Critic's Choice for the week of October 9-15, 2002 

A three-band buzz, a lioness of a pianist, an intercontinental percussionist, and a violinist going for Baroque.


Eloquent indie-folk heartstringer and Elliott Smith cohort Pete Krebs lately has been splitting his time between Portland and Amsterdam. His new record (the seventh for Cavity Search) just came out this week, and though his bands in the past have included members of Dharma Bums and the Jicks, it's unknown at press time who he'll be bringin' with him to the Starry Plough on Thursday. 510-841-2082. (Stefanie Kalem)

Heads of all shapes can get their buzz Friday night at the Side Door, Talk of the Town's upstairs venue. The first of three East Bay bands appearing is Run Return, a duo utilizing laptop burbles, live drums, and vibraphone tones. Second is the Flimsy Vessels, a seven-strong collective that cleaves bombastic psychedelic drone (á la Spiritualized) to eloquent indie-rock songcraft, post-rock riddims, and the occasionally danceable jam. Rounding out the night is Fleeting Trance, which moves from elegant rock to reggae parodies in the wink of a red-rimmed eye. 510-534-8255. (S.K.)


Henry Butler has breathtaking command of African-American keyboard styles at his fingertips -- from the harmonically sweeping jazz of Art Tatum and Bud Powell to the romping rhumba boogies of Professor Longhair and James Booker. The New Orleans pianist, whose recording credits include albums with Charlie Haden and bluesman Corey Harris, gives a solo recital on Thursday at 21Grand. 510-444-7263. (Lee Hildebrand)

Born in São Paulo and long based in New York, pianist Eliane Elias brings rhapsodic melodic intention, soulful harmonic richness, and great rhythmic adventure to her readings of standards, both North American and Brazilian, as well as to her own captivating compositions. And she's a quite nice singer. Herbie Hancock once commented that Elias is "of a new generation of aggressive pianists who attack music like a lioness attacking its prey, at the same time expressing a tenderness within the core of her passion that at times has brought me to tears." She performs Friday and Sunday at Yoshi's with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. 510-238-9200. (L.H.)

How time flies when you're not reliving the past but busy creating the future -- which is what the Bay Area's Rova Saxophone Quartet has been doing since 1976. In a celebration of its 25th anniversary Friday and Saturday at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, Rova teams up with pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, and the big band OrkestRova for two evenings of challenging composition and improvisation. 415-487-1701. (Larry Kelp)


The cross-pollination of African, European, and Indian cultural traits in the Americas has produced fascinating fusions -- something master percussionist Alexander Livinalli, an authority on Afro-Venezuelan folklore, understands. The educator, who has recorded and performed with such stars as Soledad Bravo and Dave Valentin, arrives at La Peña on Saturday for a concert with longtime friends Jackeline Rago, the Snake Trio, and the Venezuelan Music Project. 510-849-2572. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


Baroque violinist John Holloway, recipient of the 1991 Gramophone Award and two Danish Grammys for his recordings of baroque music, joins organist Aloysia Assenbaum and harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen (Danish Musician of the Year 2000) Saturday at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley for a concert of music by von Biber, Schmelzer, Bertali, and Froberger. 510-528-1725. (Jason Serinus)


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