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November 04, 1993 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, November 4, 1993 - 5

Life is too complicated for a step-by-step guide

Life is complicated. No one tells you if that
cute guy you've had your eye on has been eyeing
you back. The person who has been talking behind
your back doesn't suddenly start telling you what
he's saying. There aren't any hard and fast rules
' about
Life just
come with an instruction manual.
No one hands you a book and says, "Here ya
go. Check the index if you have questions. And
don't blow it."
However, H. Jackson Brown has attempted to,
publish some guidelines for those of us flounder-
ing through life. He published two mini-books
filled with advice he had for his son, both called
"Life's Little Instruction Book."
In a moment of confusion, I bought the daily
calendar which these books inspired. But having
reached November, I have to say my life hasn't
changed too drastically; life hasn't suddenly be-

come clear.
This is not to say that there wasn't some good
advice. But what made me think this calendar was
going to clear it all up for me? I thought I'd save
you some trouble and share some of the advice
I've received everyday for the last 10 months.
I've had to wonder sometimes whatMr. Brown
was thinking with some of his advice. On October
21 he told me to "be neat," as if on this particular
day I could spontaneously stop being a slob. Then
there was the day he told me to "cut your own
firewood." What do I look like a lumberjack? As
it is I can't get the heat in my little one-bedroom
apartment to shutoff. I don't think I need firewood
but, hey, thanks for the tip.
Another one of his valuable tidbits advised me
to "sing in the shower." Well, I think I can safely
speak for my roommate when I say this is not a
good idea. And as for his advice to "slow dance,"
most ofmy dates hope this is advice I will not take
again. (And they have the broken toes to prove it.)
As an alternative to slow dancing, I could
always "take someone bowling." I can just see it
now, "Hey honey let's go wear some really ugly
shoes and hurl a really heavy ball down an alley
trying to knock down some stupid pins." I think

that will really go over well.
By far some of his worst advice was "keep it
simple." Now if I could do that do you think I
would need this calendar?
There were some pretty helpful tidbits which
Brown passed on. One of.the ones I like to follow
whenever I can is "take a nap on Sunday after-
noons." I'll use any excuse to take a nap. And one
that I think everyone should follow, "don't ever
watch hot dogs or sausage being made." I don't
know about you but I think the phrase "what you
don't know can't hurt you" applies here.
Then there were the sappier pieces of advice,
not to say'that sappy is bad. A little sappy can be
good. Some of my personal favorites are "Never
give up on anyone. Miracles happen everyday"
and "Never underestimate the power of forgive-
ness." These tidbits in particular I think are crucial
to living life to the fullest. I must say though that
it wasn't because of this calendar that I began
thinking this way. But it is nice to be reminded.
All in all, the calendar gives me many pearls of
wisdom to think about. But if life were really easy
enough to be broken down into simple instruc-
tions, believe me I would just follow the direc-

Charles Mingus is just one of the jazz artists whose work will be reissued.
And all that jazz ###
By this stage in the CD-reissue boom, the major labels have unloaded most
of the best records from their vaults in all genres of music. All labels except
for Atlantic Records, that is. Happily, that situation is being corrected. In the
past year, Rhino Records has taken control of Atlantic's reissue department
and has released a series of splendid anthologies and straight reissues. For
most of 1992, Rhino concentrated on Atlantic's rock 'n' roll roster, re-
releasing classic albums from bands like the MC5 and definitive anthologies
of Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett and the J.
Geils Band. This past summer, Rhino turned their attention to Atlantic's
Sroundbreaking jazz catalog. The two record labels will continue to release
many important, historic collections and reissues in the next year.
Atlantic was one the major labels in the'50s and'60s to develop their own
style without compromising the sound of their artists. Many of the most
innovative jazz musicians of the '60s were captured on tape at Atlantic
Records, everyone from John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman to Charles
Mingus and David "Fathead" Newman. Everything from soul-jazz to free-jazz
was covered at the studio. Sadly, the label's legacy has been mistreated over
the years, with a iumber of ill-conceived compilations and sloppy reissues
taking the place of intelligent, comprehensive collections.
Rhino's presentation of "The Atlantic Jazz Gallery" corrects all of these
' ngs. The entire "Atlantic Jazz Gallery" is being supervised by Joel Dorn,
producer ofmany of Atlantic's groundbreaking albums. Many seminal records
that have been out of print for years are available again, and several generous
jazz samplers are on the market. Most importantly, Rhino/Atlantic are releas-
ing a series of two-disc collections covering major, important jazz innovators.
Each collection is housed in a slipcase, with a lavish booklet and stylish cloth-
bound clamshell holding the discs. Four double-disc sets have been released,
with more to come in the following months.
While the straight reissues are of primary interest to dedicated fans, the
two-disc anthologies are aimed at the jazz novice. Each compilation features
'.aterial from all aspects of the artist's career, as well as informative bio-
graphical essays; they are comprehensive introductions, not definitive por-
traits. Out of the four sets released so far, John Coltrane's "The Last Giant" has
drawn the most attention. Most aspects of Coltrane's trail-blazing career are
covered; from his days with the Dizzy Gillespie Sextet and the cool jazz of his
stint with the Miles Davis Quintet to his own groups at Atlantic, everything is
covered except his later-period free-jazz. Even without those progressive
recordings, "The Last Giant" provides a remarkable portrait of one of this
century's greatest musicians.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk's"Does YourHouseHave Lions"andLesMcCann's
,Relationships" are particularly valuable, since neither artist has been subject
a comprehensive anthology before. Both of the anthologies cover the high
points in the artists career, providing excellent introductions to their bodies of
work. Most listeners might be taken aback by Kirk's multi-instrumental
innovations at first, but the music on the compilation is rich, essential to an
understanding of '70s jazz. McCann's gospel-jazz fusion is more user-
friendly, but is no less thrilling; the first disc is comprised of pre-Atlantic
recordings, with the anthology catching fire during his sessions with Low
Rawls and Eddie Harris on the second disc.
Perhaps the most important release in "The Atlantic Jazz Gallery" so far is
"Thirteen Pictures - The Charles Mingus Anthology." Within the space of
.wo discs, every major facet of Mingus' accomplishments is covered, with
such classic compositions as "Haitian Fight Song," "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"
and "Better Git It In Your Soul" taking center stage. Mingus produced a rich,
varied body of work during his lifetime. Although it can't be completely
summarized with two CDs, "Thirteen Pictures" provides an indispensable
introduction to one of the major artists of our time.
Throughout the following months, Rhino will continue to release more
anthologies covering such artists as David "Fathead" Newman and Eddie
Harris, as well putting older albums back in print. In November, a six-CD box
collecting all of Ornette Coleman's Atlantic sessions will be released; it
Wromises to be the most historically important of all the albums in "The
Atlantic Jazz Gallery."

