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Jammin' Gospel Style
The University Gospel Chorale is ready to rock Rackham Auditorium
tomorrow with its second annual concert. If this concert is even half as
good as last year's extravaganza or the choir's opening performance for
Sounds of Blackness during 1995's MLK Day celebratioris, you'd be a
fool not to attend. The show is at 5 p.m. Admission is free.
February 16, 1996
By James P. Miller
Daily Arts Writer
There are certain achievements that
sond immediately impressive to the ears,
among them: Summa Cum Laude gradu-
ation from Harvard, admission to Yale
Law School and winning both the Down-
beat and Rolling Stone awards for Best
New Jazz Artist. A person with any one
of these accomplishments is enough to
make the average college grunt sick; a
person with all makes you feel downright
suicidal. Meet Joshua Redman.
Just so you don't feel so bad, he's not
pursuing both careers at the same time.
He was admitted to law school in 1992
but, deferred enrollment for a year to
pursue music. One year has stretched
into four. "Seven years of Ivy League
will fry your brain," Redman explained
with arelievedlaugh. But elbow patches
and tweed weren't the only things that
drove him to his second calling.
"It was the sum of great opportuni-
ties to make music and play with great
musicians, not really any one thing,"
the saxophonist said.
Among these was his first place vic-
tory in the Thelonious Monk Saxophone
Competition. Redman regards it as agreat
career opportunity, but a strange musical
Where: Pease Auditorium, EMU
When: Tonight at 8 o'clock.
Tickets: $15-$19 in advance. Cal
487-1221 for more information.
experience. "Art is subjective. Music,
especiallyjazz, is even more subjective,"
he said. "How can you say one person's
soul is worth more than another?"
Apparently such heavyweight judges
as Branford Marsalis, Benny Carter and
Jackie McLean thought Redman's soul
was worth more than the rest. If nothing
else, it was the start of a meteonc career.
'Vhen asked about his influences,
Redman lists the usual: Rollins, Trane,
Lester Young, Miles Davis. But his tastes
also run to the more eclectic, like Stevie
Spituals hight DSO's bill
'Classical Roots' program features African music
By Craig Stuntz
For the Daily
For the past 20 years, the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra has performed a
series of annual "Classical Roots" con-
certs that feature works by African
American composers and musicians.
This year's installment features the
U.S. premieres of works by Leslie B.
Dunner, the DSO's Resident Conduc-
tor, and Carlo Franci, as well as tradi-
tional spirituals. Also included,
strangely enough, is a composer who is
Joshua Redman loves his sax.
Wonder, Prince, Zep and Aretha Franklin.
Such a grab bag of styles also accounts
for his attitudes toward newer permuta-
tions of jazz, like jazz/hip-hop fusion
acts. "It's beneficial for music. Whenever
honestly it's good for the whole scene.
But it's a mistake to think that this type of
music is 'saving' jazz," he said.
Redman's father, freej azz Wunderkind
Dewey Redman enters his son's playing,
but not to the extent one might assume.
"My father doesn't influence me as my
father. His influence has been from afar,"
the young saxophonist said.
Redman has released four albums:
"Joshua Redman," "Wish," "Mood-
swing" and the most recent, a double-disc
recorded at New York City's legendary
Village Vanguard. The Vanguard session
displays his most inspired and hard-swing-
ing work to date. The idea to play the club
was his, but it wasn't done under the
assumption that he would automatically
have a good night there.
"Playing the Vanguard doesn't in-
sure a good show," Redman said. "You
can have a great night anywhere. It's
not like you can hear Trane whispering
in your ear as you play. But there is a
great sense of historical weight."
You can tell a lot about a musician by
who he listens to. Among his contempo-
raries, Redman lists Roy Hargrove(trum-
pet), Christian McBride (bass), Jesse
Davis (sax) and Cyrus Chestnut (piano).
Most of these names have appeared with
Redman's on marquees across the coun-
try and in a myriad of liner notes.
Redman visited the Ann Arbor area
on two other occasions, once with gui-
tarist Pat Metheny and once with the
Lincoln CenterJazz Orchestra. He rates
both visits as positive experiences, say-
ing, "Ann Arbor is a great town for
jazz." With artists of Redman's caliber
coming to town, that isn't a difficult
reputation to live up to.
Tickets: $15-$38. Student rush
tickets still available at showtime
are 50 percent off.
as white as they come: Beethoven.
The inspiration for Dunner's "Mem-
oirs of a Shattering Glass Building"
should strike a familiar chord with any
University student who ever walked by
the Undergraduate Library before its
recent renovation. Dunner says: "Dur-
ing my student days, a very ugly stu-
dent union building comprised essen-
tially of glass and mud-colored brick
was erected adjacent to the academic
quadrangle. It obstructed all direct paths
to and from classes. In honor of its
dedication ceremony, I dreamt up a
short ditty representing my dreams (and
every other student's as well) of the
building's total demolition, complete
with wrecking ball. Needless to say, it
was not performed on that 'auspicious
"As my career began to develop, that
short work did mature and represent the
'glass ceiling' felt by many as an ob-
struction of the realization of their
dreams and goals ... I hope that my
'Memoirs' will serve as an aural re-
minder that all barriers can be shat-
tered when we find within ourselves a
true belief in our strength and poten-
The inclusion of Beethoven in a con-
cert dedicated to African American
music is no doubt due to the presence
of Awadagin Pratt, a talented pianist
who has also studied violin and con-
ducting. He was the first student in the
history of the Peabody Conservatory
of Music's history to receive diplomas
in three performance areas. He also
won the 1992 Naumburg International
Pratt has just released a collection of
Beethoven piano sonatas on EMI Clas-
sics, which helps to explain why his
performances are so well regarded. This
recording easily compares to an earlier
Telarc release featuring pianist John
O'Connor, both of which include So-
natas No. 30 and 31.
