Critic's Choice for the week of June 8-14, 2005 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


The music of Bob Marley is so universally loved, it's a no-brainer to make this special event a "two spliffs up" pick. Imagine all the classic Tuff Gong roots/rock/reggae tunes you know and love -- "One Love," "No Woman No Cry," "Buffalo Soldier," etc. -- reimagined and rearranged inna jazz orchestra stylee by visiting Berklee College of Music professor Matt Jenson and Berkeley Jazzschool students. That's right, you guessed it: the one-drop meets bebop, for one night only (Friday) at the Jazzschool. Fifteen dollas, don't holla, reggae fans and jazz scholars. 8 p.m. (Eric K. Arnold)


Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack) is a living, breathing encyclopedia of New Orleans piano styles. He stamps everything he plays -- his own hits, pop standards, boogie breakdowns, '50s rock -- with his own inimitable gris gris. His growling vocal style is a national treasure, full of menace, humor, and dirty-old-man sexuality. See him tonight at 8 p.m. at Slim's in San Francisco. $35. 415-255-0333, (j. poet)


An intriguing voice on the folk scene who recently moved to Berkeley, Claudia Russell makes her Freight & Salvage debut Tuesday night. She'll sing songs from her second CD, Ready to Receive, accompanied by mandolin/guitar whiz Bruce Kaplan and accordion/keyboard guru Carl Byron. In addition to her own songs, the Los Angeles native also interprets such poets as Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson; a veteran of such ensembles as the Life Is Grand Band and Maggie's Farm, Russell has appeared everywhere from small clubs to Willie Nelson's Farm Aid. $16.50-$17.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or (Larry Kelp)


Calvinesque is the appropriate title of Oakland jazz guitarist Calvin Keys' latest record, supported with a series of dates that showcase him in an intimate trio setting. Unbridled, he lays down flawless technique and expressive melodic invention -- having played with Earl "Fatha" Hines, Ahmad Jamal, Jimmy Smith, and Ray Charles, he's a well-seasoned regional giant. Catch him Wednesday nights at Anna's Jazz Island (2120 Allston Way, Berkeley) with Matt Montgomery (bass) and Dave Odom (drums). $5, 8 p.m. 510-841-JAZZ, (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


The excellent acoustics of Berkeley's Live Oak Theater will resound with the sounds of Cafe Buenos Aires this Sunday afternoon, as Argentine Eduardo Mendelievich conducts the SF-based a cappella choral group Creative Voices in a tantalizing tango music extravaganza that spotlights Piazzolla, Gardel, and other tango greats. $15-$18, 4 p.m. 415-861-3680 or (Jason Victor Serinus)


Kool Kyle is a man of many hats (and aliases). A founding member of Berkeley's DIY hip-hoppers Bay Area Art Collective, he first came to prominence with the now-famed Telegraph Ave. tape stand -- which introduced many a Midwestern Cal student to local indie hip-hop flava -- before making noise as a member of Nameless and Faceless, and as the producer and creative force behind the Hip Hop on the Moon instrumental concept album. He also has worked as an engineer at Fantasy Studios, and as Joan Baez' personal sound man. Currently adopting the moniker Inspector Double Negative, he and his crew the Equal Positives have broken through to the (relatively) big time -- their song "Girls" has been getting spins on Live 105. With a résumé like that, it's no wonder that anything can happen and usually does during KK's weekly DJ night ("So What, Let's Party!") Thursdays at Albany's Ivy Room: M.I.A. might be followed by Metallica, followed by Montrose, followed by Maria Muldaur, followed by Bob Marley. There might be a special live guest, then again, there might not. Kyle might bust a rhyme or beatbox, or maybe he'll just play good records. Anyway, it's free to get in, so you have no excuse not to come on down. (E.K.A.)


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