes, "If it
should appear to Sherlock Holmes'
devout admirers that my account of
his behaviour ... is less than flatter-
ing, so be it."
Dr. Watson, on the other hand,
has a very agreeable personality. He
is fond of fellow human beings and
is open to change. Yet Watson
threatens the stability of the world
Holmes has created for himself when
he decides to marry a third time. To
Holmes it seems that Watson gives
"no thought to its possible
repercussions upon the unique career
of [his] friend and fellow tenent."
Watson tells us, "He was used to my
company, and, I daresay, my always-
unstinting praise."
When Watson interferes with
Holmes' lifestyle, Holmes' response
t is ungracious and surprising. It is
not the behavior one would expect
rom the world's greatest detective.
fie appears childish - "he flung
himself down into an armchair and
smoked furiously." A tension devel-
ops between the two as Holmes
hurls insults and Watson relishes in
the satisfaction of making him
sputter in his coffee." Hardwick's
gharacterizations are a refreshing
Ipange from the stereotypes that are
called to mind when one speaks of
Sherlock Holmes and his side-
kick,Watson.
From this promising beginning,
Hardwick's adventure disperses in
too many directions at once. First
there is the appearance of an enor-
mous hound in Hampstead that at-
tacks a sleeping pedestrian. But the
incident is not enough to arouse

disappearance of Oliver Cromwell's
bones from their burial site and the
introduction of Mycroft, Holmes'
brother, who summons him to per-
form a secret errand for the soon-to-
be king.
These incidents begin to kindle
Holmes' intellect and supreme pow-
ers of deduction. He successfully
disguises himself and mingles with
his suspects only to discover the in-
terlocking aspects of the cases and
their possible impact on the stability
of England. The result is a satisfying
unification of a story whose direc-
tion is previously unclear.
Then, in a climatic scene on the
grounds of Hampstead, Holmes'
anger towards Watson reaches its
peak and then subsides, leaving
Holmes to accept his companion's
decision to be married again. Work-
ing so closely together on the cases
allows Holmes and Watson to re-
lease their growing tensions and re-
call the respect they feel toward one
another.
While the partners are working to
solve the crimes, Hardwick consis-
tently refers to book titles that
chronicle earlier cases. Most of these
references are barely explained and
are not needed. They are neither
thought-provoking nor helpful.
Hardwick does manage to inform the
reader of interesting historical facts
which are significant to England's
heritage and add substance to the
varying plots.
The Revenge of the Hound

seems to grapple with too many
plots in the beginning, but its con-
clusion leaves the reader with a feel-
ing of satisfaction. The criminals are
uncovered, Holmes and Watson are
I 0

resolved in their friendship, and one
has to wonder what will be next in
the adventures of the world's greatest
detective, Sherlock Holmes.
-Jill Pisoni

STUDENTS

INTERESTED IN AN
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11

A commemorative symposium
Monday, January 11, 1988
Keynote address:
The Honorable Lawrence Douglas Wilder
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
4:00 p.m., Hill Auditorium

January 11 and 12. 1988

at The University of Michigan

Robb.,

Tuesday, January 12, 1988
Plenary session:
Or. James Jackson, Associate Dean,
Horace H. Rackham School
of Graduate Studies
9:00 a.m., Rackham Auditorium

Workshops will be held at 10:30 a.m.
and 1:30 p.m. in the Michigan League
and at the University Hospital
Closing address:
Professor Eleanor Holmes Norton,
Professor of Law,
Georgetown University Law Center
4:00 p.m., Hill Auditorium -
Memorial concert:

-.00"" 74

-l",

.,.0ov- \ -000 Roberta Alexander, Soprano, I

I

m

HnhrtaBookn Rushan. H Haiw km Fin.,Tan &8-830-8Din.

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