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March 30, 2006 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-30

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March 30, 2006
arts. michigandaily. com

Rue TSictigan ail





Goddamn Comcast - We were going to point out the zesty irony
that our TV editor didn't have his Comcast functional for more than
four weeks, but we were worried it would just look petty. But seri-
ously, depriving a critic of their art is like withholding food from
a prisoner. Sort of. Comcast should get their act together or they
could go out of business. Except for the media oligarchy in Ameri-
ca. And the fact that we love OnDemand. Bastards.



NCCA Tournament - The question is whether you loudly give the
thumbs down to George Mason for destroying any chance you once
had at turning a profit in your tourney pool, or just wait until the
greatest NCAA basketball story of the past decade quiets to a dull
roar. And prepare to hit the beer really viciously. The school year is
almost over and you've come to the realization that the actual, adult
world is knocking at your door. Like if you're J.J. Redick, or, you
know, the overwhelming majority of college hoopsters who aren't
even sniffing the pros.

Courtesy of UMS

The San Francisco Jazz Collection will perform Friday at 8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium.

T.I.'s King - OK, now you know him. A glossy, stylish, ball-light-
ening single ("What You Know"), a Jay-Z fetish that dwells in his
drive to actually enter top-shelf consideration makes T.U.'s latest
album come pretty close to royal status. Maybe he's not totally a
king yet, but he's suddenly way more serious than a crowned prince.
We smell a coup in the wings. Lil' Wayne, the ball is in your court.
Let the battle for the South continue ...
Wilmer Valderrama - Ashlee Simpson in bed? "Loud." Sex with
Jennifer Love Hewitt? "An 8." Taking Mandy Moore's virginity?
"Really good ... But not like warm apple pie." Fez's interview with
Howard Stern touched upon the work he's more known for: wel-
coming young actresses to the world of headline-worthy Hollywood
hookups. We can tell you're disturbed that the kid who played the
worst immigrant stereotype in the past decade (where was Fez even
from?) has worked his way through the pages of Teen People, but
come on, at least we have confirmation of what we've always known:
Girls love foreign guys. And then they the get punked out on the
radio. Ah, good to see that sexual double standards still exist.


By Andrew Klein
Daily Fine Arts Editor
Recently, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Cen-
ter Jazz Orchestra came to Hill Auditorium to pres-
ent a tribute not only to Detroit
jazzmen, but also to John Col-
trane's iconic 1964 free-jazz SF Jazz
album A Love Supreme. In that Collective
same vein, the San Francisco Friday at 8 p.m.
Jazz Collective is set to perform $18$40
a tribute to prolific jazz pianist At Hill Auditorium
and composer Herbie Hancock
tomorrow night at an 8 pm. Hill
Auditorium show.
SFJC founder and tenor saxophonist Joshua Red-
man's resum6 comes almost as heavily loaded as Mar-
salis's. A winner of the Thelonius Monk International
Jazz Saxophone Competition, Redman has recorded 11
albums to date, which include collaborations with high-
profile musicians such as guitarist Path Metheny and
bassist Charlie Haden, who is best known for his long
tenure with alto-saxophone great Ornette Coleman.
It's impossible not to consider the SFJC's upcoming
performance in relation to Marsalis and the LCJO's

tribute to Coltrane.
A quartet-based composition, Marsalis adapted A
Love Supreme for his a 15-member group. Marsalis
and the group's technical skill notwithstanding, the
tribute to Coltrane came off as sterile and academic.
Coltrane's album is a reflection on his triumph over
heroin addiction as well as a spiritual transformation
- and arguably the birth of free jazz. Marsalis's fas-
tidious adaptation reflects none of these themes.
Considered the West Coast "response" - both geo-
graphically and thematically - to the LCJO, Redman
and his seven bandmembers have the chance to upstage
their East Coast counterpart.
Considering the musician it has chosen to tribute, the
SFJC has perhaps too deep a pool of possible selections.
The pianist for Miles Davis's "second great quintet"
from the '60s, Hancock is a staple in the jazz world,
with a total of 49 studio and live albums under his belt,
including appearances by Chick Corea and the highly
esteemed trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. He composed-
such classics as "Watermelon Man" and the time-
less funk groove "Chameleon." If Coltrane's A Love
Supreme can be considered one of the greatest albums
to come from the '60s, then Hancock's masterful Maid-
en Voyage, recorded in 1965, is not far behind.
In light of Marsalis's choice to cover one album from
Coltrane's 20-plus discography, the thought of the SFJC

