The Jack Brass Band’s claim that it is the only New Orleans-style brass ensemble hailing from Minneapolis is undoubtedly true. Despite being from that northern metropolis, many folks around the Crescent City are familiar with the group from its frequent visits here to gig and absorb the music that has been core to its sound.
To be perfectly clear, the Jack Brass digs into the modern, hot style of brass bands carried on by bands like the Rebirth and the Soul Rebels. It, however, tends to bring more contemporary rhythm and blues into the mixture rather than hip-hop, as is illustrated on the first cut Usher’s 2010 hit, “There Goes My Baby.” True to New Orleans brass-band form, the sousaphone kicks off the tune before the drums come in to further the second line rhythm. The trumpets scream the high notes before a jazz-wise saxophone solo. One thing is for sure—these guys can play, though the vocals could still use a bit more fine-tuning.
The Jack Brass Band often takes on the quality of a very tight, small orchestra as heard on the Michael Jackson chart-topper “All I Do.” The music goes from the streets to the stage with the addition of percussion and mellow material like “Let’s Stay Together.”
The Jack Brass Band’s sound on For Your Body, the title of which is assumed to be derived from the lyrics of “Hey Pocky A-Way,” comes the closest to New Orleans’ modern style of brass-band music as any group has yet to venture.