The Michigan Daily
Monday, March 20, 1989
BY JILL PISONI
THERE are jazz classics from
the Big Band era whose popularity
will never fade. Yet jazz is con-
tinuously changing. It is becom-
ing more and more eclectic, bor-
rowing from African, Indian,
South American, and European
classical ethnic cultures, to name
just a few. Jazz is also experi-
menting with different approaches
to improvisation and composi-
tion, emphasizing individual cre-
This week, Ann Arbor has a
chance to see both the new and
the old jazz styles in action. The
University Jazz Ensembles, big
and small bands from the south-
east Michigan area, and students
and professionals are pooling their
energies to entertain Ann Arbor
with hours and hours of jazz al-
most every night of the week.
Unfortunately, we're catching
Jazz Week at the half-way point.
The effort started Friday night at
the U-Club with sets from three
of the University's six five-piece
ensembles. The groups played
many of their originals along
with standards from the Univer-
sity jazz repertoire. This opening
taste of jazz was followed by a
24-hour Jazzathon in South Quad.
And the effort continues this
week. What's going on? Why are
so many jazz artists coordinating
their time and skills with such an
The University North Coast
Jazz Ensemble, a 20-piece band,
has been asked to play this sum-
mer at the most prestigious inter-
national Jazz Festival in the world
- the Montreux Jazz Festival in
Switzerland. The gathering of Jazz
artists this week is a celebration
- and also an appeal for funds.
Although the performances this
week are free, the coordinators are
asking for donations to help the
Jazz Ensemble get to Switzerland.
The band needs $30,000 in or-
der to make the trip. So far, they
An ingenious mix
The University North Coast Jazz Ensemble
needs $30.000 - or else
Andrew Dahlke of the University North Coast Jazz Ensemble performs a sax solo in Saturday night's 24-
hour Jazzathon at South Quad, one of the events of Jazz Week.
have raised all but $12,000. Their
deadline is April 1. If they don't
have sufficient funds by then,
they'll have to cancel. Cancel a
performance at the most presti-
gious Jazz Festival in the world?!
They'll have no other choice.
Montreux, for the University's
North Coast Jazz Ensemble,
means performing among the top
jazz artists of the world. The
University's Ensemble faced fierce
competition - only a handful of
university bands are chosen each
year. They were invited by a
Montreux representative who
heard them play last spring in the
annual Jazz Festival hosted by
Notre Dame. This was quite an
honor since this is only the sec-
ond year of a full Jazz Studies
program at the University.
The University's Director of
Jazz Studies, Ed Surath, believes
that "it is significant for Ameri-
can jazz groups to perform in Eu-
rope, especially at the university
level." It is ironic that while jazz
is America's unique contribution
to world culture, there is a higher
appreciation for jazz in Europe
than in the U.S.
Professor Surath has first hand
experience with this - he per-
formed at Montreux last year as a
professional artist with Frank
Gambale, a top, up-and-coming
guitarist who plays with the
Chick Corea Band.
With this background, Surath
knows it would be "valuable for
our students to experience that
level of appreciation from Euro-
pean audiences." Apparently,
shown through their support and
efforts to make the trip possible,
jazz artists throughout the south-
east Michigan area agree.
And so Jazz Week continues.
Tuesday night at the Bird of Par-
adise catch local professionals
such as James Dapogny and Ed
Surath playing it up in what
Surath refers to as a "fund raising
Wednesday night at Rackham
Auditorium is an evening with Ed
Surath and friends. Two of
Surath's ensembles will play their
sets. One is known as the Faculty
Improvisational Ensemble, but
they're in the midst of changing
names. The other, the Ed Surath
Ensemble. is a six-piece group.
The week culminates Thursday
night ith the University's North
Coast Ensemble playing some of
what they would like to perform
at Montreux this summer. The set
will cons.st of a mixture of Big
See Jazz, Page 12
BY DAVID LUBLINER
First there were Crosby and Hope, then came Redford and Newman, and
now arrives the latest in great cinematic duos: Bill and Ted. This sur-
prisingly humorous comedy, sort of a cross between Back to the Future and
Fast Times at Ridgemont High, sends our new heroic stars back in time, all
for the purpose of helping them pass a history exam.
