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Wednesday, January 28,2015

Time to talk to George

When a big fish is canned, attorney George Brookover is on the case

by Lawrence Cosentino
In January 1954, George Brookover was perched on his dad´s shoulders, watching the big political fish go by on their way to the second-term inauguration of Michigan Gov. G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams. "Hiya, Soapy!" 4-year-old George shouted to the governor. Williams walked over and patted him on the shoulder. "Hiya, feller."
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Freedom in the air and on the wall

Absolute Gallery fuses art and music made ´for the end of time´

by Lawrence Cosentino
A half-buried, two-way tunnel runs between the camps of art and music. From Mussorgsky´s "Pictures at an Exhibition" to Jackson Pollock´s jazz-fueled drip fantasias, artists and musicians have snorted, smuggled and stolen each other´s smokes for a long time. The next concert in Absolute Gallery´s long-running chamber music series, Absolute Music, will fuse the visions of New York painter Richard Estrin with the music of a 20th-century visionary, Olivier Messiaen.
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Wednesday, January 21,2015

Minimal maximalism

Take 6 takes charge at MSU´s King tribute

by Lawrence Cosentino
The MSU College of Music trimmed away the usual oratory and commentary from this year´s Martin Luther King Jr. tribute and served up two courses of pure music. Something was lost, but something else was gained. This year´s sold-out concert bore little resemblance to the long, cathartic community sweat lodges of past years, but it was an entertaining, highly professional show that snuck in a message or two by purely musical means.
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Tapestry of voices

Take 6 joins MSU’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute

by Lawrence Cosentino
Each year, topical threads are added to timeless ones, but warmth is always woven into the MSU College of Music’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, ”Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest.” The annual tapestry of music and spoken word will shine with a new filament Sunday. The luminous, six-piece a cappella gospel group Take 6 will shed extra light on the “prayer” part of the proceedings.
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Wednesday, January 14,2015

Hey, elk, look up

Symphony, guest cellist bring great outdoors to Wharton concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
For all the fiddlers, fandooglers and foom-boomers crowding the stage at Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, two distinct figures linger in my mind. I’ll start with the obvious one: Soloist Bion Tsang. For better or worse, in motion or stasis, through reverie and hysteria, the evening’s guest cellist made it impossible to take your eyes off of him. Not that he was showing off. He seemed determined to take a seemingly cornball piece of music, Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,” and wring maximum meaning and drama from every bit. He was all business, ear cocked for every cue from the orchestra and maestro Timothy Muffitt.
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Wednesday, January 7,2015

‘The Voice’ by proxy

Cellist Bion Tsang sings with a cello at Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert

by Lawrence Cosentino
Austin-based cellist Bion Tsang, guest soloist for Saturday’s Lansing Symphony concert, coaches youth football, loves to roughhouse with his three young kids and has a great laugh. He sounds like a guy most people can relate to. Yes and no.
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

A cup from the river of life

10 who died in 2014

by Lawrence Cosentino
At the end of every year, I drop a dented dipper into the river of life and look at the lives of 10 people from the Lansing area who died in the past year. They are not all famous or accomplished, but they are worth remembering.
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

My heart bleeds

Jesse Jackson, Lansing area mourners remember Rev. Michael Murphy

by Lawrence Cosentino
Shocked at the death Sunday of longtime Lansing political and pastoral leader the Rev. Michael Murphy, friends are finding solace in the memory of a principled public figure and empathic friend. "It´s an overwhelming sadness. My heart bleeds," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a phone interview Monday. "I knew him as a very conscientious freedom fighter who sought racial justice and reconciliation."
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Wednesday, December 31,2014

Year of the Long Pinch

Unforgettable jazz and classical moments of 2014

by Lawrence Cosentino
If you love jazz and classical music and you live in the Lansing area, you only needed six words in your vocabulary to describe this year’s schedule: “Pinch me. I must be dreaming.” A relentless run of top-drawer musical experiences, most of them related in some way to the stellar MSU College of Music, made 2014 the Year of the Long Pinch.
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Wednesday, December 10,2014

Their final battle

Auction of female action figures will benefit The Women's Center

by Lawrence Cosentino
Nancy Lombardi vigorously shook a heavy crystal globe with Wonder Woman inside, fists akimbo. The fluid swirled with sparkly pain from freshly punched enemies. Or maybe it was Amazon magic. "Isn´t that cool?" Lombardi, 68, had to summon up super strength to lift the globe´s base, as massive as the Temple of Minerva, let alone shake it. She admitted to ordering it by mistake from a nowdefunct comic store on Michigan Avenue.
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