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February 04, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-04

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8- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 4, 1997

UMS show captures the blues'


By James Miller
Daily Arts Writer
TIie: University Musical Society,
known'mostly for its lavish, erudite clas-
sical concerts and highbrow jazz shows,
let its collective hair down Saturday

The concert lasted for five hours with
one intermission and about five min-
utes between sets. Package tours are
usually marred by the fact that since
there are so many performers, each
ensemble is forced to play short sets to

night. The "Blues,
Moans' show at
Hill Auditorium
was by far the most
explosive and
heady concert to
which I've ever
been under the aus-
pices of UMS. The

Roots, Honks and

accommodate al

Blues, Roots,
Honks and Moans
Hill Auditorium
Feb. 1, 1997

1 the musicians. But
each band got to
play about an hour
of their usual shows
and as a result, the
audience received a
fair idea of what
each group was all
Steve Turre and the

several brass players who doubled on
seashells. Blowing into the shells and
moving their hands into various posi-
tions inside the shells to get different
pitches, the group created an interesting
microtonal music to complement the
feel of the African and Latin percussion.
Next at the plate was the always
inspiring Cyrus Chestnut and his trio. In
terms of sheer creativity and energy,
few pianists can rival him. Sticking to
the bluesy side of the equation,
Chestnut ran through standards like
"East of the Sun, West of the Moon" as
well as original compositions like "Hot
Rolls and Butter" and "No Matter What
I Love You.'
What makes Chestnut's approach to
the blues so interesting are his combi-
nations of style. In the span of one tune
he moved from intricate neo-classical

package tour consisted of five bands, all
of which were there for the sole purpose
of exploring the roots and rudiments of
the blues and its expression in the music
of todqy.y
And a thorough job they did of it, too.

First up was

Sanctified Shells. Turre, an alumnus of
the Saturday Night Live band and Art
Blakey's jazz messengers, assembled a
group of African and Cuban percussion-
ists, a conventional rhythm section and

lines to pounding barrelhouse action.
After the intermission, the Christian
McBride Quartet took the stage and
continued the up-tempo blues feeling.
Playing with open mikes (as opposed to
the bass direct) the group had a free
cavernous sound, the echo enhancing
the texture of each soloist. McBride's
set began with the Milt Jackson classic
"SKJ" and went into "Youthful Bliss"
off his album "Number Two Express."
On "SKJ" the tenor player turned in a
massive and impressive blues solo with
just the right amount of honking,
squealing and all the other juke joint
crowd pleasers. Not to be outdone, the
pianist employed an old Cannonball
Adderly device by which the soloist
deliberately moves outside the beat and
key, so when he returns to the original
elements of the piece, the solo seems
more powerful and more on-target than
McBride followed with a Wayne
Shorter ballad played on a bowed bass,
which was some of the loveliest solo
bass playing I've heard this side of Ron
Carter. The closer consisted of McBride
strapping on an electric bassand play-
ing his homage to James Brown, com-
plete with authentic JB dancing, micro-
phone tricks and a little off-key rendi-
tion of "It's A Man's World." Adding to
his already commanding and genial
stage presence, the JB action was defi-
nitely one of the show's highlights.
On after McBride was gospel and
Hammond organ sensation Twinkie
Clark. Twinkie's band consisted of the
Cyrus Chestnut trio - and at the time
of performance they had only played
together once. Imagine the James

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I mu :

E ummum.lllE T

The Progr rin Film a d THE LEO d AND
Video Stu ies Annou es EILEEN E W AN
A New An ual Compe ition DRAMATI WRITING
The Program in Film and Video Studies invites students enrolled in the
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts to submit dramatic writing
screenplays, stage plays or teleplays - for consideration in this, the first
year of the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize for Dramatic
Writing. The winner will receive an award of $1,000, to be announced
as part of the Hopwood Awards ceremony in April.
To be considered for the competition, students should submit three copies
of their completed work. Submission may be of up to 120 pages. The
work should be submitted in standard three-hole folio binders with the
title only on the cover page. The student's name should not appear any-
where on the work. Only one submission will be permitted per student.
Submissions will not be returned.
Each submission should be accompanied by an entry form, indicating the
student's address, phone, e-mail, and concentration. Entry forms are
available in The Program In Film and Video Studies office, Room 2512,
Frieze Building.
Qualified judges in the field of dramatic writing from inside and/or out-
side the University community will determine the awards recipient. In
the case that writing of outstanding quality cannot be identified from the
submissions, the judges need not award the prize this year.
Deadline for su Issions to the L nard and Eileen ewman Prize for ramatic Writing
is FEBRUARY 2 1997. No-submi ions will be acce *d after this dea line.

James Carter performs at "Blues, Roots, Honks and Moans."

Brown scene in "The Blues Brothers"
and you've got a pretty good idea what
Twinkie Clark is all about.
James Carter proved, if proof were
needed, that the saxophone is the most
athletically played instrument in all of
jazz. The only tune Carter announced


was the first one, a Don Byas tune titled
"1944 Storm." From then on it was a
mad dash to I a.m. In the first two min-
utes of his first solo, Carter flew to the
timbric extremes of his instrument. His
set consisted of about three pieces, all
of which contained massive solos by
him and the pianist, the up-and-coma
Craig Taborn.
Carter did all of the things that a top-
rated saxophonist is supposed to be able
to do, i.e. slap-tonguing, double-tongu-
ing, multi-phonics and altissimo. But at
times it was a little dense. Carter seemed
more interested in showcasing his own
huge talent then playing, the blues for an
audience that had come out to see it. As
the audience displayed its lack of m
ners by leaving in the middle of sor
whenever they felt like it, Carter kept
playing and moving closer to free jazz
every minute. But one can hardly fault
him for that. Trying to keep all that
inside of him might have been fatal.
The show would have been 10 times
better if it were held over two days. Five
hours in Hill Auditorium is not an easy
thing to do. But UMS should be com-
mended for staging such an important
and risky show. I hope that in the futS
they will continue to bring suchpower-
ful artists to Ann Arbor and allow them
the time and freedom to explore as vital
and rich a tradition as the blues, in all of
its facets.


ARE MARCH 19th & 20th
All candidates interested in running for a seat
on MSA should pick up a candidates' packet at
3909 Michigan Union. Office hours are 9:00 am-5:00 pm,
Monday- Friday. Packets will be available on February 12, 1997.
Election Schedule:

Pro essors

Feb. 12
Feb. 21
Feb. 26
Feb. 28
Mar. 3
Mar. 5
Mar. 6
Mar. 7
Mar. 19&2

-Candidates' packets are available
-Final polling sites are posted
-Packets and links are due
-Deadline for filing Candidacy 5:00 pm
-Deadline for party declaration 5:30 pm
-Election Court certifies candidates
-Candidates' meeting
-Deadline for Candidate withdrawal
-Sample ballot posted for review 5:00 pm
-Ballots reviewed by Election Court


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