Bill and Ted's class assignment is to discuss how a famous historical f-
gure might react to life in present day San Dimas, California. What's a beC-
ter way than to actually go back in time, nab someone like Abraham Lin-
coln, and bring him back to 1989? This is all done by way of a phone
booth, the time machine used in this ridiculous, albeit amusing, adventure.
Alex Winter (The Lost Boys) is Bill S. Preston, Esq., your "average",
American high school student who thinks that Julius Caesar is a "salad dres-
sing dude." His good friend Ted "Theodore" Logan, played by Keanu Reeves
(River's Edge, Dangerous Liaisons) rivals Bill's stupidity. He believes that
Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. (But hey, can't you see the potential confusion
George Carlin costars as Rufus, an unexplained character from the future,
who educates our fine young men on the advantages of time travel. Un-
fortunately, Carlin's part is rather unnecessary, and his comic talent is put to
One warning should be made before seeing the film: If you couldn't stand
to listen to the voice of Jeff Spiccoli in Fast Times, then stay clear of these
hip California guys.
Try these samplings:
Bill: Strange things are afoot tonight at the Circle K.
Ted: But hey dude, it has been a most triumphant and unprecedented day.
Bill: Party on, Dude.
Bill and Ted (together): Excellent.
Winter and Reeves are extremely convincing, however, in their portrayals
of these insanely dumb kids. No one plays stupid better than these guys.
Their performances are so believable that it's easy to take their idiosyncracis
for granted. After a while, Bill and Ted become just two normal high school
seniors who want to graduate and form their own rock band.
As long as you are willing to suspend all rational thought, this movie
can be a lot of fun. Travelling through time they bring back such notables'as
Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven,
and Genghis Khan, and then mistakingly let them run rampant in a crowded
mall. The results are hilarious. Napoleon ends up at Waterloop, the local
water-ride park, sliding around with eight-year-old kids in his underwear and
red Speedo bathing cap. And Genghis Khan goes berserk with a couple of
baseball bats in a sporting goods store. This is silly stuff, but it works.
Much of the fun of this film comes the fact that it doesn't fall into the
trap of taking itself too seriously. It never loses its sense of sarcasm, even
while delivering a small, innocent message. The heroes live their lives by
one simple motto: "Be excellent to each other." And for all their stupidity
it's still good advice.
Although it's doubtful that Bill and Ted will match their esteemed pre-
decessors in making an impact on cinematic history, their appeal does last
for at least as long as this adventure. Excellent may be an exaggeration, but
an enjoyable one nevertheless.
Mehta, Israeli Players
vary styles, quality
BY TONY SILBER
ZUBIN Mehta and the Israel Phil-
harmonic displayed their virtuosic
range at a standing-room only Hill
Auditorium last Tuesday night.
Playing selections by Johannes
Brahms, Arnold Schoenberg, and Is-
raeli Mark Kopytman, the orchestra
mixed styles and performance quali-
ties in their first visit to Ann Arbor
The concert began with Schoen-
berg's Verklarte Nacht, a piece writ-
ten for a string orchestra. Mdhta and
the ensemble-seemed rushed through
this selection and generally unen-
thused. The piece was not as rich
sounding as it could have been andl
aside from the three principle
violinists, the players seemed to be
running through it with a play-by-
the numbers lack of intensity. I
Memories by Kopytman wad
next. This called for a full orchestra
of 125 and the services of contralto
Gila Bashari who has also performed
See Mehta, Page 11
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Monday Michigan Youth Organizations-
March 20 Michigan Youth Band,
conducted by Donald Schleicher;
Michigan Youth Symphony,
conducted by Louis Bergonzi
Britten, A Young Person's Guide
to the Orchestra
Dello Joio, Scenes From The Louvre
Hill, 7:30 p.m.
For up-to-date information on School of Music Events, call the
24-Hour Music Hotline: 763-4726
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