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Mike LeDonne Trio

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When he plays bebop--or, more accurately, the second wave of the bop revolution called hard bop--pianist Mike LeDonne can run with just about anybody, articulating his cross-country lines with speed, endurance, and a minimum of fuss; in his playing you can hear and respect the years he spent listening to Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly, and Barry Harris. But LeDonne was first drawn to the music of James Brown, and that love of the groove cannot be underestimated: it helps explain the soulful bounce he brings to all the music in his repertoire, from Wes Montgomery swingers to gospel-tinged ballads and even a samba or two. (That influence shows up even more dearly when LeDonne plays organ, as on saxist Michael Hashim's recent album Blue Streak, on Stash.) Engaging, energetic, and able to spin dear and clever ideas at even the briskest tempo, LeDonne records his own albums for Criss Cross, a Dutch label; as a result, most American jazz fans have yet to discover him. They should. Tonight, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.

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