Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona on September 4, 1985 · Page 15
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Arizona Daily Star from Tucson, Arizona · Page 15

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 4, 1985
Page 15
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gftg Jkxiznna Bailg Star Tucson, Wednesday, September 4, 1985 Page Three Jazz singer Schuur returns to familiar turf tomorrow By Michael Hofmann From 1977 to 1980, jazz singer -Diane Schuur lived and worked the cabaret set here in Tucson, a town she described in a recent phone conversation as "a place of real growth," a place where she sang the "straight" songs that taught "a good lesson in learning how to harness the voice and how to let it go free." In a now-defunct jazz club on -Grant Road one night, she sat in with the Jeff Daniel Group "just to see what would happen." For the next 2l2 years, she was perhaps Tucson's most celebrated songstress, delighting thousands of us with many memorable and inspired performances. She worked hard here polishing her act. So hard that she was dubbed "Lady Overkill," a nice follow to "Lady Day" (Billie Holiday) and "Lady Soul" (Aretha Franklin). She also traveled to the jazz festivals in Telluride and Monterey. "Tucson was a good experience when I look back," said Schuur. "I . learned a lot. It prepared me for what I'm doing now and I'm looking forward to going back." Schuur's homecoming is tomor- . row, when she and Stan Getz play the Temple of Music and Art in an 8:30 p.m. show. Although she didn't get a record contract while living in Tucson, she developed a lot of the groundwork for it. Perhaps the next step in her rise to national prominence the crossover from jazz to pop or at least very popular jazz will be heard on her third record album, "Schuur Thing." It's her second Dave Gru-sinLarry Rosen (GRP) production, and it's scheduled to be released this month. A Randy Goodrum tune written especially for Schuur, "No Time for True Love," will be cut as a single in hopes of a healthy climb up the charts. About the new album, she said: "I worked with Jose Feliciano on two cuts. Three are new ones written by Randy (Goodrum). He's written tunes for Kenny Rogers and Anne Murray. One of these, I think, is a monster. We've been pushing for more crossover material, and we're hoping it will do well." Long an inspired interpreter of jazz and blues standards, Schuur has moved a little closer to taking her place as one of America's most dynamic new vocalists. Schuur, blinded from too much oxygen in her incubator when she was 6 weeks old, began singing around the same time she learned to talk and 'Positions ' flawed yet worth a go By Bob Campbell The Arizona Daily Star Swarthily virile Dr. Fleckstein of Shorehaven on Long Island was only recently a "famous periodontist. He'd been called in to consult on one of the Kennedy in-law's gum problems." Dr. Fleckstein was also a lunch-hour lecher, a bondage-and-discipline fan and a possible interstate por-nographer. Finally, he managed to get himself murdered. In "Compromising Positions," adapted by Susan Isaacs from Review her best seller, Susan Sarandon is a wide-eyed but determined housewife whose investigation of her dentist's murder uncovers a nest of suburban naughtiness. It also heats up her marriage to bond attorney Edward Herrmann, involves her in a near-dalliance with homicide detective Raul Julia, and restores her sense of professional self-worth as an investigative journalist. Could Jane Fonda ask for more? There are some real possibilities here. Shorehaven is a dull but up-to-date place where adultery is a mild break in the social routine, like brunch; no one's mocked for taking lovers, only for their taste. It's amusing that a leering dentist is the local Casanova. And it's perfectly believable that the dirty little thrill of a sex-related murder would be just the thing to perk up a non-adulterous housewife's days. These bourgeois follies, unfortunately, are shunted aside for half-hearted romance, lame comedy and consciousness raising. A smashing New York cast, a good script and an exhilarating premise add up to a lot less than they should. "Compromising Po .has performed professionally since age 12. She was 26 when she left for her native Seattle, seeking more independence, more "mobility," and more professionalism in her career. Now 30, she is often compared to the best of 20th-century blues and jazz singers. Sax great Getz, who discovered Schuur at the '79 Monterey Jazz Festival and later brought her to the White House and the nation via a PBS special, has been quoted as saying, "Schuur has the most passion and pathos of any singer since Ella (Fitzgerald) and Sarah (Vaughan)." Schuur enthusiastically calls Getz "my mentor." Los Angeles Times jazz critic Leonard Feather, writing about her Monterey performance, said "Schuur displayed a beautiful sound, perfect pitch, a wide range, strength, clarity, and a startling upper-register fidelity." The 7,000 listeners there were certainly "startled,", according to Feather, when Schuur took the festival into her own hands with a solo interpretation of an interesting Joni MitchellCharles Mingus collaboration, "Chair in the Sky." With this tune and just one other, Schuur's singing and unique keyboard work brought down the house. Not a face in the audience was blank, tired or bored. The applause was