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November 30, 2001 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-30

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Celebration of Life...
In observance of World Aids Day, head out to
A the Fourth Demension, an Ann Arbor AIDS
Awareness Benefit Concert featuring local acts.
Tonight at the Leopold Bros. 7 p.m. $5
michigandaily.com /arts

ARTS

FRIDAY
NOVEMBER 30, 2001

5

Quartet brings alluring
jazz sounds to Ann Arbor

UMS rings in the
holiday season with
Handel's, 'Messiah'

By Denis Naranjo
Daily Arts Writer
The allure for improvisation has never waned
for tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman. Even after
a decade of popular acclaim, he's hardly one to
rest on past laurels. Much preferred is the spirit
of the moment, where his
acoustic quartet skillfully
sails into demanding jazz
Joshua overdrive.
Redman For the 32-year-old Red-
man, playing jazz has
Quartet become nearly a sacrosanct
Michigan Theater exercise, a privilege and
Tonight at 8 p.m. honor for respectfully
extending jazz's hallowed
acoustic tradition. Address-
ing this urgency, his latest
CD, Passage of Time, hits on
personal reflections of where
he's been and what musical
mountain he's likely to scale
next. Redman's composer-
producer profile yields maturity and self-control,
culminating his first decade as a jazz artist.
Just as tantalizing as his lauded discography is
his live persona, where Redman and pianist
Aaron Goldberg, bassist Ruben Rogers and drum-
mer Gregory Hutchinson take jazz soloing and
interplay to incendiary heights at numerous
instances. Friday at Ann Arbor's Michigan The-
ater, Redman's short winter tour kicks up its heels
in a double-bill with pianist and Warner Brothers
label mate Brad Mehldau's trio opening.
"With this record I was trying to creatively
express myself both as an individual and part of a
group," said Redman, by telephone from his New
York home, fresh from a European tour. "The
music really serves as a point of departure for
group improvisation. It acts like one long piece of

music. And it's the most ambitious music I've
composed yet."
On Iassage of Time, Redman delivers a musi-
cal travelogue, weaving a storyline full of soloed
introspection, spontaneity and bright moments for
his band's zestful exuberance. Their collective
kinesis is nothing short of invigorating. Now four
years running, this is Redman's most seasoned
quartet and their reactive sensibilities compliment
his compositional 61an.
"Jazz gives you an ability to respond sponta-
neously. But this isn't necessarily a career mile-
stone. I didn't intend it to be that way. It's a more
complex project, and a culmination of everything
I've done as a quartet bandleader," said Redman,
the son of noted jazz saxophonist Dewey Red-
man.
Redman has fashioned glossy credentials both
as a sideman (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Roy
Haynes, Herbie Hancock) and a solo artist
(Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Competition
winner, 1991). And his formative days back in
home Berkeley, Calif., are what makes celebrity
an enchanting yarn.
Back at Berkeley High School, Redman was
valedictorian of his class and counted soon-to-be-
jazz stars Benny Green (piano) and Craig Handy
(sax) as musical classmates in straight-ahead
jazz. lie graduated Phi Beta Kappa, then sailed
through Harvard ('91) with honors and was
accepted to Yale Law School. But after opting to
leisurely pursue jazz saxophone the next summer,
he discovered an artistic calling. So far he's kept a
professional degree at bay while garnering scores
of annual jazz awards from Down Beat, The
Gavin Report, Rolling Stone and JazzTimes, sax-
ophone in hand.
"The past few years I've realized that music
and being a jazz musician is something I want to
do for the rest of my life," Redman said. "If I can
continue to do this and make a decent living and

By Rachel Lewis
Daily Arts Writer

For some it's the lights lining the
streets, for others it's the sound of
"Jingle Bells" echoing from all the
stores and radio stations or for many
Ann Arbor residents, it's the annual

University Musica
Handel's
Messiah
Hill Auditorium
Tomorrow and Sunday
join forces at Hill1

al Society's perfor-
mance of Han-
del's "Messiah."
No matter what
signals the offi-
cial start of the
holiday season,
there's no avoid-
ing it - the
time has defi-
nitely arrived.
This weekend
the UMS Choral
Union and the
Ann Arbor
Symphony
Orchestra will
Auditorium to con-

Joshua Redman and his magic sax.
grow as a musician, this is it for me."
Redman readily acknowledges the presence of
a large number of accomplished, motivated musi-
cians to play with in New York. It's fueled his fire
as a jazz musician. "That's why New York has the
best jazz scene because there's a higher concen-
tration of talent. In Boston it's more on the educa-
tional side." he said.
Besides jazz merriment in the studio and on the
road, his home life is more than casual. Married
for four years, Redman's philosophy of life
adheres to keeping things simple yet improvisa-
tional. "The key is balancing music from the out-
side and from the inside," he said. "The past four
years I've balanced my tour schedule to spend
more time at home and living a life. And I've
been able to grow as a person through my music."

