The San Francisco Repertory Jazz Quartet is a tough, gutsy and consistently inspired band dedicated to exploring a treasure trove of overlooked tunes.
Led by tenor saxophonist Patrick Wolff, the group plays compositions by mostly forgotten masters of the 1950s and ’60 like pianist Elmo Hope and saxophonists Lucky Thompson and Clifford Jordan. While the music all falls within the modern jazz mainstream of the era, each tune is rife with idiosyncratic details that make it a welcome revelation.
“From about 1955 to 1968 was a golden age of jazz composition,” says Wolff, who brings the SFRJQ to Cafe Stritch on May 31. “There was too much music for people to really take it in at the time, and some of these tunes were only recorded once. We’re trying to take the time to actually explore them.”
Wolff is rooted in the bebop tradition, with a long history in the New York City jazz scene. He has worked with Matt Wilson, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Peter Bernstein, Grant Stewart, Josh Roseman, Dena DeRose, and many other jazz greats. Since moving to San Francisco in 2009, Wolff has appeared regularly with Marcus Shelby, Adam Shulman, and Diana Gameros.
With four albums released under his name, Patrick also leads a sextet playing his original compositions. He teaches at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and College of San Mateo, and hosts a weekly show on KCSM 91.1 FM ("Have You Heard") exploring the work of emerging and underrated jazz artists.