Critic’s Choice for the week of January 1-7, 2003

Light in the classical darkness, blues and jazz with a belly, Dizzy alumni, and analog pop that rides the Gravy Train.


It’s a quiet time for classical aficionados, with most houses remaining dark. As you look at your after-holiday empty purse, consider Sunday afternoon’s free post-Evensong organ recital at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, the imposing gothic edifice atop Nob Hill. This week features Peter Dubois playing Grace’s thunderous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, reputedly the second largest non-mammalian organ in San Francisco. 415-749-6355. (Jason Serinus)


The Big Belly Blues Band‘s moniker is a bit misleading, in that most of the players don’t have big bellies, and they play just as much jazz as they do blues. But BBBB’s music is plenty big all right, bursting with swing and bop energy, and it’s Oakland’s own hometown team, led by trumpeter-educator Khalil Shaheed, featuring singer George Hubbard and plenty of horn solos. Monday at Yoshi’s. 510-238-9200. (Larry Kelp)

The legacy of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie will be celebrated by his Alumni All-Stars who open on New Year’s Day for a week’s stay at Yoshi’s in Oakland. The sextet is highlighted by saxophonist James Moody, an original member of Gillespie’s pioneer 1940s big band, as well as trombonist Slide Hampton and Diz protégé Jon Faddis. The group will no doubt serve heaping portions of bebop and cubop classics penned by their former boss. 510-238-9200. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela).


LA’s Ross Angeles (Ross Harris) and Meho (Craig Borrell) are DJ Me DJ You, two of the only guys in the Western world who have managed to parlay their love for thrift-store record-shopping into something other than a lifetime of sleeping alone. The duo split off from their space-rock band Sukia to compose complicated stews of groovy, analog pop. They throw down first at the Bottom of the Hill Sunday night, before Paradise Island, Dance Disaster Movement, and SF electroclash hotties Gravy Train!!!! 415-621-4455. (Stefanie Kalem)

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