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JULY 28

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Sekou Sundiata is not a new-jack R&B crooner. And he’s not a horn-playing, lady-slaying jazzman either. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and suave, with a baritone that’ll make you drop your drawers and slap your mama. Take a good look. He’s a poet. And the brotha is bad. Not only does he work that baritone, but he writes with a deft lyricism saturated in the canon of black literature and music. Anyone present at the recent benefit performance for Gaston Neal can attest that his performance of “Space,” a brilliant, rambling political monologue from his choreopoem “The Circle Unbroken Is a Hard Bop” drew a standing ovation. While I prefer him a cappella, he’s quite adept at blending poetry and live music, as he’ll do tonight with his ensemble, the Body of the Poem. They’ll no doubt perform selections from his debut CD, The Blue Oneness of Dreams, which offers blues, jazz—straight ahead and smooth—and some classic soul, too. At 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $13. (202) 337-4141. (Holly Bass)