Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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4Play: Bruce Springsteen, YOSO, CTI Records, California Guitar Trio

Ross Boissoneau - December 6th, 2010
Bruce Springsteen – The Promise (Columbia)
This set of leftovers from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions proves two things: Springsteen made the correct selections for that album, and there’s no reason this should have been kept in the vaults this long. Darkness was tough and hard-rocking, while these two CDs (three plus DVDs in the deluxe set) offer a slightly more encompassing view of the Bruce of 30 years ago. It’s interesting to hear different versions of “Candy’s Room” and “Racing in the Street.” Other highlights abound, from the bouncy “Ain’t Good Enough For You” to studio versions of live favorites “Fire” and “Because the Night.”



YOSO – Elements (Frontiers Records)
Two parts Yes (keyboardist Tony Kaye and multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood) and one part Toto (vocalist Bobby Kimball), YOSO strikes a balance between Yes progginess and Toto’s radio-friendly rock. What might not be expected is that this two-CD set is really quite good. Kimball’s soaring vocals are matched by the power of the music. Live, the group adds a guitarist and drummer (Sherwood handles both here, as well as bass, keyboards, and backing vocals), and they perform a smattering of their previous bands’ songs. But this set suggests promise for YOSO as a recording group, as well as live attraction.



CTI Records – The Cool Revolution (CTI)
During the 70s, the CTI label – for label head/producer Creed Taylor (Inc.) – produced a bevy of high quality jazz recordings, with the likes of Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and many others. The styles ranged from straightahead jazz to crossover, Brazilian to big band. This four-disc retrospective is divided into Straight Up, Big Hits (including Grover Washington Jr.’s “Mister Magic”), the Brazilian Connection, and Cool and Classic. For those around the first time, this will bring back memories. Those who weren’t now have the chance to hear these great tunes in great sound.


California Guitar Trio – Andromeda (Inner Knot)
This new set of all-original music may be the best CGT album ever. High praise indeed. But considering the quality of these songs and the performances, it’s not out of line to suggest that. The three members of the CGT – Bert Lams, Paul Richards, and Hideyo Moriya – have been together going on 20 years, and their unique approach continues to serve them well. The combine elements of classical minimalism, surf rock, acoustic folk, and progressive rock in their instrumental palette. Check out the quotes from Genesis’s “Supper’s Ready” or “Turn of the Tide.” Shimmering melodies shifting from electric guitar to acoustic, with a dash of bass, drums, stick or marimba to spice things up.
 
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