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FRIDAY

While Laurent de Wilde sounds like the nom de guerre of a French heavy-metaler, it’s actually the given name of a Gallic pianist and author. De Wilde makes two American debuts this fall: His CD Spoon-a-Rhythm marks his first U.S. release, and Monk, his book about Thelonious, gets an English translation. Though he does the 4-millionth version of “‘Round Midnight,” Spoon-a-Rhythm is thankfully not a tie-in to his text. By concentrating instead on his own compositions, de Wilde is at least trying to establish himself as something more than just another Euroboy with good taste in covers. He has a light touch at the keys (his chordal stabs are more like caresses) and a springy rhythmic sense reminiscent of his celebrated countryman Jacky Terrasson, though with considerably more restraint. See de Wilde make his debut in the City of Blight today at 12:30 p.m. at the World Bank Auditorium, 600 19th St. NW. FREE. (202) 458-2838; and tonight at 8 & 10 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW. $5. (202) 842-1300. (Christopher Porter)