Arturo Sandoval at Yoshi’s

We decided to check out Arturo Sandoval at Yoshi’s in Oakland last Friday. It’s been ages since I’ve been there and when I heard Arturo Sandoval would be playing, I had to check it out. The evening started with some wicked weather and a long wait to get into the venue. Since our schedules have been hectic lately, we decided to skip the dinner reservations at Yoshi’s – that was definitely a mistake. The priority seating and the warm, dry dinning room would have been preferable to the cold wet line outside. Luckily Yoshi’s has a nice overhang but the wind was blowing pretty bad that night. If you decide to go, do yourself a favor and eat there before the show. Since we were still waiting to get in around 10:15 (they say doors will open at 9:45) I expected a nice long show when we got in.

The set was really enjoyable, with a nice mix of jazz as well as a few holiday songs to keep the Christmas spirit going. Arturo’s trumpet and piano playing was inspiring as usual. It’s really amazing that he has such a strong command of the two instruments. He had a guest vocalist from somewhere on the Peninsula, either San Mateo or Redwood City (I can’t remember). She started out pretty strong but was off key a bunch of times and seemed to have trouble harmonizing. Being only 16 years old, I’m sure she’ll improve with age. My only disappointment came when the set was over. It was really short – only about a hour and fifteen minutes. We only got two “real” jazz songs in with the rest being fun holiday songs, the guest singer, and Arturo playing around with a vocal solo. When I see a artist I really enjoy I’m usually left wanting more, however this time we really didn’t get enough. No encore, nothing.

On a more positive note, Arturo’s sax player was awesome. After hearing him, I really wish I had more time to get back in practice. It’s been too many years since I played. In any case, it was a great evening and need to try and get back to Yoshi’s more often.

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