massive. The next morning "Deedly," or "Deedles," a nickname Dizzy Gillespie helped popularize that weekend, was the talk of the festival. Soon after Monterey, Schuur returned to Seattle to record her first album and to plan her next move. It was in a studio on a small island near her hometown that she brought out "Pilot of My Destiny," writing the title cut herself. The album features two of her songs, good performances by Getz and Schuur, but because of poor production and distribution, the album didn't do very well. It was during this period, however, that Getz invited her to take part in the all-star jazz concert, "In Performance at the White House," where she performed two songs solo and then was accompanied by people like Getz, Chick Corea, Gillespie, and even Itzhak Perlman in a Big Band version of "Summertime." When the subject of the White House gig came up, she laughed at the question, "What did you think of Itzhak Perlman playing second fiddle to you at Nancy Reagan's?" "Well, he didn't exactly play second fiddle to me," Schuur said. "Besides, honey, that was a violin he was playing, not a fiddle!" Progressive jazz pianist Dave sitions" is social satire disguised as middle-class feminist sitcom disguised as murder mystery. It flickers intermittently on each of these levels, but never gets the three styles working together. The culprit is director Frank "all-thumbs" Perry. Perry thinks that having actors shout directly into the camera is inventive direction and a churchful of sniffling blondes provides a subtle and amusing clue to the late doctor's sex life. Isaacs' lively script is nearly clubbed to death by Perry's dull and obvious direction. The movie seems smart-talking and slow-witted at the same time. Sarandon is, as always, earnest and appealing; she's like a sexy rabbit, endlessly sniffing out secrets. Her impulsive sleuthing leads her through such trendy milieus as an aerobics class, a suburban sculptor's studio and the editorial offices of Newsday. Raul Julia, a charmingly offbeat actor, is misdirected and unconvincing as her amorous, distrac-tible cop. Perry tries to cook up a simmering attraction between cop and heroine through an insufferable duet of coy smiles, knowing smirks and winks of mutual approval. We don't buy it for a moment, and apparently the director doesn't either. When he luns out of uses for Julia's character, he drops him from the movie without a fare-thee-well. Judith Ivey is shrewd and rowdy as Sarandon's friend, who doesn't mind bedding a policeman ex-boyfriend to help the investigation along. Edward Herrmann plays the put-upon husband with wry intelligence, except when for cheap-shot story convenience he's made into a crass male-chauvinist kvetch. In the script's sexual role-reversal, the husband is stuck with the Grusin, whose credits in motion pictures and television seem endless, happened to catch the PBS special when it was aired nationally a few days later, Schuur said. He contacted Schuur, signed her up, and a very slick, digitally mastered, album resulted. "Deedles" was her first album to be released nationally and abroad, and it has done well in the charts with a lot of airplay on both coasts and many major cities. Since "Deedles," Schuur has been performing on the JVC jazz tour with Grusin and the likes of Spyro Gyra, Lee Ritenour and John McLoughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, in Dallas, Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The culmination of this tour, or at least the stateside segment of it was a concert at the Holywood Bowl on Aug. 11. She has been overseas once and has plans for more trips abroad in the near future. "I've been to Japan, too," she said. "I played with Woody Herman's rhythm section and Dizzy was there. Peter Erskine played drums. He used to play with Weather Report and now has a band called 'Steps Ahead.' " Although it wasn't easy reaching Schuur, when we finally did get to talk at some length, it surprised me that I was speaking to the same See SCHUUR, Page 9B Jazz star Getz to appear By Dodie Gust The Arizona Daily Star He's been called "The Sound," referred to as a "living legend" and a "great musical mind." Whatever you call him, 58-year-old Stan Getz, the winner of six Grammy awards and countless jazz polls, is one of the indisputable greats of jazz. He'll be playing his tenor saxophone in Tucson tomorrow night at an 8:30 concert at the Temple of Music and Art, on a double bill with vocalist Diane Schuur. Getz turned down a full scholarship to Juilliard School of Music to begin his professional career at 16 as a sideman with Jack Teagarden. After stints with some of the best of the big bands of the era Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman he became a member of Woody Herman's renowned "Second Herd" in 1947. With the Herd, Getz and two other tenor men, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, and baritone sax player Serge Chaloff cut a record that became an enduring jazz classic "Four Brothers." Susan Sarandon stars as a threat traditionally uttered by heroes' hapless wives: "Go investigate. But I may not be here when you get back." Joe Mantegna scores some brief, beautifully scummy points as the doomed dentist. Mary Beth Hurt, looking like an anorexic Huck Finn, is wasted as his last patient. Anne DeSalva is joltingly vivid as a petty Long Island Clytem-nestra. Deborah Rush's hilarious