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spacer.gif
spacer.gif   MARVIN TATE AND GROUP SEX
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 11:07 PM
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Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
On Marvin Tate and Group Sex
by C. J. Laity



Oh
So I
saw Marvin
Tate with his
new band, Group
Sex, last night (July
23) at the Old Town
School of Music. It
was part of the free
Wednesday night
concert series, and
also part of the
Afro-Folk series. The
place was packed with
Columbia College students,
but I was surprised it wasn't
even more crowded, considering
Tate was debuting his new material.
A guest appearance was made by the
legendary upright bass player, Mitar
Covic, who was one of the original
members of Street Sounds. What
happened last night was completely
different than what Tate was doing
during the final hours of D'Settlement,
and might I add, much better, much
more artistic. Whereas his former was
becoming louder and more rock 'n' roll
/ funk / vaudville act, Tate's performance
last night brought the roots of his act back
to poetry and the spoken-word. He started
out with the poem that will appear on Def
Poetry Jam this July, bringing back memories
of years ago: "I am a sometimes poet!" Then
he demonstrated what D'Settlement wasn't
allowing him to demonstrate—that he has
developed a very moving singing voice that
reaches right into your soul. I have seen Tate
do segments of these songs (including two by Tom
Waits) at various functions, including the Guild Complex's
Everybody Does It benefit at Darkroom and The Chicago Public
Library Poetry Fest, but last night Tate finally had it down exactly
right. He achieved something very important for me. He made me
forget that I know him personally, and I became simply enthralled
by the talent on the stage. Though the musicians in his band (a
keyboardist, a viola player, a guitarist and an electric bassist)
were a little rough around the collar, Tate gave it his
all for two hours . . . and forsook all the glam
that was what . . . D'Settlement became.

--C. J. Laity


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