Friday, October 13,1989
The Michigan Daily
Otis Rush provides a cure
BY KRISTIN PALM
A NOTHER day, another string
quartet: Beethoven, Haydn, Schu-
mann, it's hard to keep them all
straight. Ah, being cultural is such
What did you say? The Uptown
String Quartet plays a fusion of
classical, jazz, contemporary, gospel
and blues? They have members who
have played with the likes of Wyn-
ton Marsalis and Aretha Franklin?
Each member also appears on the
soundtrack to Spike Lee's film Do
the Right Thing? Not only that but
they're here in Ann Arbor -
But who are they?
The Uptown String Quartet
emerged directly from the Max
Roach Double Quartet, a well-
known ensemble on the jazz circuit.
For a unique approach to his favored
music form, jazz drummer Roach en-
listed the help of violist and daughter
Maxine Roach, violinists Diane
The Uptown String Quartet will brin
Monroe and Lesa Terry and cellist
and University alum Eileen Folson,
adding a new dimension to the
sounds of jazz and altering the no-
tion that stringed instruments are ba-
g their eclectic repertoire to the University School of Music Recital Hall
Michigan Alumni work here:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
United Press International
Because they worked here:
sically classical tools.
The quartet has just begun to
strike out on their own and have re-
cently released an album, Max
Roach presents the Uptown String
Quartet. As many non-arena bound
musicians can attest to, however,
man cannot live on one album
alone, so the members of Uptown
involved themselves in several im-
pressive individual projects as well.
Monroe has recorded with jazz trum-
peter Wynton Marsalis, Roach with
gospel and pop greats Aretha
Franklin and Diana Ross, and Fol-
son and Terry have both been fea-
tured in Broadway musicals.
As a quartet, they recently toured
Europe and will return soon for more
performances in Spain. Two promi-
nent jazz festivals, Montreux Detroit
and the Chicago Jazz Festival, were
also part of the quartet's tour sched-
ule, a testament to the fact that the
group's performances of works by
composers like Scott Joplin and
Charlie Parker has been well received
by the jazz community.
Obviously, classical enthusiasts
may see the group as a little far left
of traditional perceptions of a string
"People who are used to the nor-
mal setting of a string quartet will
be. surprised at the energy and ex-
citement on stage," said the group's
publicist, Steven Gates.
Another group of musical types
who may have trouble with this
quartet is record merchants who may
find it hard to categorize this group's
style of playing. For them, Gates of-
fers one evasive suggestion.
"They are not promoting the
record as any kind of music," he
said. "Just good music."
Fair enough. Although it's true
that Bird never wrote for violin, it
has been rumored that in private,
when nobody was looking or listen-
ing, Beethoven donned a pair of dark
glasses and played some real mean
licks on the saxophone.
THE UPTOWN STRING QUARTET
will fuse the blues at 8 p.m. tonight
in the School of Music Recital Hall.
Admission is free.
BY PETER SHAPIRO
IF the musical clichd "he can make the guitar talk" ever applied to any-
one, it applies to blues legend Otis Rush. But Otis Rush does more than-
just make his guitar talk - it spits and seethes rage, it slowly and blt-
terly wails with excruciating pain, it caresses with tenderness. He can do
this because, unlike the hundreds of "blues-rock virtuosos" (Clapton,
Page, Beck, et al) that his technique has inspired, Rush has the almost
singular ability to get deep inside of each note, creating a lexicon that is
at once uniquely his own and the most universal language known t
Otis Rush's awesome guitar technique grew out of the relatively mod-:
ern single high note bending style of B.B. King. He matched King's in-
tricate runs with more speed and flash than had been previously known in
the blues, and combined this witn a ouliig, .m.w: rcly his
own but partially the result of biting distortion. Despite this trend
towards a contemporary sound, Rush's music is deeply rooted in the
ancient traditions of the Mississippi Delta where he grew up. The Dela
blues are noted for their gut-level urgency and furious passion. Rush re-
tains this quality without any compromises; his blues are tough, nasty,,
tragic, and often bitterly ironic.
Rush's singing is no less fiery than his guitar work. With Guitar
Slim and Ray Charles as his primary influences, Rush introduced gospel-
style melisma into the Chicago blues. His soaring falsetto cries the story
of a man who is always at the "Right Place but at the Wrong Time." Oc-
casionally, when his tale is completely fraught with misfortune, he aban-
dons this comparatively genteel style in favor of a primal snarl that is
Rush's songs are almost always filled with a burning anger, and for
good reason. His recording career has been notoriously checkered - his
first label, Cobra, folded because of the owner's penchant for gambling,
Capitol failed to release an album of what is perhaps his best recorded ma-
terial for no particular reason, and he has almost always played with lack-
luster backup musicians. Rush is also subject to the grind forced on him
by a culture that wants nothing to do with the naked honesty that his
music is all about.
