By Rachel Levin, Sunset associate travel editor
It was a sea of blazers, beautiful people, and cocktail servers delivering stiff martinis —along with low-sodium soy and Rainbow Rolls—to the sold-out crowd at Yoshi’s opening night on Wednesday.
Folks of all ages filed in— $100 tickets in hand—to San Francisco’s swank new two-story jazz club, anchoring tenant of the $75 million Fillmore Heritage Center. A construction worker fiddled in the yet-to-be-finished foyer, and the adjoining sushi restaurant was still days from opening, but no one cared. We were here for a celebratory night of jazz—and to toast the Fillmore District’s return to its swinging 1950s roots.
Legendary 82-year-old drummer Roy Haynes, all smiles in brown velvet pants, assembled the super-star septet “Birds of Feather” especially for opening night: pianist David Kikoski, bassist John Patitucci, saxophonist Kenny Garret, double-fisting vibraphonist Gary Burton, trumpter Nicholas Payton, plus tenor sax Ravi Coltrane (son of John). The group packed plenty of energy into their hour-and-a-half set (with another show scheduled for 10 p.m.), riffing on everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Charlie Parker— moving the audience to their feet and begging for more.
“Ah, I love it!” Haynes cried into the mic, following Ravi Coltrane’s soulful sax rendition of Thelonious Monk’s “Ask Me Now.”
So do we.