mething Medieval Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
1,3h Welles' version of the Shakespearean classic "Macbeth" U Breaking Records returns to its original day and place so
utis tonight at the Michigan. Welles' unique style as well as his you'll know when and where to find reviews of the music
cin charisma combines with the intense drama that only industry's latest releases. Tomorrow it will feature new CDs
hakespeare could introduce. The film will be shown in 35mm, by Morrissey and Hole.
cluding a restored soundtrack and 15 additional minutes. It
egins at 4:10 p.m. Monday
September 14, 1998
THE BLUES AND JAZZ HITA
Pied Parker gets fUkY Donaldson catches Festival crowd
D aniel Wolfman charismatic stage presence and ability to imbue the By James Miller
SDaily hall with a party atmosphere. Following "Pass the Daiy ArtsWtister
The Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival was in full Peas," he proclaimed, "Everything we do from now Sometimes, the best way to judge a per-
k ffect on Friday night as saxophonist Macco on shall be funky!" He then slowed it down with a former's talent or a show's quality is not by
arker, the self-proclaimed "Pied Piper of Funky short duet with the Hammond B-3 Organist, a listening to the music.
4usic' spent two full hours dancing, blowing on whimsical instrumental number, before beginning lhe Lou Donaldson Quartet is a pleasure
is- sax, and rhythmically entreating the frenzied another of his classic funk party tune's, "Shake to watch.'I he most talented artists all have a
rowd to shake everything they had. Everything You Got!" Again, while the version certain kind of stage presence. They smile.
The night's music began with a set from the never seemed to race at full-blast, break-neck speed, They joke with each other. They close their
enny Barron Trio. Barron, an accomplished jazz it was lively and animated, peaking when Parker eyes. They sing along with their solos. In
ianist who has toured with the likes of James broke the song down to just the drums and the sax short, they look like there's nothing they'd
y and Dizzy Gillespie, seduced the settling before slowly rebuildingthe tune and finishing it off rather be doing.
a , ice with suave, smooth piano runs, trading with a fast and kicking solo. What makes Donaldson stand out, in a
Fuxxwith drummer Glen Riley, before heading into 'The organ then introduced "House Party" a eon- sea of other "old masters" and other sax "
hilonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't." Upbeat cise but effective piece that culminated in Parker's players is the fact that he is almost a musical
ndloose, the tune was one of the highlights of the promise that, "We're gonna have a house party!" time warp. Like B.B. King and
atire evening, replete with unpredictable runs and But Parker then broke his promise, slowing the beat "Gatenouth" Brown, Donaldson is stylisti-
dramatic silence at the midpoint of an extended with the romantic, luscious "Tennessee Waltz,' at cally alone in jazz today. There is hardly
alo, much to the crowd's delight. times moving about the stage with easy, lazy swing anyone that can play like he does, and sound
Delighted or not, however, steps, and at others standing still as he played the convincing. He still
the crowd was clearly on softly melodious tune. plays bebop the way it
hand for Parker, and an eager Parker later left the stage as the back-up singer is meant to be played;
M e buzz filled the theater during Sweet Charles took center stage for a well- that is to say, fast,
Marer the set break. When Parker rehearsed and glick rendition of "Mustang Sally" Lou fluid, athletically and
Parker was conspicuously absent as After a few minutes he returned to the stage-and led Donaldson bluesy.
i tgan Theater his seven-member back-up the band and audience as he segued into a funki- Bird of Paradise On top of that,
Sept. 11, 1998 band assumed the stage, a fled "Louie, Louie," urging the crowd to sing "We Sept 11 and 12, 1998 Donaldson is an
chant of "Come on, Maeo" gotta go!" and then worked smoothly back into the entrancing and whim- MARGARET MYERS/Daily
built up for several minutes, final refrain of "Mustang Sally." sical live performer. Lou Donaldson dazzled the crowd at the Bird of Paradise this past weekend.
