Kirk Whalum and Brian Simpson

Don’t miss the best chance to hear saxophonist Kirk Whalum and pianist Brian Simpson up close and personal in today’s CD signing and performance. Whalum, who used to call Houston home before he left us for the bright lights of fame, recently released Ultimate Kirk Whalum, which covers some diverse ground. “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” is immediately followed by “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” Okay, that’s a bit of a reach, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Whalum. (This performance and CD signing are a preview to Whalum’s appearance at the Verizon Theater with the “Guitars & Saxes Tour” next Friday.) Whalum’s labelmate Brian Simpson releases Above the Clouds later this week. The album features Dave Koz, George Duke, the late Michael Brecker and, not surprisingly, Kirk Whalum. Only Simpson’s third release in 12 years, Above the Clouds already has a good buzz going.
Wed., Aug. 29, 7 p.m.

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