Over the past two decades, Adam Levy's ear for a timeless composition has grown to scholarly proportions. Whether it's rock 'n' roll with the Honeydogs, funk and soul via Hookers $ Blow, Rose Room's swing and Tin Pan Alley vibe, or going off on a psychedelic jazz excursion for a Liminal Phase show, Levy has aligned with musicians who also bask in the bliss of a well-penned song. Three years in the making, Our Postmortem is an introduction to And the Professors, yet another side of Levy's astute and versatile artistry. The pairing of Levy's Randy Newman-inspired witticisms and meditations with a string quartet scooped from the Minnesota Opera Orchestra — cellist Rebecca Arons, violinists Conor O'Brien and Margaret Humphrey, and violist Susan Janda — makes for an epic and catchy listen. Imagine a Wes Anderson film score with the Mississippi River flowing through it. Add gifted friends and past collaborators in keyboardist deVon Gray, drummer Joey Van Phillips, bassist Trent Norton, and vocalists Bethany Larson and Aby Wolf filling out these arrangements, and these Professors have plenty to teach us. With Farewell Continental, and Ben Rosenbush & the Brighton.
Thu., Oct. 24, 7 p.m., 2013