Notes From A Friday Night

Posted on Jul 19, 2012

Last Friday night, I was running around taking care of business but I managed to catch some music along the way around San Francisco.  My friends at La Bohemia Productions presented Paris based Sergent Garcia who rocked the trendy Mezzanine club with this latin Reggae world groove.  He cheerfully led the crowd who was dancing to his raggamuffin beat.  His rhymes flowing on top of his anthemic funky dance hall salsa-fied sound.

On the other side of the city, the outside air was in a cold mist and the music hot at the Fillmore Plaza stage of the Salsa Festival At The Fillmore last weekend.  The festival was produced by Roy Bennett with assistance from Neftali Rosado (leader of Pa’l Bailador).  I caught Carlos Del Sol leading a blistering salsa all-stars ensemble featuring renowned timbalero Louie Romero, trumpeter Julius Melendez, pianist Marco Diaz, bassist Saul Sierra, trombonist Jaime get the idea.  Salsa Dura was on the menu as vocalist Del Sol served it up as he fronted this band with swing.   Del Sol makes an engaging frontman blessed with his idol looks and fine voice.  He was joined by another fine vocalist singing lead on the other tunes.

Grupo Bakkan also was on fire with their commercial brand of Salsa with three vocalists led by Toni Neito.  And the multi-cultural Bay Area crowd agreed with that assessment by packing the Yoshi’s lounge dance floor as Bakkan put out the hits.  Veteran sonero Fito Reinoso shook the Rasselas spacious back room with his blazing Cuban son, salsa and timba.   Backed by the latest version of his long running band “Ritmo Y Armonia”, Reinoso stretched out the tunes until the dancers had to totally surrender to his ectastic sound.

Somewhere in-between everything, I went to support the KPFA sponsored event featuring veteran English roots rocker James Hunter.  He seduced the Bimbos 365 crowd with his retro 50’s-60’s blue-eyed English soul.  Hunter was a master craftsman at working the crowd with deep soul pouring out of his voice on every tune.  His vocal chops and tasty guitar work drove the tight band to higher ground.