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29

SUNDAY

With avant-garde music come preconceptions: It’s uneasy, noisy, and often inaccessible. With the German avant-garde, even more arrive: It’s dark, cold, and totally inaccessible. While German expat pianist and current Chicago resident Georg Gräwe has lived up to both stereotypes in the past, his new album puts them to bed with what must sound like lullabies to hard-core lovers of new music. Melodie und Rhythmus genuinely swings, with Gräwe’s mixture of clean, Lennie Tristano-like melody lines and Andrew Hill’s crackling harmonic shifts leading his quartet’s way. Together for just over a year and a half, the Georg Gräwe Quartet displays the relaxed interaction of a much longer-standing group. Windy City experimentalists Kent Kessler (bass) and Hamid Drake (percussion) confidently roll with Gräwe’s and reedist and fellow German Frank Gratkowski’s classical-inflected improvisations, making for a wonderful cultural and sonic meld. At 8 p.m. at George Washington University’s Phillips Hall, 801 22nd St. NW. $10. (202) 994-6245. (Christopher Porter)