Thor Jensen Jazz Organization plays the Knick

Guitarist Thor Jensen leads his jazz group into Westerly.

Is it too romantic to suggest that, at one time or another, almost everyone will read a biography of someone and come away inspired or transformed in some fundamental fashion?

It was that way with me when I couldn't put down Snooki's book. (Remember her?)

Just kidding.

It does happen, though, in a meaningful way. Seven years ago, eminent local guitarist Thor Jensen, renowned for his work in the jam band Incognito Sofa Love and in Americana acts Daphne Lee Martin and Quiet Life, read a biography of gypsy jazz guitarist Dhanjo Reinhardt. It significantly changed his musical focus.

Since, Jensen has immersed himself in the study of jazz - particularly Reinhardt, gypsy and French jazz, and Louis Armstrong - and has started the Thor Jensen Jazz Organization. The band, which debuts Friday at the Knickerbocker Cafe, offers clever twists on instrumentation and arrangements of Eastern European jazz as well as standards from the repertoire. I guarantee you this band will make you very happy.

- RICK KOSTER

Thor Jensen Jazz Organization, 8 p.m. Friday, the Knickerbocker Cafe, 35 Railroad Ave., Westerly; $10; (401) 315-5070, theknick-erbockercafe.com.

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