covering Maiden Voyage in its entirety is thrilling. It's
possible that Marsalis's weak tribute to Coltrane was a
factor in the decision to pay homage to Hancock's oeu-
vre, rather than one album.
To be fair, Marsalis and the LCJO certainly didn't
fall on their collective faces when they presented A Love
Supreme. They provided a solid, technically masterful
rendition of a highly emotive composition. And there's
no guarantee that the SFJC will blow away its nearly
sold-out audience tomorrow. But where the LCJO's
vision - essentially Marsalis's - falls short because
of its rigid and dogmatic stance, the SFJC comes to
Hill with the potential to present jazz in a relevant and
approachable context.
The biggest challenge facing the SFJC's upcoming
tribute will be choosing which of Hancock's composi-
tions to perform. Where Marsalis and the LCJO failed
to reflect A Love Supreme's metaphysical aspects, the
SFJC will be hard pressed to present the breadth of
Hancock's genius, which ranges from standard jazz to
funk to fusion and back again.
It can be assumed that, like the LCJO, the SFJC
will at the least prove their musical worth tomor-
row night. But only when the encore is over and the
final bows have been taken will their performance
determine if they can compare to, and trump, their
Atlantic equivalent.


'Basic Instinct 2' - As if 14 years were enough to wipe from
the collective memory of America the searing image of Sharon
Stone uncrossing and crossing her legs
just slowly enough to make millions of
men into lifelong fans (who nonethe-
less managed to avoid both "Gloria"
and "Catwoman"). The seductress:
reprises her most notorious role this
weekend with "Basic Instinct 2"'
the inexplicable sequel that marries
Hollywood's passions for gratuitous
threesomes, kitschy car chases and
exemplary plastic
surgery. Turn-
ing 48 this '
month, Stone
through anu
room and purrs
to a straight-,
laced psy-
chiatrist, "Is
this where
gonna do

Cancelled war drama captivates on DVD

By Ted Chen
For the Daily

"This look like war to you?"

Spoken early in
ultimate question
aimed at the head
of "Over There,"
the first-ever
television series
based on and

the battle, it's the
Over There
20th Century Fox

tains only 13 episodes and some
supplementary material, which either
proves that the show's novel gim-
mick was not overstretched, or that it
imploded as a commercial failure.
Although co-creators Chris Gerol-
mo ("Citizen X") and Steven Bochco
("NYPD Blue") are considered veter-
ans in the industry, here they take on
a project with a surreally high level of
potential backlash.
On screen, excellent acting by the
young "virgins" - privates fresh out
of boot camp - carries the soul of the
show through its own bloody mess.
There's a deluge of storylines ranging

from a kidnapped news reporter to
the forceful removal of orphanages to
make way for a new military base.
To recreate the harsh realities of
war, Gerolmo and Bochco use pains-
takingly accurate weapons, set and
dialogue. Nighttime combat is experi-
enced in shades of night-vision green.
The violence is untamed and as each
episode goes by, the viewer comes to
assume that most of characters are
going to suffer a profound loss.
But despite receiving higher-than-
expected ratings for the pilot, the
series began following its real-life
counterpart a little too closely and

broadcast during an ongoing war.
Packing heat in four discs, the
"Over There" DVD collection con-

Courtesy of Columbia


-P't&K FVOY2

lost momentum before finally getting
cancelled last summer.
The DVD collection dutifully pre-
serves its original widescreen pre-
sentation. The visuals are crisp and
cinematic, but fight sequences aural-
ly resemble a foundation-shaking
rock show; the viewer has to adjust
the volume constantly for quiet dia-
logue scenes that often follow intense
While the show doesn't flinch in
its immersive action, the additional
features on the DVDs are undeniably
disappointing. The weakest is an all-
too-short "Weapons Debriefing" fea-
turette. At only 10 minutes, it's a pitiful
lecture on the personal weapons used
in the show. Certainly more insight
into equipment, tactics and vehicles
would have enhanced the set.
Commentaries from various cast
and crew are attached to three dif-
ferent episodes. In an odd tonal shift,
the cast commentary is a virtual
happy hour as they poke fun at their
own acting bloopers. It's strange for
a show of this contemporary impor-
tance, but the segment is a welcome
respite from the endless emotional
deprivation of the show
Perhaps the only saving grace in
the extras is the 80-minute docu-
mentary "Tour of Duty: Filming
Over There.' " It's a nice look at the
techniques and visual tricks used for
explosions, camera shots and action
In the end, individual viewers'
sentiments toward the Iraq War will
color their reception of the show,
which can cater to either side of the
political spectrum. Even if it's only
entertainment, the show serves as a
timely reminder of the events happen-
ing halfway across the world.
Show: ****
Special Features: ***


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