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February 13, 2004 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

February 13, 2004
* artseditor@michigandaily.com

RSe £cigwnlaI


By Andrew Horowitz
Daily Arts Writer

It's been a while since Hank Jones
was last in Ann Arbor. His last visit, as
matter of fact, was more than 50 years
ago. The up-and-coming pianist was
in town with his younger brother,
trumpeter/composer/arranger Thad,

who was per-
forming "Flight
of the Bumble
Bee" in a compe-
tition. This week,
Hank Jones
returns as a jazz
Born in 1918,

Hank Jones
Saturday at 8 p.m.
Tickets available at
the Michigan
League Ticket
At the Power Center

Hank grew up in a conservative Bap-
tist household in Pontiac. The eldest
male of five siblings (which include
Thad and legendary drummer Elvin),
Hank was encouraged to pursue music
from an early age. By his teenage
years, he was playing in clubs, but was
not allowed to play "past midnight on
Sundays," as his father forbid it. He
was active in the Detroit music scene,
paving the way for the wave of great
Detroit pianists that included Tommy
Flanagan, Barry Harris and Sir
Roland Hanna.
In 1944, he moved to New York
to perform with swing trumpeter
Oran "Hot Lips" Page. While there,
Jones played with various groups
and learned the developing lan-
guage of bebop.
Three years later, Hank Jones was
invited to tour with Norman Granz's
"Jazz at the Philharmonic," and found
himself playing alongside the who's
who of jazz, "the guys that were my
musical idols." Jones also recorded
with, among others, Charlie Parker. "I
had the good fortune of working with
Charlie ... His talent and ingenuity
knew no bounds. He played anything
you could think of, and he thought of

of shows, The Garry Moore Show, The
Jackie Gleason Show, two radio shows
... " During this time, unfortunately,
his club career suffered. "Trying to
work nights was just a little bit too
tough." Jones left the job, unwilling to
compromise further ambition: "When
you reach the point where you say,
'Gee, I'd rather be doing something
else,' you have to make your move."
This refusal to compromise has
allowed Hank to appear in numerous
settings with everyone from the avant-
garde saxophonist Anthony Braxton to
trumpeter Miles Davis. One of his
favorite experiences was playing with
Davis on alto saxophonist Cannonball
Adderley's "Something Else." On that
recording, Hank recalls, "The date
itself was very relaxing. Miles came up
with most of the ideas. In effect, he was
the leader of the group. It was interest-
ing because everything went really
smoothly. There were no glitches."
Recently, Hank's been busy. Before
arriving in Ann Arbor, he had spent
five days in Japan. The trip included
four Blue Note club dates and two solo
piano recording sessions. For any
musician, this is grueling. For an 85-
year-old who recently underwent sur-
gery for an aortic aneurysm, this is
Jones, a National Endowment for the
Arts Jazz Master, has spent the past
week mentoring students as part of the
University's Rhythm Section Institute.
He performed two trio sets at the Firefly
Club last night and he will play with
the Count Basie Orchestra tomorrow.
What's left for a musician who has
done it all? According to Jones, plenty.
"Music's a lifetime study. At least in
my experience, I feel that I haven't
reached a point where I can say that
I've really accomplished what I want-
ed to accomplish, because there's
always something that you wanted to
do, but you haven't done it. And that's
where I am at this point in time. I think
there's more for me to do, and whatev-
er it is, I'm going to try to do it."

courtesy of massfcs

Chock full o' jazz.