Although they are both excellent
performers, Pratt's renditions of these
works tend to have a much more dy-
namic character, both in timing and
intonation. While O'Connor keeps a
fairly consistent metronome through-
out each section, Pratt, when appropri-
ate, gently bends the pulse for emo-
tional effect. He also gives some pas-
sages which O'Connor plays in exact
time an almost syncopated feel, andhis
use of volume was more varied.
Occasionally, Pratt's timing shifts
and unexpectedfotte notes are a little
jarring, and in these instances I appre-
ciate O'Connor's restraint. But for the
most part, Pratt's renditions are more
emotionally compelling. It will be in-
teresting to see him perform with an
Having premiered in 1994 at the
Johannesburg City Hall in South Af-
rica, Carlo Franci's "African Orato-
rio" is a work for solo soprano, speaker,
mixed choirs, electronic tape and a
percussion-laden orchestra that in-
cludes both Western and African instru-
ments. Synthesizing the music of Africa
with American Jazz, the work alternates
a cappella choruses, sung in Zulu, with
instrumental dance movements. This
performance will feature American
mezzo-soprano Tichina Vaughn, a North
Carolina native who has performed nu,
merous times in the United States, Eu-
rope and South America.
The program will also mark the an-
nual collaboration between the Brazeal
Dennard Chorale, a Detroit ensemble;
including works by
dedicated to the performance of choral
works by African American composers,
and the DSO. This weekend's perfor-
mance includes two traditional spiri tu
als, "Lord I Want to be a Christian" an*
"Fare Ye Well," arranged by Brazeal
Dennard, Artistic Director of the Cho-
rale and an adjunct professor of music at
Wayne State University.
Also on the program is "Lift Every
Voice and Sing," written at the turn-of-
the-century by James and John Johnson.
It was arranged 50.years later by Hale
Smith for a national meeting of the
NAACP in Minneapolis and becama
intensely popular; the songwriters sooP'
The DSO's commitment tQ perform-
ing compositions by contemporary com-
posers is refreshing, and this is their
second concert this season to promi-;
nently feature works by African Ameri-
can artists. And, of course, any program
including works by musicians other than
just dead Europeans is refreshing. ;
Don't cry for her,
How do we love Patti? Let us count the
ways. We loved her in the title roles of
"Evital and "The Baker's Wife," as the
original Fantine In "Les Mis6rables," as
the sensuous sermonizer Reno Sweeney
in "Anything Goes." And as for "Life Goes
On," well, at least it was Patti on prime
time. Most recently, we stood by her as
Andrew Lioyd Webber Jilted her
performance as the original Norma in
"Sunset Boulevard." But Patti LuPone is
still the greatest star of all. After a
successful Broadway run, La LuPone is
bringing her brilliance here this Saturday,
when she sings with the Ann Arbor
Symphony Orchestra at Hill Auditorium in
a benefit for the Summer Festival.
Tickets are at the UMS Box Office In
Burton Tower (764-2538), and range
from $15.$50 - a small price to pay to
bask in the aura of such a supreme diva.
- Melissa Rose Bernardo
The University of Michigan
School of Music
Tuesday, February 20
- Jerry Blackstone, conductor
" Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
* Stanford: Motetsj
* Works by Purcell, Holst and Handel
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Feburary 21
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras
Kenneth Kiesler and Pier Calabria, conductors
Featuring the 1995-96 Concerto Competition Winners
* Martin: Ballade for Flute, Piano and Strings
* Korngold: "Tanzlied des Pierot"t from Die Tote Stadt
* Mozart: Concerto in A Major for Clarinet, K. 622, Allegro
Barber: Concerto for Piano, Op. 38, Allegro appassionato
* Bartok: Concerto for Viola, Adagio religioso and Allegro vivace
* Bolcom: Concerto in D Major for Violin, Tempo giusto, Allegro
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thursday-Sunday, February 22-25
Theatre and Drama
The Male Animal by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent
Hal Cooper, director
Mendelssohn Theatre, Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
Tickets: $16, $12, $6 (students)
Friday, February 23
Theodore Morrison, conductor
Stephen Thomas, pianist
" Brahms: Vocal Quartets
Morrison: Byron and Shelley
- Argento: Peter Quince at the Clavier
Recital Hall, 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 25
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4 Academy Award
Best Picture * Director
His Name is Alive - and he's playing tomorrow
The entrancing sounds of His Name is Alive aren't often heard live; the Uvonla-based
band prefers recording to touring. Their 1990 debut, "Uvonia," as well as more recent
releases, has made it clear that Warren Defever's haunting songwriting and Karin
Oliver's spectral voice are a special combination. The beauty of the group's music
gives their dark side a poetic quality. Uve, His Name is Alive deconstructs, with
Defever's spiralling guitar lines and Oliver's beautiful voice r@Igning supreme. The
group plays tomorrow night at the Green Room in Ypsilanti. There are no advance
tickets for this show. Doors open at 10:30p.m.; call 482-8830 for more information.
- Heather Phares
1:30 Saturday & Sunday Only : 11:30 Fri & Sat Only
4:30 7:00 9:30 11:30
A hilarious rivalry both on and off the football field.
T ae TrMale EAnimal
by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent
at 8 PM
at 2 PM