Elton John conceived of his new album The Union as a vehicle to reassert Leon Russell's place in the rock firmament. Russell, who duets with John on the album, on both vocals and piano, helped pioneer the bluesy piano rock sound that John made his stock in trade. Russell was even instrumental in launching John's career in the U.S. In the intervening decades, John's career skyrocketed, making him the third best-selling pop act in the land, after only the Beatles and Madonna. Russell, meanwhile, toiled in relative obscurity, and suffered from failing health. Certainly things are looking much, much better for the legend these days. Expect a festive Thanksgiving Eve concert. Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 8:30 p.m. The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $25. Call 703-237-0300 or visit thestatetheatre.com.