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April 08, 1988 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-08

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, April 8, 1988- Page9

McShann

plays

01'

Kansas City style

By Brian Bonet
When you think of Kansas City
jazz, you think of Count Basie. But
another name, among a long list of
others who deserve recognition, is
pianist Jay McShann.
Like Basie, the 72-year-old Mc-
Shann is a master of the tempos and
piano feeling that evolved by way of
Kansas City and the optimism of the
great post World War I boom that
thrived in the United States. As
critic Charlie Gillet adds, the music
was inspired by "the wide open na-
ture of Kansas City during the '20s,
where crime and good living joined
in defiance of prohibition and the
kind of morality it represented."
This is the music McShann will
share at the Kerrytown Concert

House this Saturday night for two
shows. To most, Kansas City jazz is
tradition, but in McShann's case the
music is firsthand and genuine.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma,
McShann made his way to Kansas
City in the late 1930s where 'the
grounds for rhythm and blues, which
would surge a decade or so later,
were already being established. It
was here that McShann's playing
was quickly gaining notice and,
within a year, he formed his own
quintet.
By 1938, a couple of years after
Basie's departure, McShann's combo
expanded to seven players and was
undisputedly one of the top outfits
in K.C. Featured was a 20 year-old
alto saxophonist by the name of
Charlie Parker, who was with the
band occasionally for six months

before hitch hiking his way to New
York in 1939.
McShann and his combo contin-
ued to shine between 1942-1943,
despite Parker's departure and despite
the fact that many fine jazz musi-
cians were being drafted to serve in
World War II. But, in 1944 Mc-
Shann himself was drafted, and the
band eventually dissolved.
After being discharged in
November, McShann briefly returned
to Kansas City were he was part of
an All-Star combo session with
singer Julia Lee for Capitol Records.
Soon after, McShann headed for the
West Coast, proving his versatility
by performing in formats ranging
from duos to big bands. In the late
'50s, it was a homecoming to K.C.
where McShann worked regularly in
local night spots, played the
Midwestern Jazz festivals, and stuck

close to home. This was until 1968
when a brief European tour brought
about a revival in his career. His
annual tours through England,
France, Spain, and the rest of the
continent since 1969 have become
quite a success.
Indeed, McShann's popularity has
skyrocketed in recent years and has
made him one of the most sought
after jazz artists today. Kerrytown, in
their friendly, close-to-living'room
setting, have already delivered and
delighted with pianists Dave
McKenna and Ray Bryant. Now it's
McShann's turn with a genuine taste
of Kansas City tradition.
Pianist JAY McSHANN will be
performing at the Kerrytown Concert
House this Saturday night for two
shows, 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are
$10. Reservations are suggested.

Jay McShann's performance at Kerrytown will be a rare opportunity
witness a genuine product of the early Kansas City jazz scene.

"F
top

Bonn

Quintet

:

Talented, too

little-known

ensemble

By Lisa Magnino
The Bonn Woodwind Quintet is one of the world's
preeminent chamber arts groups. They have traveled
extensively throughout the world and act as the unoffi-
cial group laureate for their home country of West
Germany. In 1982 they accompanied the president of
West Germany on his state visit to China, where they
played in Peking and Shanghai and took part in a
recording project arranged by Radio Peking. In 1984
they again traveled with the president to Indonesia and
Thailand, where they performed in Jakarta and

Bangkok, and at the Royal Palace in Bangkok in honor
of the King and Queen of Thailand.
It was not until 1985, however, that the quintet
crossed the Atlantic to tour the United States. Perhaps
this is why the group's popularity here has been lim-
ited to aficionados of wind music, but even this small
group of fans has recognized the talent of the quintet's
members. Klaus Reiet, oboe; Gusta Kedves, French
horn; Wolfgang Sorge, bassoon, are all principal play-
ers of the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle in Bonn;
Andreas Bossler, flute, is a lecturer; and Michael
Neuhalfen, clarinet, is a lecturer at the Music School of

the city of Bonn. All of the members have also per-
formed frequent solo concerts.
Yet the quintet is not merely a woodwind group.
The addition in 1980 of American pianist Steve Masi
broadened the group's repertoire beyond woodwind
pieces to include works for piano and quintet.
The program that will be performed tonight shows
the breadth that the quintet is capable of achieving, as
it covers baroque pieces for woodwinds and follows up
with classical and Romantic arrangements for piano and
quintet. The performance begins with Bach's Quintet in
B-flat major, and is followed by Anton Reicha's Quin-
tet No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 88; Beethoven's Piano

Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110; and Mozart's
Quintet in C minor. The program will conclude with
Poulenc's Sextour for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet,
French Horn, and Bassoon.
Although tonight marks the quintet's second
appearance in Ann Arbor, this is still a rare opportu-
nity to catch a too little known group.
The BONN WOODWIND QUINTET performs
tonight at 8 p.m. at Rackham Auditorium as part of
the University Musical Society's Chamber Arts Series.
Tickets are $14 and $10. For more information call
764-2538.

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