The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on February 19, 1998 · Page 423
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 423

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Thursday, February 19, 1998
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Mch and Sd What Brass 5 Take Jazz Back to the Basics If By DON HECKMAN SPECIAL TO THE TIMES It doesn't exactly sound like the stuff of great jazz: a drummer and a brass quintet. No bass, no piano, no guitar. But in the hands of Max Roach and his So What Brass 5 at the Jazz Bakery on Tuesday night, it was all that was needed an ensemble that produced some of the purest, most essential jazz moments heard this season. In the opening performance of a six-night run, Roach and his players focused on the core of jazz, setting aside the trimmings in favor of uncluttered, unadulterated improvisation. ("Pure improvisation" is the way Roach described it at the close of the set, "that's what it is.") Roach sat in the center of the stage behind his drum kit, with trumpeters Rod McGaha and Eddie Henderson, with tuba player Antonio Underwood on one side and trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and French horn player Mark Taylor on the other. Looking like the benign guru that he really is, Roach calmly directed the proceedings with a multiplicity of subtle rhythmic commands, sometimes drumming his two sticks together to kick off a tune, at other times encouraging his players with smiling murmurs of support The result was a series of continuously compelling musical excursions, responded to knowingly and enthusiastically by a full-house audience. An opening Roach composition, "Ghost Dancers," a rich-textured, rhythmic work that beautifully reflected its apparent inspiration in the tragic, Native American ghost dancers of the 19th century, was the most expansive work of the evening. It was followed by a series of large and small instrumental combinations, playing items from the familiar jazz repertoire in intimate, spontaneous fashion. There was, for example, a lovely rendering of "God Bless the Child" via a duet between Underwood's tuba and Henderson's fluent trum- pet There were similarly engaging versions of "These Foolish Things" and "You Don't Know What Love Is" featuring Marsalis' imaginative, articulate trombone playing. The effectiveness of these numbers was enormously heightened by the austerity of the instrumentation and the purely acoustic, unam-plified sound. With no harmonic instrument-piano or guitar providing a cushion, the horn players were essentially on their own, obliged to spell out their melodies in a harmonic framework of their own making. And they did so splendidly in the case of Henderson, magnificently. The slower ballads were contrasted with surging versions of "Straight, No Chaser" and a highspeed "Donna Lee," all held together by Roach's superb drumming. At 74, he continues to be one of the principal standards for intelligent musical drumming, his play- ' ing informed with compositional structure and a constant awareness of the drum kit's unique sonorities. In characteristically thoughtful fashion he is, with the So What Brass 5, providing a mesmerizing view of the inner essence of the jazz experience. Max Roach & the So What Brass 5 at the lax Bakery through Sunday. 3233 Helms Ave., Culver City, (310) 271-9039. $20 cover tonight at 8:30 and 10, and Sunday at 6.30 and 8 p.m., $22 cover Friday and Saturday at 8.