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In Artsplosure 

A progressive rock drummer with good taste? An oxymoron, right? Not so fast--the percussionist in question is Bill Bruford, the dapper Brit best known for defining the big beat for ageless art-rockers King Crimson. Bruford's resume includes early Yes (remember the rolling thunder rim shots of "Roundabout"?) as well playing on the latter-day Crimson classic, Discipline, which features cyclical patterns borrowed from West Africa executed with smart-ass prog precision. These days, however, the 52-year-old rhythmist has been stroking less rock and more jazz. Co-starring former Chick Corea standout Tim Garland on R&B-flavored sax, Bruford's Earthworks, a dyed-in-the-wool jazz quartet, will swing the streets as part of Artsplosure. The crazed Crimson faithful who show up expecting the bombast of "21st Century Schizoid Man" should leave the earplugs at home and prepare for Bruford unplugged. Expect lots of nifty acoustic improv reprised from the brand new double-CD, Footloose and Fancy Free, which accents the drummer as composer. Bru's brainy tunes run with the sort of odd-metered lope reminiscent of Dave Brubeck's piano jazz of yesteryear, updated by an occasional backbeat and flashy, high-energy solos. See him Sunday, May 19, as a part of downtown Raleigh's Artsplosure events. The fest, from May 16-19, will feature a variety of events and music acts ranging from Latin (Bio Ritmo), to blues (Rory Block) to honky-tonk (Greg Hawks & The Tremblers). Visit www.artsplosure.org for a full list of events. --Joe Vanderford

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