Jazz, Lounge, & Cabaret

Ahmad Jamal

When: Dec. 10-12, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 13, 2 & 7 p.m. 2009

It’s not every day that you get to check out a specter from the past in a modern San Francisco nightclub, but pianist Ahmad Jamal makes a habit of visiting Yoshi’s year after year after year, usually without a huge marketing engine behind him. Famous for his lean solos and imaginative harmonies, Jamal rarely smears chords or bobbles phrases. More importantly, he knows the value of space. Jamal generally favors the basic piano-bass-drum trio format, which he used in such classic albums as At the Pershing: But Not for Me and Poinciana (both featuring Israel Crosby on bass and Vernel Fournier on drums). He’ll perform a spare but beautiful set this weekend at Yoshi’s (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) with percussionist Manolo Badrena, James Cammack on bass, and Stephen Williams on drums. Most likely, Jamal will conduct the band from his piano. Thursday, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 12, 8 & 10 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 13, 2 & 7 p.m. Yoshis.com

Rachel Swan

Price: $22-$30

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