Christopher Pfund and the hot up-
and-coming bass, Eric Owens. These
A-list singers are sure to attract audi-
ences from far and wide.
To back them up, the music direc-
tor of the UMS Choral Union, Dr.
Thomas Sheets, will conduct his
choir dedicated singers for the ninth
year in a row. "Messiah" is always
one of his favorite performances of
the year because the music tells such
a powerful story. "It's really of epic
proportions," he said. "And ultimately
a very joyful program."
His singers, many of whom have
been involved in the UMS Choral
Union for years, have a special fond-
ness for "Messiah" because it's an
annual tradition for them. Father Tim-
othy Dombrowski will be enjoying
his 33rd performance of "Messiah"
this year. Sheets said, "The chorus
loves singing this piece. They come
into the performance with real zest."
Their teaming with the Ann Arbor
Symphony Orchestra is one that has
worked very well in the past. "There's
a real strong sense of civic pride with
our orchestra and oui choir. We col-
laborate with them frequently and it's
a fruitful collaboration," Sheets said.
While "Messiah" is oftentimes
associated with Christmas, its mes-
sage can be appreciated universally.
Such a timeless story, expressed
through such timeless music, leaves
its audience with an understanding of
what's really important about the holi-
day season - tradition, harmony and
joy. As Sheets said, "You'll leave in a
better mood than the one in which
you came in with."

Fairy tales can come true: Jack and
the Beanstalk' proves innovative, fun

tinue a tradition that spans 121 years
of holiday music.
This famous oratorio that is com-
monly associated with Christmas
actually premiered in the spring of
1742 in Dublin, Ireland. Now, the
story that traces the birth, death and
resurrection of Christ is a wintertime
staple of orchestras and choirs around
the country. Here in Ann Arbor, four
church choirs first premiered "Messi-
ah" in 1879. The popularity and
excitement of those performances
resulted in the organization that is
now the University Music Society.
Most popular for the Hallelujah
Chorus, the music of "Messiah" is a
combination of choral music, orches-
tration and soloists. The featured
soloists in the show are a great oppor-
tunity for UMS to bring world-class
talent to Ann Arbor. This year, the
highly acclaimed soprano, Linda
Mabbs will be gracing Hill Auditori-
um with her rich, warm voice. In
recent seasons, Mabbs has debuted
with New York City Opera and the
Washington Opera.
The featured mezzo-soprano this
weekend is a young Canadian, Susan
Platts. Her previous engagement in
Ann Arbor, singing Bach's St.
Matthew Passion was a huge hit, so
her performance in "Messiah" is
highly anticipated. UMS has also
invited the hugely talented tenor,

By Melissa Gollob
Daily Arts Writer
The classic tale of a poor boy that
traded his cow for a handful of
magic beans comes to life this Sun-
day at 9 p.m. The real story of "Jack

a
Jack and
the
Beanstalk:
The Real
Story
CBS
Sunday and Tuesday
at 9 p.m.

and the
Beanstalk" is
told as never
before. This
innovative tale
of Jack,
expands and
transforms the
fairy tale so
much that no
one will be able
to read the story
the same way
again.
Jack Robin-
son (Matthew
Modine, "Full
Metal Jacket")
is a present day

tale of Jack and the Beanstalk to
convince him that he is the direct
descendent of the original Jack.
The first Jack climbed the
beanstalk and rescued the goose and
harp from the giant named Thun-
derdell (Bill Baretta). Present day
Jack realizes his wealth stemmed
from the goose that lays golden
eggs named Gallaga, and the magic
harp the first Jack took from Thun-
derdell almost 400-years-ago.
Jack then decides to break the
curse set on the males of his family,
and travels to the giant's world
above by way of another beanstalk.
There he encounters Ondine again
and is taken to a court.
Ondine describes the differences

in their worlds, most importantly
that time in the giant world works
differently. One day on their world is
one year on Earth. Since the goose
and harp left, the giants' world was
reduced to destitute conditions.
With the giants, Jack learns the
true events that lead to his ancestor
gaining possession of Gallaga and
the harp. To break the curse he must
return the goose and harp to the
giants so that their world can live
once more.
"Jack and The Beanstalk" pro-
vides a totally innovative twist on a
timeless story. This original re-
telling of the fairy tale shows the
evolution of time and demonstrates
how myths and legends become dis-

torted through the ages. The twists
of the plot keep the story interesting
and fresh. The beginning is abrupt,
and in the first half hour there is no
mention of the fairy tale at all, mak-
ing this part. a little tedious. All the
information is relevant to the story
however, revealing its importance
later in the movie.
The creatures, created by Jim
Henson's Creature Shop, are out-
standing. The puppets become more
life-like in every scene. The scenes
with the immense giants interacting
with regular size humans appear to
be real and not just special effects
added on later. The other visual
effects are incredible as well. The
colossal beanstalk looks just authen-
tic enough to believe in the impossi-
ble.
Vanessa Redgrave gives an
impressive performance as Count-
ess Wilamena. She includes charac-
teristics of both the typical evil
stepmother and fairy godmother in
her performance. This dichotomy
gives a new depth to the refreshed
narrative and the mini-series as a
whole.

Tenor Christopher Pfund.

710,17,

171,

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CEO of an enormous conglomerate
that has grown through 10 genera-
tions in his family. The only catch
to their infinite success is that
Robinson men only live until their
40th birthday.
One day Jack meets a mysterious
young woman from the giant's
world named Ondine (Mia Sara,
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"), who
places questions in his mind about
the origins of his family's wealth.
He goes home to his family's cas-
tle and discovers builders have dug
up the bones of a giant from the
estate's yard. His aunt, the Countess
Wilamena (Vanessa Redgrave,
"Julia"), tells Jack the original fairy

Courteyo,
Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Oh wait, that's Matthew Modine.

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