Thomas Hampson demonstrates poetic gift through music

Continued from page 1
observe this opera going by. I want
people to smell the opera go by."
Hampson also discussed other
modern misconceptions about the
operatic experience. "I don't want
this sort of masturbatory realism that
everybody says is so expressive," he
said. "They say that's what Giordano
wanted and that's what Leoncavallo
wanted, and I don't think that's what
they wanted in the least. But never-
theless, let the music speak for itself,
and let the psychology of the charac-
ters speak for itself."
According to Hampson, the psy-
chological and dramatic context for
operatic melodies has been forgotten
by many operatic audiences. "Yes,
there are moments that are very ex-
pressive,"he said, "Butthere's awhole
lot of other music going on, and a
whole lot of other points of a charac-
ter than just 'E lucevan le stelle' - or
'Nessun dorma,' for Christ's sake!
Yes, it's a great musical moment, but
Lord in heaven - it's kind of like
what we've done to the Tchaikovsky
'1812 Overture' -do people really
know why that piece was written?"
In celebration of the 150th anni-
versary of the birth of Edvard Grieg,
Hampson is including Grieg's Op.48
cycle of six songs on German poetry.
Hampson offered thoughts on the an-
niversary. "Anything that somehow
re-awakens people to a connection to
history is very valid and very interest-
ing," he said. "I don't think anniver-
saries should be poo-pooed, and I
don't think they should be the monu-
mental discovery of a composer ei-
ther. I simply enjoy the coincidental
hangers to hang something on."
The third section of Hampson's
recital will be songs on poetry of Walt
Whitman. The songs, by three Ameri-
cans and an Englishman, Ralph
Vaughn Williams, were chosen by
Hampson from among more than a

hundred settings of Whitman poetry.
Hampson demonstrated his own po-
etic gift in his description ofa song by
William Neidlinger. "Neidlinger
wrote this fantastic forward-looking
scene, like a disappearing fresco on a
wall - there's harshness and noth-
ingness that comes in a brilliant relief
of color of this tragic scene and dis-
solves back into nothing. It's an ex-
traordinary two pages of song."
"Walt Whitman had a tremendous
impact on the cultural life of England
as well," Hampson continued. "The
Vaughn Williams songs - that's
what's exciting; everybody took
Whitman on his own terms: the
graphic relief of the text is terribly
good by the Englishman." Hampson
further emphasized the understand-
ing which English composers showed
of Whitman's poetry. "The good
songs," he said, "Never sort of went
and said, 'Oh we'll write a ruddy-
good English song with those won-
derful Whitman texts' - they really
took him on his own metaphysical
terms. There's this wonderful quote
of-I think it was Charles Woods -
who said that Walt Whitman is the
Englishman'sNietzsche, which Ithink
is a wonderful perspective."
accompanist Craig Rutenberg, will
perform Sunday at 4 p.m. at Hill
Auditorium. Hampson will also lead
a discussion of the recital program
at 3p.m. at Rackham Assembly

Hall. Tickets are available from the
UMS box office (764-2538)for $10-
$35. $6 student rush tickets will be
available at the Union Ticket Office
from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

UMS and the North Campus
Commons will also co-sponsor
North Campus Student Rush on
Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. next to
Little Caesars.


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