sketch of Fleckstein's sexually unhappy sister-in-law is as stylized as Nassau County Kabuki. Josh Mostel makes a plausibly woebegone patsy for everyone's nefarious schemes. Perry's flat direction never Diane Schuur says she "learned a lot" during the years she But it was his solo with the band on the Ralph Burns' composition "Early Autumn" that brought Getz national prominence. The record proved to be a turning point in the evolution of "Cool Jazz." His musical trademarks include his "straight" (no vibrato) tone, laconic, delayed rhythms and his melodic, lyrical improvisations delivered in a style that is sensual, insinuating and personal without ever being sentimental or insultingly aggressive. In 1962, the jazz man captured an even broader audience with his "Jazz Samba" album in which he and guitarist Charlie Byrd introduced bossa nova to America. This was followed with his "GetzGilberto" album that introduced Astrud Gilberto as "The Girl from Impanema." Getz has made few, if any, concessions to the changes brought about by electronic instruments and rock music. And he has never stopped winning jazz polls and Grammy awards. homemaker turned sleuth builds up any storytelling rhythm, and the movie dissolves into a collection of tamely racy scenes. There's more satirical energy in the suburban set decoration than in Perry's handling of his performers. The cinematography looks rushed and cheap, and the music is just a nuisance. Still, any film without teenagers and computers can't be all bad. In this wretched movie summer, even "Compromised Positions" seems like sophisticated entertainment. Like Long Island itself, the movie's worth a visit if you're not expecting a wild time. "Compromising Positions" is at the Foothills and Park Mall theaters. on double bill at Temple Jazz great Stan Getz Only 3 films smash hits in stay-away summer By Aljean Harmetz 1985 The New York Times HOLLYWOOD The summer of Hollywood's discontent ended this weekend. Ticket sales were 17 percent lower than last summer. Only three movies "Rambo," "Back to the Future" and "Cocoon" kept their momentum month after month. Tri-Star's "Rambo," which had $146 million in ticket sales, and Universale "Back to the Future," with $128 million so far, are the summer's only blockbusters. The rest of the Top 5 include 20th Century-Fox's "Cocoon" ($69 million), Warner Brothers' "Goonies" ($61 million) and MGM-UA's "View to a Kill" ($50 million). There were an extraordinary number of high-budget disasters. Columbia's $20 million "Perfect" was a box-office dud despite John Travolta. Paramount's $25 million teen-agers in-space movie, "Explorers," and Cannon's $25 million vam-pires-in-space film, "Lifeforce," were also losers. "Perfect" grossed $13 million, "Lifeforce," $11 million and "Explorers," $9 million. Disney's "Return to Oz" cost $28 million and sold $11 million worth of tickets. Since a movie's distributor gets slightly less than 50 percent of the box-office" revenues and since Disney had to spend approximately $6 million on prints and advertising for "Return to Oz," that film may now be $29 million in the red. Less expensive to make but performing even worse at the box office were Disney's "My Science Project," Columbia's "The Bride," Orion's "Secret Admirer" and "Heavenly Kid," MGM-UA's "Red Sonja" and 20th Century-Fox's "Man With One Red Shoe." Some money will be made at theaters abroad. The foreign market has been shrinking, but violent action-adventure films can still smash through. "Rambo" has already broken records in 19 countries, and m Star file photo performed in Tucson Carolco, the producer of that $23 million Sylvester Stallone anthem about redeeming American pride by rescuing prisoners from Vietnam,, estimates that "Rambo" may gross as much as $150 million abroad. There are also sales to pay-cable and independent television stations and a growing afterlife on video cassette. John Huston's adult comedy "Prizzi's Honor" did respectably well at the box office with ticket sales of $24 million. In addition, because "Prizzi's Honor" stars Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner and can be expected to appeal to Ithe somewhat older people who go Jess often to movie theaters but own vi-deocassette recorders, videocas-sette rights were sold for a huge $4.2 million. There is also the question of how much a movie costs. Columbia's "Silverado" was not a box-office failure. It has sold $27 million worth of tickets so far. The problem is that it cost $25 million, and another $8 million or $10 million was spent on prints and advertising. Columbia's late-summer horror flick, "Fright Night," has sold $22 million worth of tickets. Since it cost only $7 million, "Fright Night" will make the studio a nice profit. "Pale Rider" will make a considerable amount of money for Warner Brothers because Clint Eastwood, who produces and often directs his own movies, is one of the few stars willing to share the risks with the studios. "Pale Rider" cost only $6.9 million, far below the industry average, because the actor whom astounded Warner Brothers executives describe as "being as frugal with the studio's money as if it were his own" did not take a large salary. Eastwood gets a healthy share of the profits of his films. But if the movie for example, 1982's "Honkytonk Man" doesn't make money, he doesn't make money either.

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