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Pharoah Sanders 

When: Fri., Jan. 2, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Jan. 3, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 4, 2 & 7 p.m. 2009
Price: $18-$28, kids' matinee $5

Tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders is one of those strange, mystic jazzmen who never quite left the '70s behind -- his 2002 engagement at Yoshi's started off with a gong and some kind of spiritual chant. He's known for wearing a kufi and incorporating spoken word into his sets. For a regular jazz musician, such antics would seem a little anachronistic. But a horn player of Sanders' caliber can do whatever he wants. A disciple of Coltrane who launched his career in Oakland and made his name on the 1965 Impulse record Ascension, Sanders is one of the greatest living saxophone players in the world. He's a rigorous technician with a boundless imagination, and no inhibitions whatsoever. Pharoah Sanders performs at Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) Friday through Sunday, Jan. 2-4. $18-$28. Yoshis.com


— Rachel Swan

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