Critic's Choice for the week of November 20-26, 2002 

Fried peanut butter and bacon fusion, soft aluminum, North African folk, San Leandro Sinatra, and more.

ROCK

Mark Olson & Victoria Williams, sometimes known as the Creekdippers, grace the Starry Plough Friday with their individual takes on what Mojo would describe as Americana, fused together like a fried peanut butter and bacon sandwich. 510-841-2082. (Katy St. Clair)

SF roots-rocker Jeffrey Halford has been nominated Male Singer-Songwriter of the Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards, whatever those are. But for folks who revel in bluesy, well-crafted music that has been described as "enduring" and "iconic," well, heck, go to the Ivy Room on Friday night. 510-524-9299. (KS)

POST-SOFT-ROCK

Chicago's Aluminum Group is smoothness incarnate, distilling luxuriant pop, wry wit, and subtle shadings into an aural cognac. On the fifth album by these Brothers Navin, they take what they've learned from prior forays into electronica and acoustica, and put it to cinematic good use. Bottom of the Hill hosts the urbane grooves this Monday, with Sappingtom and Built Like Alaska opening. 415-621-4455. (Stefanie Kalem)

CLASSICAL

Saturday night in Oakland's Calvin Simmons Theater, Four Seasons' Concerts presents the duo of violinist Pierre d'Archambeau and violist Amadi Hummings, accompanied by pianist Dennis Helmrich, in a recital that includes Bruch's Kol Nidrei, Beethoven's Spring Sonata, and works by Halforsen, Ysaye, Paganini, and Mozart. D'Archambeau, winner of the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition, plays Fritz Kreisler's famed Daniel Parker violin. 510-451-0775. (Jason Serinus)

NORTH AFRICAN

There's a lot more music coming out of Algeria than just disco-oriented rai, especially the vibrant, folk-oriented roots music and North African Berber songs of Algerian singer-bandleader Moh Alileche. Alileche celebrates the release of his second CD of mostly original songs, The Source of Water, drawing on tradition and life from political struggles to love. Thursday at Ashkenaz. 510-525-5054. (Larry Kelp)

LATIN

On Monday and Wednesday nights, the Sinatra-inspired pipes of jazz singer Elias Pereda can now be heard at La Piñata Restaurant & Bar in San Leandro. The West Berkeley native performs with his International Mob band, featuring guitarist Patrick Green, percussionist David Frazier, and pianist Coto Pincheira. See how smoothly he blends Latin jazz into his treatment of American pop standards. 510-352-8901. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

JAZZ

Spontaneous composition by ensembles is the essence of jazz, its most intimate instance being the Art of the Duo. That's also the title of a wonderful new CD by vocalist Jenna Mammina and her longtime guitarist Andre Bush. The East Bay twosome offers fresh takes on such chestnuts as "Time After Time," "Here Comes the Sun," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Them There Eyes" (capturing a sense of joy and swing akin to Billie Holiday's famous 1939 version), and "Moonlight in Vermont," plus a few fine original collaborations with Jon Bendich. It's a positively sunny musical affair which Mammina and Bush invite the public to drop in on this Wednesday at Yoshi's. 510-238-9200. (Lee Hildebrand)

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