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February 05, 1996 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-05

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7?rh d rrr;; 3rri E ....ht .

A Chat with a Master
Garrick Ohisson visits North Campus. Acclaimed pianist Garrick Ohlsson
has been in town this weekend on what has become his annual stop in
Ann Arbor. This morning he'will be hosting "A Conversation with Garrick
Ohlsson" at the School of Music Recital Hall from10.:30 to noon. All
interested may attend.

Monday
February 5, 1996

5A

5A

Marsalis and friends
amaze at The Michigan

royal perfonnance

By Ted Watts
aily Fine Arts Editor
The King's Singers is a group that
erforms both classic choral works and
rrangements of more popular songs..
Sometimes some non-traditional inter-
retations of music can cause the spirit
f the original to be lost. At times, the
's Singers' performance on Satur-

E

REVIEW
The King's
Singers
Hill Auditorium
Feb. 3, 1996

i~ a
captured the essence of the original
p es, but at other moments the spirit
escaped them.
The program began with Henryk
Gorecki's "Totus Tuus," written for a
papal visit to Poland in 1987. A long,
gentle and stoic piece, the six-piece
English a capella group got off to a
rather subdued start. Frighter'ngly so,
as a possible two hours of religious
music is not a pleasant possibility, even
ifit issung in Latin. The rather cycloptic
a* nature of the composition led to a
rather disappi nting opening number.
But the King's Singers are known for
their eclecticism. Their next three se-
lections were Renaissance French mad-
rigals. The fast paced "Au Joli Jeu"
allowed the group to show their prow-
ess at interesting singing as well as ,
permitting them to move. Their heads
moved rapidly and separately, in line
w their parts. Tenor Bob Chilcott
Wieven allowed to be witty, breaking
the mood established by "Totus Tuus."
Chilcott explained the story ofthe mad-
rigal, an incomplete tale about attempt-
ing to get some Renaissance French

lovin'. Incomplete because "what hap-
pens next, we can only guess at."
The third madrigal, "La Guerre," fea-
tured some amazingly entertaining war
sounds as voiced by the Englishmen.
The lilting voicing of"Fan frere le le Ian
fan" and other noises of battle created a
most happy-go-lucky scene of mass
death. Like barking without a throat or
spitting without saliva, the vocaliza-
tions were quite satisfying to the audi-
ence, which seemed to enjoy the levity
in the pieces.
"The Waking Father," composed for
the King's Singers, suffered from a
disparity between the original material
and the performed version. The lyrics
themselves are derived from very per-
sonal poems and the singing of them by
a group is fairly disconcerting. There
really should have been some question-
ing of the efficacy of a single voice
being mouthed by a chorus. It was al-
most like a palimpsest, the result of
which was that theperformance seemed
to run counter to the poems themselves.
The group performed several arrange-
ments of Irish folk songs following the
intermission. The arrangements were
thoroughly modern,and they were well-
sung as far as the group's style goes.
However, all except"Mairi's Wedding"
seemed stripped ofany Irish spirit. Quite
a feat when dealing with "Londonderry
Air (Danny Boy)." The King's Singers
do what they do well, but it is definitely
not suited to all the works they perform.
The style is, however, very appropri-
ate in conjunction with their trademark
arrangements of popular songs.
Saturday's menu included three Beatles'
songs, "Help,""Blackbird"and"Honeyj
Pie,"the last of which gave bass Stephen
Connolly an opportunity to loosen up
and be a bit of a Ringo. Another inter-
esting arrangement was "Seaside Ren-
See SINGERS, Page 8A

