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February 07, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-07

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ARTS
Thursday, February 7, 1991

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

The newest kid on the sax

'You know you shoul(

by Andrew J. Cahn

Among jazz performers, fans, and
critics, there has been much debate
over whether today's jazz artists are
innovative or retrospective. Some
y that the inventiveness of this art
worm ended somewhere in the mid-
'70s with the arrival of Weather Re-
port, but is this a fair assessment of
the music released within the last 15
years? What about the new young
performers like Roy Hargrove, Ther-
ence Blanchard, and the Marsali? Of
course, their works must have some
sources, but this does not imply that
what they do is directly copied from
RAiles, Diz, or Bird.
According to saxophonist Chris-
topher Hollyday, who is barely old
enough to stroll through the sacred
gates of Rick's, today's jazz artists
are looking both forward and
backward. "It would be impossible
to- try to recreate the great classic
recordings," he says, "because I am
not them, and have not been through
4he same experiences."
V This attitude comes through on
his first major-label release,
Christopher Hollyday, which relied
heavily on covers. Of course, Char-
lie Parker was not present at the
recording to recreate his performance
on "Koko," nor does Hollyday at-
tempt to claim, "If Bird was still
alive, he would play this song this
way." Instead, Hollyday combines
.what he knows about playing with
what he has been through and ap-
plies this mixture to the standards.
This still, however, does not answer
the'question about innovation.
Even his original material, like
"No Second Quarter" and "Lady
Street" from his latest releaser On
Course, shows obvious signs of his

appreciation of circa-1950s be-bop.
Although Hollyday does look to the
past, it is not possible for any music
to entirely lack originality, for, as he
says, "Music is a true art form
which represents a person's inner-
most thoughts and details." Even
though the music is retrospective, as
long as new people are playing it,

Hollyday says that "there hasn't
been much innovation since the later
Miles recordings" in the mid-'70s, at
least in terms of a new form of mu-
sic. After this period, electric artists
like Spyro Gyra gained much popu-
larity, while the appeal of acoustic
jazz diminished. Many artists, such
as Chick Corea, were able to make
the transition smoothly. Others were
not as lucky, and many more had no
desire to do so.
Fortunately for these artists,
acoustic jazz is now making a
comeback. "Neither electric or
acoustic jazz is better than the
other," Hollyday says, "for each kind
is going for different sounds. I like
the sound I get from my alto, and I
am always working ...on it." Like-
wise, other artists are using electron-
ics to form sounds which could not
possibly be made by horns or
strings.
The new acoustic jazz, according
to Hollyday, "could never have hap-
pened without the stagnant '70s." He
says it is unlikely that anyone will
come around some day with a "new
harmonic sense" of how to play.
"The next kind of music willhave to
do with total improvisation," he
continues, which is basically what
he and his associates are working
toward. By bringing back the ideals
of be-bop regarding form and struc-
ture, artists like Hollyday can then
build on the concept of improvisa-
tion.
CHRISTOPHER HOLLYDAY will
be performing in the lobby of the
Michigan Theater today at 5:01 p.m.
Admission is free.

by Beth Colquitt
w hat better Valentine could a
theater group offer the public than
a sweet, lighthearted, boy-meets-
girl musical? The Ann Arbor'
Civic Theater is resurrecting Jerry
Bock's and Sheldon Harnick's
She Loves Me for the next two
weekends, a simple and sweet
evening of small-scale musical
comedy for a Valentine's Day
treat.
Harnick is a noted lyricist,
best known for Fiddler on the
Roof and also responsible for

1989's colorful and fantastic
Dragons, which premiered at
Ann Arbor's Power Center. She
Loves Me opened for the first
time on Broadway in 1963 and
closed only 300 performances
later, largely due to the overshad-
owing glitz of Hello, Dolly!
Since its closing, the musical has
developed a cult following with
smaller theater groups, as well as
popularity among the musical
theater set. According to director
Mary Anne Nemeth, She Loves
M e is "full of wonderful
songs.... They're showy songs

I be glad'
with good characterizations."
The story is simple. Two par-
fumerie employees, Amalia and
George (Tracy Plester and Patrick
Beller, respectively), have been
falling for each other in
anonymity for some time, al-
though their face-to-face interac-
tions are rather abrasive. Their re-
lationship forms the main love
story, which is complicated by
other tangled and misinterpreted
relations among their fellow em-
ployees.
"There's no heavy drama
See LOVE, Page 7

w

#
w
as

++

t

Hollyday

some variation must develop as a re-
sult.

"Oh, George, je t'aime, mon petit chou!" "Oh, Amalia, veux-tu coucher avec moi ce soir?" "Mais, oui, mon
chere! Baisons maintenant!"

I.°

Mr. Ectemy doctors songs
to fit their own illness

4:

by Jeff Sheran
The term "progressive cover band"
is one of those oxymorons, like]
"military intelligence" or "jumbo]
shrimp." After all, how can a bunchi
of guys playing other people's mu-'I
sic actually present anything pro-
gressive?
Mr. Ectemy answers that ques-
tion more forcefully than any otherI
area band. The four University stu-
dents, who vary from business to art
majors, hammer out a performance;
that is as equally diverse as the band

members themselves.
Not even on a free-form radio sta-
tion can one hear the likes of Faith
No More, Urban Dance Squad,
Prince, the Cult, and Barry Manilow
in one sitting. Mr. Ectemy's diverse
play-list seems to reflect the trend in
contemporary music toward combin-
ing every conceivable genre.
But devising a catchy play-list is
the easy part - this band makes it
work. Because each member belongs
to his own original band, their fu-
sion allows for unique interpreta-
See SURGERY, Page 7

Wonder what
MSA
Really does?.
Do you think they are wasting
your money or blowing a lot of
hot air? Come find out what
it is really all about.
MSA Mass Meeting
MSA Chambers 3rd floor of Union

Take the Time to Say Thank You!!!
Submit Your Nominations for
The University of Michigan
Twelfth Annual
Student Recognition Awards
1991
To honor outstanding student contributions through cocurricular activities
Nomination forms available at:
Student Organization Development Center, 2202 Michigan Union
Campus Information Centers, Michigan Union and North Campus Commons
Michigan League, Administrative Office
Comprehensive Studies Program, 1018 Angell Hall
Nominations are due on Wednesday, March 6, 1991
For further details, please call 763-5900

III

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