They're unsung heroes of this whole scenario."
The long-ago memories from San Francisco's jazz club past sound like misty urban legends. Bop City, for instance, was the spot where Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker played. Saxophonist John Handy was just 18 when he joined John Coltrane onstage. Across town in North Beach, Miles Davis recorded his first live album at the Blackhawk. Charles Mingus recorded one of his best live LPs at the Jazz Workshop, and Adderly got famous from the one he recorded there. Do you remember Sun Ra's expansive band flowing off the tiny stage at Keystone Korner? Jazz fans may have to resign themselves to the fact that it may never be like that again.
But there's a San Francisco jazz continuum that includes those clubs, writers like the late Phil Elwood, producers such as Orrin Keepnews, and musicians including Joe Henderson, to name just a few. There have been many other forgotten heroes and great moments. And even though CD sales have slumped in recent years, reflecting the faltering music industry as a whole, there are as many good musicians around as ever, and most observers think an audience is there as well. For any live music scene to work, there have to be the players, the audience, and the venue to bring them together, and Yoshi's hopes to do that for the Fillmore. "I just hope the Bay Area jazz community will band together, check this out, and make it work," Williams says. "It's a huge undertaking. It's going to be a beautiful room, there'll be beautiful music, and if people come, it'll be a success."
ROY HAYNES AND YOSHI'S BIRDS OF A FEATHER SUPER BAND
Nov. 28, 8 and 10 p.m., $100
1330 Fillmore, SF