-30 and 10 p.m. KAGEL: Profound Humor Continued from Page 58 like rhythms go continually awry, melodies break apart in always unexpected ways, and instrumental colors rain down upon the audience. In both these works, the theatrical impact requires virtuosity, and the performances were of a high order. Kagel, it turns out, is a masterful conductor who galvanized the Philharmonic players. But this is only one side of the composer. A film by Kagel was shown before the concert, another had been screened the night before at Art Center College of Design as part of the Beyond the Pink performance art festival. In one, "Blue's Blues," Kagel invents a turn-of-the-century New Orleans blues singer with the rawest voice you've ever heard. The other, "MM 51," gives a different twist to the classic horror silent "Nosf eratu." Further sides of this remarkable composer can be found in the excellent series of recordings of his music on the French label Avudis Montaigne. But the bigger news from Europe is that Kagel's major music theater works are turning out to be classics of our time. And his brief but telling visit here indicates that we, on this side of the Atlantic, are clearly missing something. For the Record Opera Tenor Alan Woodrow sang the role of Herod in Strauss' "Salome" for San Diego Opera. He was misidentified in a review in Tuesday's Calendar. t ':. . Cos Angeles (Times Call I 800 LA TIMES to subscribe. nrinimum'.- "mum Prime-Time TV Rankings For CBS, Winter Olympics Isn't All Downhill CBS' Winter Olympics coverage has received decidedly mixed scores from the ratings judges, falling well short of expectations but still dominating the ratings race, based on results for last week issued Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. Even failing to meet pre-Olympic estimates, the Games have nearly doubled CBS' prime-time average this season and last week surpassed the combined audience for any two competing networks. In general, younger-skewing programs such as Fox's "King of the Hill," "Melrose Place" and "The X-Files," ABC's "The Drew Carey Show" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and the WB's "Dawson's Creek" best weathered the Olympic storm. ABC has fared worst in countering the Olympics, ranking fourth the last two weeks; by contrast, Fox's aggressive challenge earned a silver-medal finish among adults 18-49, the primary age group sought by advertisers. NBC bailed out a bit last week by offering reruns of "Seinfeld" and "Friends," plus the two-hour pilot that launched "ER." Fox also helped its cause with a special about the blockbuster movie "Titanic," sailing off with ratings roughly 40 higher than what "Millennium" averages in the same Friday time slot -BRIAN LOWRY National Nielsen Viewership Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (Feb. 9-15) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates that there are 254 million potential U.S. viewers age 2 and older, viewership is ksted here in millions. 1. Olympics (Thur J CBS 29.19 2. Olympics (Sun.) CBS 28.79 3. Olympics (Tue.) CBS 26.90 4. Olympics (Sat) CBS 24.54 5. 60 Minutes CBS 24.22 6. Olympics (Fri.) CBS 22.97 7. Olympics (Wed.) CBS 22.63 8. Olympics (Mon.) CBS 22.52 9. Seinfeld NBC 18.73 10. ER NBC 18.71 11. The X-Files FOX 18.04 12. Man NBC 17.96 13. The Drew Carey Show ABC 17.17 14. HomelmnwMiert ABC 16.97 15. Nnfoftnelel FOX 16.77 16. "SaitftarajtoTakAbour NBC 16.52 17. TheStnpscns FOX 15.98 ia WrtnderUWortd of Disney ABC 13.61 19. NYTOBue ABC 13.17 2a SaDnna, the Teenage Witch ABC 1301 21. Osteins NK(Mon.) NBC 12.95 22. Grace Under Rr ABC 12.78 23. Charms 4 Gref ABC 1240 24. Sai Man ABC 1 2 JO 25. The Drew Cany Sim (Tue.) ABC 1216 26. Beverly Ms, 90210 FOX 1214 27. Boy Meets Wortl ABC 1211 28. 2020 ABC 12.09 29. 2020 (Hon.) ABC 11.84 30. PanyofFw FOX 11.83 31. "THanfe Break. New Ground" FOX 11.73 32. 'tMrMn40-'Paitl ABC 11.62 33. PnmeTimeUn ABC 11.50 34. DetelneNBCfTue.) NBC 11.40 35. Arrm'sFurM Videos ABC 1U4 Sabii Teen. Wfch (Span.) ABC 11.24 37. WortTlFimesB FOX 11.01 38. 