At noon on what's turned out to be San Francisco's nicest day in quite awhile, I walked out of the building where I work and a band called Little Brown Brother
was just beginning their hour-long set. We have a concert here once a week as part of the People in Plazas
music festival. I remembered looking at the schedule and Little Brown Brother labeled as a Pinoy Jazz band. That left me kind of curious because I'd never heard of such a genre of music. Turns out, judging by this band at least, to rest firmly in that super comfortable zone between War
's slower, Latin-tinged jams and the Latin jazz funk of Willie Bobo. I thought they were really good, especially the rhythm section, anchored by Ben Luis on bass and two tight percussionists.
Their web site states they're aiming for a Filipino audience but I can't really understand why. The diverse audience who gathered for the show really like the band. They can play, and they're playing music which originates from a fusion of a few different musical cultures with an appeal to a wide cross-section of music fans. Why put a tag on that because 5 out the six guys in the band are Filipino? I don't really get it, but Little Brown Brother's a solid pinoy jazz band only because they say so.
If you asked me, I'd say they're a solid Latin-jazz band with a funky rhythm section that's worth checking out. They ended the set with a tasty version of Wille Bobo's "Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries," which they revamped into their more culturally appropriate "Fried Lumpia and Some Steamed Rice." I would have just stuck with the original order from the menu, thank you.
And speaking of checking things out, take a look at this super cool low rider bike this dude rode up on just as the band was getting started. It put a huge smile on my face: