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Local Licks

This week we review Durojaiye Versatile, Phillip Greenlief, The pickPocket Ensemble, & Sam Bevan



Durojaiye Versatile, The Fermented Sessions. This album provides twelve tracks of boggy, thinly produced electronic music. It's ambient, if you interpret the word to mean "utterly static." Songs proceed at a very slow plod. If you're waiting for chord variation, you'll be waiting a long time. That said, a tambourine does enter the fray seven tracks in. The guitar on "Never Forgotten" is pretty. (Thoughts into Things Music)

Phillip Greenlief, Lines Combined. As the founder of Oakland's Evander Music label, saxophonist Phillip Greenlief is often deputized as a spokesperson for the local noise scene. Here, he privileges sound over form, using his tenor to create odd, breathy tones and crescendos. Lines Combined draws inspiration from artworks by Eva Hesse and Robert Rauschenberg. (Evander Music)

At Kingman's Ivy Room (860 San Pablo Ave., Albany) Monday, Nov. 22. 9 p.m., free.

The pickPocket Ensemble, Memory. This album of catchy, original compositions agglomerates several old world styles, including klezmer, gypsy, flamenco, and tango. Marguerite Ostro's violin is mesmerizing. "Bird in a Web" lays a languid melody over a drum pattern that actually swings. "Seriously" has the shuffling rhythm of a dance number. The title track combines fiddle and banjo in a way that recalls the gothic south. (self-released)

At Le Bateau Ivre (2629 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), Wednesday, Dec. 8. 6 p.m.

Sam Bevan, Hawkeye. This album of original jazz compositions is pretty remarkable. Bassist Sam Bevan is a prominent sideman with a terrific ear — he sings audibly while soloing on the title track. As a bandleader he's relatively unassuming, splitting the songwriting duties with drummer Bryan Bowman, pianist Grant Levin, and saxophonist Mas Koga. The band swings hardest on the head of "Sneak Attack." (Mystery Panda Alliance)