By James P. Miller
Daily Arts Writer
"All jazz is modern," said Wynton
Marsalis.
It was a fortuitous way to begin the
show. Under the auspices of this open-
ingremark, the band proceeded to prove
that jazz defies precise'quantification,
playing the music of Jelly Roll Morton,
Thelonious Monk and Marsalis with
equal amounts of style and enthusiasm.
The opening tune, a somewhat acer-
bic Marsalis composition called "The
Majesty of the Blues," although a well-
composed piece, and well-played by
the band, was not representative of the
restofthe set. Thesolos consisted mostly
of tricks and novelty bits like overtones
REVIEW
Lincoln Center
Jazz Orchestra
The Michigan Theater
Feb. 1, 1996
and bizarre lip slurs. The pianist, Eric
Reed, began to bring it to the church by
turning in a gospel styled solo in the
tradition of Cannonball Adderly. Then
the rhythm section intertwined its part,
transforming the piece from a cerebral,
angular jazz tune to a savage, primal,
polyrhythmic drumming experience.
The Morton pieces were by far the
high points of the evening. Tk first
one, "Sidewalk Blues," was everything
a Dixieland tune shouldbe.Often, Dixie
tunes are played rather obligatorily.
Bands tend to trudge through them be-
cause they want to seem cultured and
well-versed in their history. Marsalis
and the orchestra were the real article.
You can tell they play the music be-
Madonna
Something to Remember
Maverick/Warner Bros. Records
For 12 years, Madonna has rocked
many a party with her up-tempo songs.
With the help of the "Material Girl,"
you can "Express Yourself' with a
touch of"Vogue." But the truly memo-
rable songs of this former University
student aren't her faster ones. Herr
slow songs have been the true atten-
tion-grabbers.
Mind you, Madonna isn't the
world's best singer; I doubt she could
sing a single refrain flawlessly with-
out the aid of electronic alteration.
Nevertheless, Madonna has done the
semi-impossible. She has taken some
ofthe raunchiest, most prostitute-like
characteristics to be found and pre-
sented them in a way that is kind of...
you know, sexy.
Besides, her music's accompany-
ing beats do a great job of covering
her vocal shortcomings, and over the
years, Madonna's singing has im-
proved a ton.
"Something to Remember" features
some of Madonna's most well-known
slow tunes. It spans back to her ground-
breaking freshman release, "Like a Vir-
gin," with the nicely done "Love Don't
Live Here Anymore."
It also features cuts from other re-
leases including "Oh Father" from
Madonna's quadruple-platinum "Like
a Prayer" LP and "Forbidden Love"
from her most recent CD, "Bedtime

cause they really love it; they love play-
ing it for people.
Making the first truly inspiring solo
of the evening was Michael White on
the clarinet. During the swingera, when
the saxophone rose to become the domi-
nant reed instrument, the clarinet fell to
the wayside. But White played his solos
with all the vigor and humor of the old
school. Going beyond the usual
Dixieland arpeggiated chords (as they
all did) he wove in and out of the rhyth-
mic framework, stretching it with inhu-
man bends in the high register and
growls on the low.
Their selections of Monk were var-
ied and showed great musical depth.
The first offering, "Hackensack," was
from the earlier Monk period, with
swing andblues overtones. The soloists
turned in perfect bluesy solos. Once
again the band showed its grasp of
history, the bassist quoting Clifford
Brown's "Blues Walk" in his solo. The
pianist managed, in a relatively short
solo, to capture the whimsical nature of
Monk's music often overlooked in fa-
vor of a more dense interpretation.
The last Marsalis composition of the
evening was especially indicative of
the band's tenor and spirit. "The Su-
preme Serenade" consisted of only the
trumpet and piano. Playing in front of
the piano's quiet support, Marsalis
played a beautiful obbligato solo, the
kind that is nearly extinct today. With
an obvious but unstated Miles Davis
influence, every note of Marsalis' had
depth of feeling and elegance. Just like
the Creole lilt to his voice, Marsalis'
solo possessed a deep New Orleans
melancholy like the fall magnolias. The
set ended with Morton's "Black Bot-
tom Stomp," an up-tempo Dixie barn-
burner, the clarinetist sporting a big ol'

We
Wynton Marsails led the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on Thursday.

can of whup-ass at all times.
Apart from the iridescently powerful
Morton tunes, the second set was domi-
nated by Monk. "Green Chimneys" was
first, apart from a wonderful interpreta-
tion the song was dedicated to: "Darryl
Morris, the most free throw shootingest
man in the world." That was probably
the first time a Monk tune has been
mentioned in reference to someone's
marksmanship from the line.
To prove again the unrelenting taste
of Marsalis and Reed, they tackled the
great Monk ballad "Reflections." Be-
ing a rather young group, they played
with a sensitivity and maturity well
beyond their years. It was a joy to
behold.
Before closing with the great Morton

stomper"Jungle Blues," the band played
another Marsalis composition, "Proces-
sional," an excerpt from his larger piece
"In This House, On This Morning." Start-
ing out as a typical bebop grinder, the
piece slowly began to shift into a Mingus-
esque, chain gang moan. Using only a
tenor sax solo over simple clapped fig-
ures, the band, in the span of a few
seconds, conjured up an image of suffer-
ing and redemption - the essence of the
blues.
This was not a concert that was just
good, or even great. It was one of those
musical moments when you want to fall
down in the aisle and thank God you're
alive and in that auditorium. The church
has come through town. Thank you
brother Wynton.

