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17

F R I D A Y

All the samples on US3‘s Hand on the Torch are from venerable Blue Note recordings (by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Donald Byrd, and Thelonious Monk), while the raps recycle familiar old-school self-respect themes, even directly quoting Run-DMC’s “It’s Like That.” There’s no mistaking the creamy groove of masterminds Mel Simpson and Geoff Wilkinson, though: It’s British, and smooth neo-jazz/post-hop tracks like “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” are definitely more London than New York. At 9:30 p.m. at the Ritz, 919 E St. NW. $10. (202) 638-2582. (MJ)