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Pharoah Sanders and The Cookers 

When: Wed., June 20, 8 & 10 p.m. and Thu., June 21, 8 & 10 p.m. 2012
Price: $20, $22

It was definitely a bold move for Yoshi's to book hard-bop septet The Cookers within days of tenor-sax legend Pharoah Sanders, especially considering the mounting pressure on local jazz venues to diversify their programming. Yoshi's, which runs large clubs on both sides of the bay, has stayed afloat by dint of its shrewd business model, and a few calculated risks. At the same time, though, a calendar full of old-school headliners shows the club's commitment to jazz. Sanders, who plays Friday through Sunday, June 15-17 ($22, $32), is a veritable titan. He collaborated with Coltrane, impressed Ornette Coleman, turned the ommmm sound into a signature, and pretty much spearheaded that squeaky, squawky style we now associate with free-jazz. The Cookers follow on Wednesday and Thursday, June 20-21 ($20, $25), with a lineup featuring all the post-bop royalty whose names appear on "art" records of the Sixties and Seventies: saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeters David Weiss and Eddie Henderson, alto saxophonist Craig Handy, pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Billy Hart. Any one of those musicians would be a hot ticket on his own -- too see them on one stage will be remarkable. All shows happen at Oakland Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland).

— Rachel Swan


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