Stories."
"Something to Remember" also fea-
tures many cuts that this Pride-of-
Stockwell-Residence-fHall contrib-
uted to various movie soundtracks.
"Crazy for You" (from 1985's "Vi-
sion Quest"), "Live to Tell" (from
1986's "At Close Range") and the
truly memo'able "This Used to be My
Playground" (from 1992's "A League
of Their O n," the only really good
movic Madonna ever starred in) are
the choices:
Looking ahead, Madonna performs
three new selections on this album.
";You'll See" is OK, but nothing to
gloat about. Backed by Massive At-
tack, her remake of Marvin Gaye's "I
Want You" at one-third its original
speed is outstanding. The simple "One
More Chance" has Madonna singing
alongside a single guitar. This song
shows that her voice has definitely im-
proved, though it is far from spectacu-
lar.
- Eugene Bowen
Catherine Wheel
Waydown E.P.
Fontana Records
The British have invaded the United
States. It seems like every time you
turn on the radio or MTV, there is
another British pop band making it
big. Although most of the British
bands making headlines pretty much
sound like a rehash of some other
band, like Oasis (a.k.a. The Beatles)

or Bush (everything Nirvana ... I
don't think so), there are a few origi-
nal bands from overseas not receiv-
ing theirdue praise. Catherine Wheel
is definitely one of these bands.
After three unique, dark, beauti-
fully noisy albums on Fontana
records, the latest being 1995's
"Happy Days," Catherine Wheel has
decided to release an EP they re-
corded in 1992. This four-song EP
was only available on very limited-
edition vinyl, but now has been in-
cluded here, along with Catherine
Wheel's latest single from "Happy
Days," called "Waydown."
The EP consists of three obscure
covers and an original tune. "30th Cen-
tury Man" was originally recorded by
Scott Walker, but definitely sounds
like a Catherine Wheel original, with
its wall-of-noise guitars and thought-
provoking lyrics.
"Free of Mind" is standard
Catherine Wheel. Although it's a
good track, it pales in comparison to
what Catherine Wheel is truly ca-
pable of. "That's When I Reach For
My Revolver," originally recorded
by Mission of Burma, is a great song,
probably the best on the disc. It's a
typical Catherine Wheel classic, with
an upbeat, slightly harsh, catchy
rhythm, and dark, cynical lyrics like,
"Once I had my heroes, once I had
my dreams. But all of that is gone
now, gets twisted inside-out. The
truth is not that comfortable ..."
Husker Du's "Don't Want To
Know If You Are Lonely," a good
pop-punk love song, rounds out the

Catherine Wheel pretends that it Is in
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
disc-a nice ending to this collection.
This disc is essential listening for any
Catherine Wheel fan, and it is a great
disc for anyone who enjoys good music
with some thought behind it. Although
"Waydown" is not as strong as Catherine
Wheel's last two albums, "Chrome" and
"Happy Days," it is definitely worth a
listen, too.
- Colin Bartos
See RECORDS, Page 8A

**

k*** .Classic
** * ... Excellent
** ...Good
** ... Fair
Poor
Zero ... A Bomb

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful 'Beautiful Girls'
It's the movie we've all been waiting for! in what has been called the "Big Chill"
of the '90s, Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon and Rosie O'Donnell (seen above
shopping for tampons and other cool things) star with many other Generation X
celebrities in a film about love and relationships in America. And, lucky for you,
Daily reader, we have free passes for a sneak preview of this film. The special
show is at the Ann Arbor 1 & 2 Cinema on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. To get your
just come to the Daily Arts office, 420 Maynard St., after noon today, and
tus the name of another movie in which we've seen Rosie act.

i
I

. ....

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Chicano lliitoty Week 1996
A3"s l'It4 me4 X
~'rc~ckciw

- #iworoVwwwv ul w'ul u i WUaeV9iiii Wa

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