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February 03, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-03

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Quilter Karen Simpson teaches fun with quilting while showing off some of her work.
Come see Simpson's beautiful quilts while learning how to make your own. The fun
begins at 7 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. Best of all, the
program is free. For more information, call 994-2345.
Monday
February 3, 1997

Jazz fest blasts into Michigan

By James Miller
Daily Arts Writer
I'm usually wary
From the ill ranks
HORDE and Perry
ness, the shows are
their own celebrity,
filled with
cramped, crabby
people. It's just not
a good time to
watch preppie
clones smoke joints
and neck on the
lawn at Pine Knob.

of package tours.
of Lollapalooza,
Farrel's Enit silli-
usually bloated on
long to a fault and
RE
Mic

And then the Lord decides to give
you your faith back. The Verve Jazz
Festival swooped into town with all of
the glory and power of the Heavenly
Choir itself.
Book The First consisted of the
Charlie Hayden and Quartet West. I
missed about half the set due to some
.'truly abysmal ticket managing on the
part of Prism Productions. A pox on
their families.
Anyway, Charlie
,Hayden and his
boys put on a fine
show. In the half of
the set I did see,
Hayden didn't
spend much time
soloing, but rather
left that task to his
sidemen. The drum
and pianists all
turned in admirable
solos, with some
especially good JENN
brush work on the Mark Whitfield pla

drummer's part.
But his tenorist must have been
drinking his move juice backstage.
Playing like he was getting paid by the
note, he won the crowd over with sheer
enthusiasm. Although his lines had a
noticeable pop color to them, his
improvisations
"VIEW were full of life
and fit in beauti-
Verve Jazz fully with
Festival Hayden's loose,
higan Theater contrapuntal style.
Jan. 30, 1997 If nothing else,
Hayden and the
Mad Tenorman set the emotional tone
for the evening.
The Joe Henderson Trio followed.
Fronted by the legendary tenorist, the
group follows in the footsteps of Lester
Young's great tenor sax/bass/drums
ensemble of the late '40s. But the rela-
tion is in form alone. Henderson's
group took by far the most avant garde
approach of the evening. Consisting of
all original compo-
sitions, the group
jammed and soloed
out on all the
pieces, splitting
Henderson's set
into four or five 10
minute chunks.
Henderson, famous
for his willful
impr ov is ations,
brilliant modal
composition and
c o m m a n d i n g
ER BRADLEY-SWIFT/Daily sound, took over the
s at the festival. theater. His solos

spanned the entire timbric, dynamic
and stylistic ranges of the instrument
without ever sounding trite or forced.
Who else could quote "Lush Life" and
have the entire audience burst into
applause?
Coming close to stealing the show
was Henderson's bassist, playing his
solos in a style that bordered on fla-
menco guitar. He spent most of his time
in the upper regions of the bass' register
with chops that would make any self-
respecting guitarist weep with envy. It
was not, however, chops for chop's
sake, as his lines were lyrical and gor-
geous.
And now, the Kansas City All-Star
Band: I'm rather at a loss here. Let's
put it this way: If heaven doesn't have
this group playing everywhere you go,
start breaking commandments today,
because it ain't worth it. This is what it
must have been like to see Count Basie
in all of his regal splendor, peeling the
paint off of the walls of juke joints
eight days a week. The All-Stars put on
a show that would have made The
Count, The Duke and the entire court
beam with pride. This was swing the
way it was meant to be played: Thick,
fast and about a hair's breadth from
being totally out of control.
Featuring artists like David "Fathead"
Newman, Nicholas Payton and Mark
Whitfield, the band made their six-song
set last forever. All the horns put in titan-
ic 10- and 11-chorus solos on different
tunes with the rest of the group wailing
away behind them. The lesser-known
guys like Don Byron on clarinet and
Craig Handy on tenor sax turned in
strong performances, especially on
tunes like "Since I Left My Baby" (with
singing by the excellent Kevin
Mahogany, who makes Joe Williams
sleep better at night knowing his legacy
will be carried on) and the Coleman
Hawkins stomper "Queer Notions."
I can't say enough about the show.
This is the kind of concert that could
have pried open the heart of the most
stilted and moronic listener and still
pour in the blessed feeling that jazz
played by the original masters cannot
help but have.

NIFE
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Joe Henderson leads the second set at the Verve Jazz Festival at the Michigan Theater on Thursday.

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