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Geri Allen is hard to pin down. The Howard University alumnus falls under the jazz pianist umbrella but can play anything from a ballad to a standard to her own luscious compositions—accompanied, solo, or in a big band. More than a pianist, Allen is a thoroughly versatile surrealist. Her not-quite-avant-garde approach strikes a difficult balance of blues and gospel roots—jazz’s meat and potatoes—with a supplement of eerie dissonances and luxurious, out-of-step rhythms. To be a well-rounded, traditionally anchored pianist who forges an individualistic style is the holy grail of the working jazz musician. The pianists who pull it off are among the best: Hines, Tatum, Basie, Monk, Hancock. If Geri Allen isn’t on that list, she should be. 8 p.m. $25–$35.