3rd tor Rom die Sin PM.) NBC 10.60 39. SpriClty ABC 10.47 4a "Tommy Boy" NBC 10.45 41. MeeoteRn FOX 10.39 42. The Practice ABC 10.31 0et9intNBC(FrL) NBC 10.31 44. MaO About You NBC 1030 45. Eton ABC 10.27 46. Frasier NBC 10J0 47. Canine in the City NBC 1016 48. "When Can Attack" ABC 10.09 49. Just Shoot Ml NBC 10.08 Cops (9:30 (un.) FOX 10.08 51. Teen Angel ABC 10.07 52. tatearNBCSun.) NBC 9.99 53. "BadBoyi" FOX 9.77 Net- Vlvtv- PltMM WOfft MS 89. The Sentinel UPN 296 9a TheTomShow WB 2.79 91. Maesha 9 p.m.) UPN 2.60 92. Attfl Already WB 243 93. Clueless (9:30 p.m.) UPN 238 Gold medalist Picabo Street PneMN WMk 4fO 54. Cops (9 p.m.) FOX 9.75 55. Cops(&30pjn.) FOX 9.66 56. Suddenly Susan NBC 9.49 57. "CWeot Friends" NBC 9.37 58. The Naked Truth NBC 9.08 59. Feed Up NBC 8-88 GO. Cops FOX 8.76 61. (Mm In the City (Tue.) NBC 8.35 62. Beyond Betel: Fact or Futon FOX b27 63. "Ptoyiijtown" NBC 8.25 64. 'TV Censored Btoopers '96" NBC 7.75 65. "The Perfect Getaway" ABC 7.47 66. World's Funriestl (Thur.) FOX 7.35 67. Burly, ttoVampte Slayer WB 677 68. Demon's Creak WB 6.48 69. 7th Heaven WB 5.96 7a "Caddysheck'' ABC 552 71. New Vert iMeroonr FOX 5.45 72. Sister, Sister WB 5.40 71 Smart Guy WB 5.34 74. Star Trek Voyager UPN 532 75. The Wayons Bros. WB 5.19 76. The Stew Harvey Show WB 5.09 77. The Jsflie Foci Show WB 4.42 78. eltlie House (8:30 pjn.) UPN 4.04 79. ABC News Seuday Nig ABC 344 80. Unhappf) Ever After WB 3.83 81. The Parent 'Hood WB 3.77 In the House UPN. 3.77 83. Good News UPN 3.62 84. Three WB 3.55 65. Good News (9:30 p.m.) UPN 3.38 86. Moasha UPN 3.35 87. Clueless UPN 3.29 88. Nicfc Freno: Ucsnsod Twchty WB 3. 15 Network Averages Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season. Last Week CBS 25.91 million NBC 11.60 FOX 10.78 ABC 10.73 WB 4.83 UPN 3.58 Seaton to Date NBC 15.48 million CBS 14.23 ABC 12.64 FOX 10.70 WB 4.48 UPN 4.19 Southland Viewing Here are Nielsen's Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. The rankings are based on the number of households watching. ttt- 1. 60 Muxes 2. Friends 3. TheX-Fles .4. 5. 6. KCBS 1,051.938 KNBC 761,403 ER KTTV wee KNBC KTTV 9. ia Beverly His, 90210 Kkol the HI 73138 721329 716320 596,098 Party of Flee The Simpsons KTTV 596,098 KTTV 596.098 KABC 591,089 KTTV 586,080 KTTV 586,060 RADIO TIPS FOR TODAY 5-7 p.m. Larry Mantle's Airtalk: Los Angeles Dist. Arty. Gil Garceni (5-5:30 p.m.), "The Naiion of Islam" (6-6:30 p.m.), KPCC-FM (89.3). 9:30-10 p.m., 2:30-3 Gunsmoke: "Man Who Lives by the Sword," KNX (1070). 10 p.m. -midnight Ckicage Symphony: Daniel Barenooim conducts Wagner (Prelude io the opera "Die Meistersinger"), Mozart ("Requiem Mass in 0 Minor"). KKGO-FM (105.1). DRAMA-COMEDYFAMILY 8-9:30 p.m., 2-2:30 a.m. Escape: "A Most Dangerous Game," KNX (1070). MUSIC: CLASSICAL 10:45 a.m.-eoon Masterpiece oj the Oar Chopin (Sonata No. 2 in B-flai, pianist Andre Wans), KKGO-FM (105.1). SPORTS 5:45-6 p.m. Laker Profiles: "Del Harris," Pan 3. KLAC (570). 7-10 p.m. Winter Olympics Coverage. KRLA(IIIO). 7:30-10 p.m. Basketball: Denver Nuggets Lakers, KLAC (570). 7:30-10 p.m. Basketball: Miami Heat at Clippers. KEZY-FM (95.9. TALK, INTERVIEW 11 e.m.-l p.m.-Talk of the Natioe, KPCC-FM (89.3). 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Jomthoa Braadmaier. KLSX-FM (97.1). Nooa-1 p.m. living Room, KPFK-FM (90.7. Nooa-2 p.m. George Putnam's Talkback. KIEV 870). Nooa-3 p.m. Dennis Prager. KABC (790). Noon-3 p.m. Dr. Laura Schltsstnger. KFI (640). 1-2, 7-9 p.m.-Fresh Air. KPCC-FM (89.3). 2:30-3 p.m. Bookworm Tess Gallagher ("At the Owl Woman Saloon "), KCRW-FM 189.9). 3-7 p.m. Larry Elder, KABC (790). 3-7 p.m. John and Km. KFI (640). 3- 7 p.m. Tom leykis. KLSX-FM (97.1). 3:30-5:30 p.m.-Ray Briem, KIEV (870. 4- 5 p.m. Mere Ceoper. KPFK-FM (90.7). 4-6 p.m. Coaaectiiig Point KYPA (1230). 4-9 p.m. Live From LA.: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Irving Fryar (7-8 p.m.), KKLA-FM (99.5). - -" ----

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