' festival offers
weekend of jazz

By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy of Concord Jazz,

Play It again, Sam.


plenty of things to play."
Over the years, Hank played many
roles: soloist, accompanist, sideman,
leader and big band pianist. As an
accompanist, he played with almost
everyone, including nearly five years
with Ella Fitzgerald and a recording
date with Sarah Vaughn. According

to Hank, "Accompanying -is very
tricky. You can't get too far ahead of
the soloist, and you can't be too
close to them, too loud, or too soft.
It's very certain."
Jones also spent 17 years at CBS.
"My schedule at CBS was tough; I
worked six days a week. We did a lot


When listening to a 70-year-old
recording of Count Basie's big band
music, one can't help but notice how
good it sounds. Like it or not, jazz
stands the test of time, maintaining
recognition even in the face of main-
stream rock and pop.
Of course, there are some who dis-
agree, thinking that jazz is a style of the
past, reserved only for those who can
remember its popularity. These unen-
lightened individuals need only to check
out tomorrow's University of Michigan
Jazz Festival to be shown otherwise.
Here, they can observe students, teach-
ers and professionals alike honing their
craft in an all-day affair.
This year's celebration, which will be
proclaimed "Count Basie Day" by Gov.
Jennifer Granholm, marks the 100th
birthday of the late master of swing.
The festival will span the duration of
the day, beginning with a bagel and
jazz breakfast at the School of Music
and culminating with a concert at the
Power Center.
Learning about jazz is arguably just
as important as listening to it, so the
bulk of the day will take place at the
School of Music. Visitors can attend
instrument clinics, listen to historical
lectures and hear University students
perform the music that they have spent
so much time studying. Most notable is
the lecture series in which special
guest and legendary pianist Hank

Saturday, Feb. 14
7:30 a.m. - Registration
begins at the University's School
of Music
12 p.m. - Personal music
clinics led by members of the
School of Music
1 p.m. - Historical Lecture
Series with Hank Jones
4:30 p.m. - Festival Awards
Concert at Rackham Auditorium
8 p.m. - Festival Feature
Concert with the Count Basie
Orchestra, HankJones,
Manhattan Transfer and the
University Jazz Ensemble at the
Power Center
Sunday, Feb. 15
8 p.m. - Festival Jazz Vespers
at St. Luke Lutheran Church
Jones will host a discussion on the
music of Count Basie.
After a day of sharing and learning,
the Power Center stage will be set for
the evening's concert. Headlining the
event is the Count Basie Orchestra
which, under the lead of Grover
Mitchell, continue making music in the
tradition of Basie's renowned style.
Hank Jones will join the band onstage
in addition to giving a performance of
his own. The concert will also feature
performances by the University of
Michigan Jazz Ensemble, vocal quintet
Manhattan Transfer and jazz vocalist
Jon Hendricks.

'Simple' DVD appeals to simple minds

By Jaya Soni
Daily Arts Writer

FOX's "The Simple Life" set yet
another low for reality television. Paris
Hilton, heiress to the Hilton hotel for-
tune, and Nicole Richie, daughter of pop
singer Lionel Richie, were uprooted
from the luxury of their California
abodes to the natural plainness of an
Arkansas farm.
The recently concluded, abridged sea-
son is now available on DVD. The five
episodes follow the two spoiled women
as they slowly adjust from mingling
with the rich and famous to rubbing

elbow - literally - with four-legged
farm animals. Taking residence with the
hard-working, no-nonsense Leding fam-
ily, the girls constantly forget their
chores and try their _____________
best to have a good The Simple
time in a dull
Southern city. Life: Season
The special fea- One
tures are shallow FOX
and offer little in
terms of actual content, much like Paris
and Nicole themselves. The outtakes are
comparable to video footage of a family
vacation, as they are entirely too long,
and the laughs are few and far between.
For example, one of the features shows
the brain-dead Nicole fumbling to use a

can opener. Aside from one entertaining
feature that follows the girls as they
shop for clothes in a hunting store and
collect carcasses for the local taxider-
mist, the "outrageous bonus footage" is
entirely pointless.
The DVD feature section also
includes a longer episode-length trial
show of the girls cleaning dogs in the
less upscale neighborhoods of Califor-
nia's valley.
"The Simple Life" DVD is simple in
itself, but that's to be expected when
you're working with Paris and Nicole.

Show: **
Picture/Sound: **
Features: *



Would you still consider
Psych 111 the Best Blow-Off
Class if you got a B minus?
Feel free to discuss amongst
your multiple-personalities.

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