"We enjoy each other as people; we get along and play music we love," Yellowjackets bassist and cofounder Jimmy Haslip says about the band's famous longevity. "We seem to have a common goal, and that makes it easy to travel and perform together."

Existing for more than 25 years since they first assembled as a supporting band for guitarist Robben Ford, the Yellowjackets have, as expected, gone through various lineup changes. The current formation, which includes Haslip, Marcus Baylor (drums), cofounder Russell Ferrante (keys), and Bob Mintzer (saxophones), has been together for roughly seven years. Their latest release, Twenty Five (Heads Up), was recorded in Paris during a 2005 European tour, and released in May last year.

Live, the band plays an energetic set that shows various musical influences, which stems from the fact that the members all have individual careers as sidemen and bandleaders. "We are not jazz snobs," explains Haslip. "This is an experimental group, and we get inspiration and motivation from what we feel good about, and we write music accordingly."

For their two-night residence at Sandoval's, their repertoire will be accordingly eclectic, spanning straight-ahead jazz, pop, and ethnic music, Haslip says. "The audience will come in for an enjoyable evening," he concludes.

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Ernest Barteldes