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November 03, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-03

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 3, 1995

Roberts presents an evening of Gershwin

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Tallin Chamber Orchestra
In a collaborative concert and under University Musical Society auspices, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the
fTllinn Chamber Orchestra will perform in Ann Arbor Sunday night. Works by Arvo Pirt, a talented twentieth-century Estonian
cd6mposer, dominate the program. The two acclaimed groups have joined forces before, and their 1993 CD was on the
Billboard bestsellers list. A free presentation entitled "is Nothing Sacred?" precedes Sunday's concert, which will be held at
7 p.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 2250 East Stadium Boulevard. Tickets are $20, but rush tickets may be
available. Contact the box office at 764-2538 for more information.

ByJames Miller
Daily Arts Writer
Young Lions. That's the term used
by many jazz critics to refer to the
artists whose careers began during
or after the rise of Wynton Marsalis.
This term encompasses every one
from the Marsalis brothers them-
selves to recent stars like Joshua
Redman, Cyrus Chestnut and Chris-
tian McBride.
"Young Lion is a marketing
term," says Roberts, 32. He says
that music about the pursuit of ex-
cellence, not categorizing into
schools. In a career that is still
short as jazz musicians go, Roberts
has done nothing but that.
Originally from Jacksonville,
Florida Roberts studied piano at
Florida State University for four
and a half years. His first real break,
or opportunity has he calls it, was
playing in the Wynton Marsalis era
for six years, watching it grow from
a group of four to a septet.
"My playing with Marsalis wasn't
a break. Making music is a lifelong
endeavor."
At this time he was drawing his
influences from all the best places,
listening to Miles (the '60s Miles,
not the fusion material from the
'70s, which he calls "the worst era
for jazz"). Besides listening to a
little Ellington, he began to get into
Monk's music when he toured with
Marsalis.
"My tastes have definitely
changed and matured over the
years,", citing among his current
favorites '60s piano heavyweight
Ahmad Jamal and the old school
hero, Errol Gardner. This can be
seen most clearly in his new album,
interpretations of Gershwin piano
works.
"I've always been a fan of
Gershwin," he said, when asked
about his choice of inspiration. "I
wanted to create a dialogue with his
legacy."
Similarly, Roberts feels very
strongly about the mixing of jazz
into other forms of contemporary

When: Saturday at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $16 - $28; call
764-2538 for more information.
music, like rock and hip-hop; keep-
ing that legacy in sight.
"Music like that is more rap than
jazz, not really grounded in the blues
or swing. They're not really inte-
grated. People who can dig, for ex-
ample, Monk, can dig him with that
added (rap) element or without it."
"In its day, jazz was the popular
music, now it has to fight for accep-
tance. The question becomes, 'Are
we going to address the great legacy
before?' The music of Monk is vir-

tually unknown now. To understand
Newton, you have to know
Einstein."
As for his future plans, Roberts
hopes to keep composing, listening
to new musicians and touring. When
asked about his compositional in-
fluences, his answer reflects his rev-
erence for every type of jazz.
"You use your intelligence in all
areas of music. The influence de-
pends on the end of the creation. A
New Orleans, James P. Johnson in-
fluence can flow into a Monk infk-
ence. You draw from what you un-
derstand."
He is looking forward to his ape
pearance in Ann Arbor as well, cit
ing Ann Arbor as a town where jazz-
"is always well-received." High:
praise indeed, considering the mes-
sage and the source.

i

The Amps' debut album "Pacer" is just so dam cool, much like head Amp Kim Deal.

RECORDS
Continued from page 9
The Amps
Pacer
Elektra/4AD
'Kim Deal is always at her best when
shes having fun. She brought a goofy,
ek going sensuality to the Pixies' best
rb6rds, and a fresh, loose feel to the
Beeders's first album "Pod."

But on "Last Splash," the group's fol-
low-up, it sounds like the pressures of
leading a band were beginning to bore
Deal. While still averygoodalbum, "Last
Splash" sounds muddy and confused
where Deal's earlier work is clear and
catchy.
However, Deal knows when to give
her different projects a rest. Unhappy
with the way the Breeders' third album
was turning out, and waiting for her sister
Kelley to resolve her drug problems, she
turned the songs she was working on into

-- Ii

a new project - The Amps. With Jim
MacPherson of the Breeders and two
musicians from otherbands in the Dayton
,OH area, Deal has turned this collection
of songs into one of her best efforts since
the Breeders' 1992 "Safari" EP.
Like Deal herself, the Amps'songs are a
mix of roughness and charm. Sometimes
they're more on the rough side - as the
garage punk of"Tipp City" "Full On Idle"
and "Empty Glasses (bound to make
"where's my waitress?" an anthemic cry)"
show. Other times they're more charming,
asthetitletrack,"BraggingParty"and"Dedi-
cated" illustrate.
The album's wilfully negligent produc-
tionhasawarm, relaxed soundthat contrasts
nicelywith"LastSplash"'ssheen.Particulary
on "Empty Glasses" and "Hoverin" (which
couldbe "Cannonball 2 in terms ofpopular-
ity), the lo-fi sound of "Pacer" suits the
rough-and-ready quality of the songs.
All in all, "Pacer" is filled with great
songs that sound new and interesting.
Deal's vocals and the band's playing are
in top form - "Pacer'"s only shortcom-
ing is its tiny running time. At just 33
minutes, it's just too speedy for its own
good.
- Heather Phares

