Local Licks 

This week, we review Ton Trio, Fancy Dan Band, Janaka Selekta, and Dave Rude Band.

Ton Trio, The Way. An exciting, adventurous album of avant-garde and free jazz led by Mills College student Aram Shelton, who wrote all six songs and plays alto saxophone and bass clarinet. Percussive drummer San Ospovat, also from Mills, and improvisational bassist Kurt Kotheimer complete the trio. Their music roves evenhandedly from frantic to melodic to calm. (Singlespeed Music)

Fancy Dan Band, Born Fancy. Demonstrating a dedication to authentic Americana, the Fancy Dan Band trekked from the Bay Area to Nashville to record its debut album over three manic days. It worked. Not that Born Fancy is a country record — rock, gospel, and folk are equally at home here — but it feels windswept with Midwestern dust, true to the troubadour tradition. (self-released)

Janaka Selekta, Pushing Air. In 2007, London deejay Gaudi blended dub production with vocals from late Pakistani devotional singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. San Francisco's Janaka Selekta takes a similar approach, minus the uniformly profound vocals. His fusion of Indian classical and folk, dub, and other electronic touches often eschews singing altogether, but still gets the job done well. (self-released)

At the Elbo Room (647 Valencia St., San Francisco) on Mar. 22. 9 p.m., $7

Dave Rude Band, Dave Rude Band EP. The cover art features singer/guitarist Dave Rude (who also plays in ancient Sacramento hard-rock band Tesla) sporting a KISS shirt, drummer Josh Schmidt in a Descendents shirt, and bassist Marco Guzman in a Hendrix shirt. But across these six songs, the reliably tight trio's sound more closely resembles a melodic, modernized mix of Buckcherry and Alice in Chains. (self-released)


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