It's no wonder, then, that his live performances are not just gigs but
events. He has the ability to completely let loose onstage without having
to worry about the constraints of record label demands. Live, he is able to
sustain a note on his guitar until there is absolutely nothing left in it -
no pain, no joy, nothing - because he's been able to suck every bit of
emotion out of it. Go to the Blind Pig this weekend, tell your troubles to
your a bottle of beer, and then wallow in the blues of Otis Rush because
his music is the ultimate catharsis.
OTIS RUSH and opener STEVE NARDELLA play at the Blind Pig tonight
starting about 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door.
UM News in
The Daily Te"rs
764-0552 Matinees Daily
OPEN DAILY, 12 _-
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'80 Renault Le Car, looks ok mechanically
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1983 CHEV CELEB, 6 cyl., 4 Door, no rust!
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Can you buy Jee s, Cars, 4x4's seized in
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FOR SALE: 1980 VW Scirroco. Stereo
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MTWO-PHYSICIAN COUPLE in training,
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Very neat. Call Dr. Steve Silverstein 508-
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SIGMA IOTA RHO MEETING
.The Intemat'l Relations Honor Society.
.Tues. Oct. 17th Angell Hall Rm. 219, 7pm.,
VNew Members Welcomel
GIANT FLEA MARKET
Collectible, household, new, used,
jewelry, gifts, unusual, junque.
44,000 sq. ft. every weekend
6-10 Fri. eve., 10 am-6 pm Sat.& Sun.
214 E. Michigan at Park, Downtown
r, Ypsilanti 487-5890 971-7676
Buy a Computer at the Kickoff?
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10 yrs Combined Experience With Micros
Call RJ Consulting
665-6508 Ask for Ron or Jim
FLOOR SEATS- 8 RollingStones tickets on
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Thanksgiving in NYC: 2 Tickets Detroit-
NYC leaving 11/21 eve, retuming 11/26 aftn.
$476 for both. Call 348-8026.
NEEDED: 2 Purdue football tickets! Call
ABSOLUTE TOP DOLLAR paid for U of M
basketball tickets. 668-7707.
2 EXCELLENT TICKETS FOR U-M vs.
MSU. Call Eric @ (616363-4858, or
(616)454-1838. BEST OFFER.
5 MSU TICKETS - Student sec. best offer by
Fri. Call Joon, 995-5236.
GR EEK GAB
FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES work
with the Pros. The Clothes Com pany has the
bestp rices for all party favors. Call Jon 994-
4045 or 1-800-366-8087.
MICHIGAN BLUE LEATHER JACKETS
Maize and Blue..its better in leather
Individual orders, 12 jacket discounts
Ann Arbor Leather Imports. 995-5104
PRETTY VACANT - the band that should
play at your next party. 769-3082.
ALPHA CHI OMEGA
Sarah Anderson Amy Malik
Nancy Baker Julie Mangurten
Dani Barron Jessica Martin
Carrie Blackwell Julie Martin
Sandie Bragg Amy Miner
Jen Branton Lynette Morgan
Laura Brass Amy Niehengen
ill Brown Kelly Newbold
n Chai Laura Nelli
aur Chamberlain MindyPasik
Laura Christian Pam Paxton
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Love, Your Sisters
$99 ANYWHERE IN THE USA ON
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FOR YOUR LOWEST OVERSEAS AIR-
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GET AWAY! Equipped cabins on lake in
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Acapulco 519, Cancun 559Freeport 439
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SPRING BREAK 1990. DO THlE BA-
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$455.00.Mass meeting Oct. 18 7 pn, 4 fIr.
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STUDENT TRAVEL BREAKS AT STA-
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some eveningbs.. *** *Kerrytown Mall Ann
Arbor. 663-4400* *
WE ARE THE SPRING BREAK AUTHOR-
ACAPULCO from $519.00
BAHAMAS from $479.00
(air. 7 nights hotel and transfers)
Call UNIV"ERSAL TRAVEL, Inc. 852-2000
LOS & FON
FOUND: GOLD-TONE WATCH on E. Lib-
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LADY'S GOLD dress watch, w/ a round
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LOST: GOLD NECKLACE WITH DIA-
MOND PENDANt. Reward offered. Call
LOST: PRESCRIPTION GLASSES, brown
wire frame. On N. Cam pus Med. Center bus,
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MACINTOSH SET-UP & TRAINING
The Whipperwill Co. 761-8311.
HERB DAVID GUITAR STUDIO 302 E.
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603 E. Liberty 668-8397
Hi-Tec MINI MICRO SYSTEM, INC.
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Road Suite F
Phone: (313) 665-3787
FAX: (313) 665-3507
Bring in this ad for ANN9RB M
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