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James Farm 

When: Fri., May 25, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., May 26, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., May 27, 7 & 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $26, $30

Although the name doesn't yet have wide currency in jazz circles, James Farm is a veritable supergroup. Its default leader, saxophonist Joshua Redman, is a Berkeley High alum, son of the late avant-garde composer Dewey Redman, and 1991 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, which is widely regarded as a forum for choosing the best young musicians in the world. His James Farm bandmate Aaron Parks took third place in the 2006 piano iteration. The other members, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland, served with Redman in SFJAZZ Collective, and are known for their intuitive playing and introspective composition styles. And it shows on James Farm's recordings, which are harmonically dense and sometimes confrontational, but also full of funky drumming and light, jaunty grooves. The band members pride themselves on having a wandering palette, meaning the mix has influences from rock, blues, hip-hop, and R&B, even if jazz is their basic template. You can hear all those raw materials in their songs, and the result is pretty satisfying. James Farm plays at Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) Friday through Sunday, May 25-27. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Sun. 7 p.m.; $13-$30.

— Rachel Swan


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