Morrissey
Southpaw Grammar
Warner/Reprise
One simply can't get through a
Morrissey review without mentioning the
Smiths, pining away for the lost glory of
the old gang. This review won't prove an
exception, though it will get most of the
obligatory nostalgia out of the way right
off the bat. So here we go: Without beat-
ing around the bush, the Morrissey's solo
work pales in comparison to everything
he accomplished with the Smiths.
Not only do his albums lackthe sparkles
of pure and simple guitar-pop ingenuity
that only former songwriting partner
Johnny Marr could provide, but as much
as itpains me to admit it, the quality of his
lyrics have gone downhill as well; it's as
though the magical musical marriage of
M & M- perhaps on a personal level-
provided a stimulus that enabled Steven
Patrick to turn his best phrases, and we've
seen nothing like it since '87.
However, and this is a big however,
Morrissey is no Rod Stewart, he's no
Roger Daltrey, he's no Robin Zander and
he's no Robert Plant. In other words-
and perhaps it has something to do with
his first initial not being "R"- "South-
paw Grammar" is still very good in com-
parison with the disreputable crap that the
aforementioned frontmen, along with a
whole slew of other artists, produced
outside of their respective bands.
"Southpaw Grammar" simultaneously
manages to be Morrissey's longest and
shortest album- six proper rock-outs

sandwiched in-between two trying tracks
of 10 and 11 minutes. The offensively
long opener "The Teachers Are Afraid of
the Pupils" is "The Headmaster Ritual
Part II" with strings, maracas and unfor-
tunately, lyrical content nowhere near
what the man is capable of.
"Reader Meet Author"- a three-and-
a-halfminute compressed epic complete
with overture-signals apick-up in tempo
and lyrical dexterity which holds on for
the next five tracks and results in the bulk
of the album sounding much more im-
pressive than many of the songs on
"Vauxhall and I" (i.e. "Used To Be a
Sweet Boy," "The Lazy Sunbathers").
"Southpaw Grammar," with its street-
wise title and thuggish imagery - a
holdover from the "Boxers" EP - is
Morrissey's most muscular work to date.
His preoccupation with ruffianism com-
bined with his flair for drama has even led
to him appearing live and in recent photos
covered in cuts and bruises. What's more,
the music's edge sports a new roughness
as well. "The Operation" opens with a
four-minute military-band-style drum

intro that merges into the seemingly in-
congruent artillery fire of Alain Whyte
and Boz Boorer's guitars. The "title-as-
obvious-chorus" disease which one can
detect symptoms of on the last few of his
albums works a bit better on UK single#l
"Dagenham Dave" in which Moz & Co.
pub-chant the character's name as though
he were anational football hero-similar
to the rant on "Have a Go, Merchant."
Finally, "Do Your Best and Don't
Worry" shows that the singer/songwriter
is capable of hitting hard with the same
brute force, but from different angles--
believe it or not, in spite of the stylistic"
similarities between songs, he doesn't
repeat himself.
But then there's the last song, "South-
paw," which ends a basically decent al-
bum the way it began: By overdoing it,-
lengthwise. Apart from that, "Southpaw,"
while not representative of Morrissey's.
best work, is six upper-cuts, two misses.
Only trouble is, he never, ever used to-
miss and even the b-sides were knock-
outs.
- Thomas Crowley

The University of Michigan
/ School of Music
Monday, November 6
Campus Symphony Orchestra
Jon Krueger, David Tang, Bundit Ungrangsee,.conductors
Soloist Koralie Hill, violin,
Bossart Concerto Competition Winner
" Bernstein: Overture to Candide
" Copland: A Quiet City
" Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
" Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 5
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 9
Jazz Combos
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Thu.-Sun., November 9-12
Theatre & Drama Production
I Am a Man by OyamO
Directed by Renee Simmons
Trueblood Theatre, Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.
Tickets: $12, $6 (764-0450)
Friday, November 10
Wind Ensembles
H. Robert Reynolds, Dennis Glocke, conductors
Donald Sinta, saxophone, and Charles Daval, trumpet, soloists
" Krommer: Partita
" Stravinsky: Octet
" River: Concerto for alto saxophone and trumpet
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m
Guest Recital
Marty Erickson, tuba
with Alison Shaw, percussion
Recital Hall, 8p.m.

I
s
x f - '

/

We are obligated to run this Morrissey photo as much as possible, so deal with it.
UM - OSU BLOOD BATTLE
Nov 5 - East Quad 12-6 Nov 12 - S. Quad 12-6
Nov 6 - East Quad 1-7 Nov 13 - Union 1-7
Nov 7 - Stockwell 1-7 Nov 14 - Union 1-7
Nov 8 - B-School 12-6 Nov 15 - League 1-7
Nov 9 - Bursley 1-7 Nov 16 - Union 1-7
Nov 10 - Markley 1-7 Nov 17 - Union 9-6:30
Sign up for an appointment at tables around campus or call 663-6004r

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