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On a roll

The Derek Trucks Band has developed into perhaps the pre-eminent improvisational "rock"-based ensemble out there. Though at its core is a deep understanding of the blues, and though funk, R&B, soul, country and psychedelic music are elements of its collective style, the DTB has by this point grown to accommodate the expanding interests and abilities of its members.

In the case of Trucks himself, this means that a penchant for trance-like, rhapsodic modal guitar soloing -- at once suggesting Indian classical music and the improvisational searching-in-real-time of late-period John Coltrane -- has become a regular part of each of the band's shows. It's almost becoming old news to suggest that Trucks is the most ambitious and actualized electric guitarist extant, but because he refuses to become static and stationary, clearly espousing the Coltrane-likie ethic of deep immersion in musical study and disciplined practice, the Trucks you encountered six months ago is not the Trucks you'll encounter today. Which is a way of suggesting that the dude just keeps getting better and more interesting as time goes by.

That's a beautiful thing, and it doesn't only apply to Trucks -- each member of his continuously impressive band has a living, breathing relationship with his muse. This is sure to be apparent both on stage, and when the DTB releases its new studio album, "Already Free," in January.

The Derek Trucks Band returns to the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Sunday. Remaining tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

-- Jeff Miers

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