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July 19, 1980 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-19

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TheMichigan Daily-Saturday, July 19, 198-Page 9
Newport features. A2 favorites

By JERRY BRABENEC
July 4th weekend in New York - it
seems strange to me now that I
remember the Jerseyites at Seaside
Park, the veal at Benito's, and the late
night fireworks at Washington Square
more than the Newport Jazz Festival.
For an upper Michigan jazz fan raised
on records like Miles and Monk at
Newport and Ellington at Newport, the
crowds seemed uninvolved and the
concerts uninspired. We saw Ann Arbor
favorites McCoy Tyner and Dexton
Gordon, and passed up a very hot Latin
show with Tito Puente and Dizzy
Gillespie to catch one of my personal
favorites, Carla Bley.
Dexter Gordon's set at the '79 Eclipse
festival was far stronger than the one
we saw at Carnegie. Bassist Rufus
Reid and pianist George Cables were
absent and sorely missed, so it was

your basic clownish-sentimen-
tal-melodic Dexter set; "It's You or
No-One", "As Time Goes By", "LTD",
"Blues Up and Down", etc. Stan Getz
was worse-his group is a bunch
North Texas State types playing their
originals, and Stan looks and acts like a
cross between Lloyd Bridges and Frank
Sutton. The highlight was an unsolicited
encore performance of "Desafinado",
which was light, airy, and concise, but
merely pleasant 60's pop.
TENOR MONSTER George Adams
didn't appear with McCoy Tyner,
(another disappointment), leaving
longtime Tyned sideman Ron Ford the
only saxophonist. Tyner's violinist John
Blake is an excellent soloist and writer,
though, and Guilhermo Franco is
aurally and visually fascinating on per-
cussion. Tyner for me is a great writer,
bandleader, and arranger, but his solo
playing, is overly serious and

repetitious. But they comprised a very
exciting and enjoyable band, overall.
Max Roach's quartet played the most
masterful set we were to see at the
festival. The group plays jazz as true
Black classical music-a blend of art,
religion, and ethnic pride with just a
touch of Ellingtonia. Cecil Bridgewater
plays very aggressive, intellectual
trumpet, and tenor player Odean Pope
uses a lot of harmonics and circular
breathing, often playing dense, chordal
textures rather than single lines a la
bebop. Max builds his solos in senten-
ce-like phrases punctuated by silences
that allow the listener to hear resonan-
ce rather than pure attack, and he
played a solo feature on unaccom-
panied highhat that he picked up from
Duke Ellington drummer Jo Jones.
veteran bassist Calvin Hill fills out the
group more than adequately.
Carnegie Hall, by the way, is so clean
sounding you tend not to notice the
great acoustics. The sound is crisp but
not tinny, and carries well without
booming. A quartet is dwarfed by the
high stage, narrow proscenium, and
overall size of the place, though Hill
Auditorium, with its low rounded stage,
is more intimate.
TOWN HALL is darker, smaller, and
more fun for jazz. Robert Kraft and the
Ivory Coast opened for Carla Bley on a
program of "New Music". Kraft's
group plays Manhattan cabaret
music-witty lyrics set in a variety of
light jazz and pop styles, with a lot of
scat singing, whistling, and violin solos.
Carla Bley's set was stronger than
her interesting but tentative January
performance in Ann Arbor. Alto, tenor,
trumpet, trombone, euphonium (in

stead of horn), tuba, electric organ, and
rhythm, make an ensemble very
similar to Miles' "Birth of the Cool"
band, well suited to the needs of an
imaginative arranger. Carla started
with a hilarious monologue, casting
herself as a rowdy eccentric pledging
against her will to doa straight, formal
concert. She mentioned that she hadn't
played Newport for 15 years due to
"philosophical differences" with
festival producer George Wein, and
that last time it was on New Music
Night, too."
Vocal tunes were important: The
crowd pleasing "Boo to You Too", the
rocking "Car Won't Start", and a num-
ber featuring drummer Dee Sharp on
vocals, titled something like "You Hate
Me". The set ended in the self destruc-
ting chaos of "Drinking Music". Some
of Carla's notable sidemen included
bassist Steve Swallow (a long-time
Gary Burton associate) and trumpeter
Michael Mantler, both important com-
posers in their own right, and jazz
veteran Joe Daley, who contributed
some scorching euphonium solos.
Based on the shows we saw, it sems
that concert jazz is more lively in Ann
Arbor than New York.-The real jazz in
New York is thriving in the bars and
lofts while the. grand old days of
Newport survive only on record. The
tasteless production, from the Leroy
Neimann posters to the automaton-like
emcees dulled the whole mood of this
years' concerts. For a festival setting,
Eclipse's programming and the college
town atmosphere and audiences of Ann
Arbor are hard to beat.

w

An adult tole of murder & mystery

8 Eyed Spy
This critically acclaimed New York band will be-making arare local ap-
pearance this Sunday (that's tomorrow) at Rick's American Cafe.
Featuring the unique vocal stylings of chanteuse Lydia Lunch, 8 Eyed Spy
combines the talents of guitarist-saxophonist Pat Irwin and bassist George
Scott in a decidedly different blend of punk, funk and jazz. Opening for these
out-of-towners will be The Same Band, perhaps the most talented and cer-
tainly the most original band to emerge from Ann Arbor. Tickets are $4 in
advance and $5 at the door.
"IT TOPS
'STAR WARS'!"
-Gene Siskel,
WV CHICAGO TRBUNE
p ® DOL.OY STEM
PG n6Th
MARK HAMILL - HARRISON FORD - CARRIE FISHER
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS - ANTHONY DANIELS
caamn DAVID PROWSE - KENNY BAKER - PETER MAYHEW FRANK OZ

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5th Ave. at liberty 764-9700
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