Finally, with the theatrical The night's comedic highlight came moments While some jazz
timing of a true James Brown later during a cover of Ray Charles' melancholy musicians can be and style are so beguiling aid perfect that it can't just play a melody." In a world where
protg, Parker burst from "Georgia on My Mind," as Parker took a break from .aloof, he is engaging almost seems as if he's not really playing. jazz musicians are increasingly worried
stage left, his arms extended his flute, walked off stage, and reappeared wearing and funny. The first Rather trying to keeping this living instru- about being avant-garde geniuses and rap- --
welcomingly, his sax hang- the sunglasses that are Charles' trademark, and fin- tune, "The Best ment from leaping away from the stage into pers cannibalize the old music with no :
ing, blowing kisses and smil- ished off the song. Parker's son, Cory Parker, then Things In Life Are the front row. He's that good. It's not a solo. thought to it is history, Donaldson's stand is
igand the packed, exuberant audience gave him a began to rap against the backdrop of the band's Free," was given the coda "... if you got It's a seance. refreshing, honest and necessary.
rtradted standing ovation. funk, before being joined for the final words by his some money in your pocket." This song, Back to the set. Their "God Bless the He could not help, I don't think, ending
T eshow, which was characterized by a crisp father grouped in with the band's superb cover of Child" (sensitively rendered) segued into a his set with a small piece of some of that
riskness throughout, began immediately. Parker The show wound down with a series of relatively Charlie Parker's "Ornithology" and a few hilarious fake blues called "She's A funky stuff, the kind of music that defines
ot, right to the point as he launched into a short, short tunes, including the rap song "Uptown," by other unnamed up tempo numbers, estab- Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" with Donaldson his later career. I'll put it this way: After
hfi ging, funky jam, exchanging measures with the Cory Parker, and the James Brown cover, "Papa's lished the high watermark for technique and singing about his drunk girlfriend. Despite Dr. Smith's fine organ solo on the tune,
inpeter and dancing with cool control. After a got a Brand New Bag," sung by Sweet Charles. As fluidity. the combination of the lovely Billie Holiday Donaldson looked at the crowd and said
io ent's interlude, Parker boomed, "Pass the the group finally left the stage, Parker shouted On the subject of technique and general tune with a gag blues, neither seemed the "Look out, Maceo. We comin' ta gitcha!"
ea's!" and his classic funk song began. Although repeatedly to the crowd, "We love you!" brilliance, a few words about Donaldson's poorer for it. in reference to the funk prince's concur-
ever all-out rollicking, the version was energized, To general dismay, there was no eneore due to organist, Dr Lonnie Snmith. Dr Smsith, like Another upon which Donaldson should rent set at the Michigan Theater. I don't
>wand happy, and inspired much reeling and time limitations, but the long, involved set certainly his fronman, is one those kinds of players be commended is his jabs throughout the think there was a single person in the club
oppmg amongst the crowd. satisfied the audience, as the "Pied Piper of Funk" who could play scales for a half an hour and night at what he refers to "fusion and confu- who didn't believe that Lou couldn't
Much of the show's appeal centered on Parker's was followed by a sea of standing applause. have the audience on their feet. His touch sion musicians" or alternately, "folks who catch him.
Disappointments sour festival
Saturday's installment of the annual Ann Arbor Blues and
Jazz festival took place amid the beautiful serenity known as
Gallup Park. Unfortunately, the music meant to compliment
the gorgeous surroundings was no
'< match for mother nature's elegance.
' In other words, the show was flat out
Blues and Some crowd members had expect-
JaZZ ed a much more lively offering, espe-
Festival cially with Detroit's own Atomic
Gallup Park Fireballs on the bill.
After landing a reportedly huge
record deal with Atlantic earlier this
summer, the Fireballs filled a slot on
the Warped tour, and most recently
headlined their own concert at down-
town Pontiac's Clutch Cargo's.
But alas, the Fireballs never
showed. More than a few irate fans
asked the inevitable question, "What happened?" The
Fireballs decided to cancel their engagement in order to
*earse for their new record, which is slated for release this
fall, Lee Berry, President of Prism Productions, the compa-
ny responsible for booking the band for the festival said.
Always looking on the positive side, festival organizers
saw the cancellation as an opportunity for headlining band
Groove Collective and Olu Dara, another act on the bill, to
extend their sets. Offering the crowd more of a good thing
thus seemed to be the spin placed on the situation.
While those in attendance seemed mildly appreciative of
the extended set time, the music, to be brutally honest, was
not of the highest caliber. The Groove Collective, a 10-piece
outfit from New York, were especially disappointing,
despite interesting instrumentation and a deep repertoire.
The music seemed to serve more as background to the
conversations taking place in the park throughout the day
than as entertainment. There were few people that appeared
genuinely interested in what was happening on stage.
It could be that that is what this festival is about, after all:
hanging out and having fun with music in the background to
lighten the mood. It seems a sad fate for two genres of music
that without a doubt deserve more attention and prominence
than a backdrop for subdued concert goers.
In Anerica, blues and jazz are the heart and soul of it all.
Too bad that there was very little heart and soul in Gallup
Park on Saturday.
Come to the Daily
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row at 7:30 p.m. at
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