Brian Culbertson - Nice & Slow
large number of Smooth Jazz fans will be familiar with the keyboard-led
sounds of Brian Culbertson’s music.
His music is maturing
into a true fusion of jazz and soul styles.
His love of jazz came from his father, a high-school jazz band
director and trumpeter.
you’ve ever heard this phenomenon live, you’ll know how crazy the
crowd goes when the trombone comes out – Heaven knows what we’d do
if he played drums and bass during his act too.
and Slow is the sixth solo album and
existing fans (like me with the other five CD’s sitting on my rack)
will not be disappointed. There
is a very strong group of supporting musicians here and the compositions
are extremely strong. Unless
you’re going to run out right now and buy it, here are my
Just Another Day
is a lazy introduction to this CD.
The groove is mellow and the major talents of Jeff Lorber and
vintage trumpeter Herb Alpert make this a classy rather than dynamic
One of the reasons I love
Culbertson’s music is the retro feel he introduces without it ever
Get It On is a 70’s title and
this mid-tempo dancer is smile-inducing. A real feelgood song.
Nice and Slow,
the title track, shows some real soul class and the stylish vocals of
Sheree and Trey Lorenz would make superb single material.
If anything catapults Brian into the limelight within the R&B
world, this has to be it!
The saxophone of Dave Koz
is featured on the dreamy I Could Get used
An instrumental ballad of very high quality.
Your Love, I was aware of Ricky Peterson
on the Hammond B3 organ for the first time but reading the sleeve notes
shows his major contribution on this disc.
The organ never gets in the way of that crystal-clear piano
though and this track makes room for moody guitar licks and some
The album’s second
vocal track Someone
features Kenny Lattimore – right in the modern R&B groove – here
that piano is really taking second place.
Prelude to Together
Tonight/Together Tonight is my
favourite piece on the album. A
late-night slow dance, wrapped in a whisper of strings with the most
subtle accents on the bass, guitar and some tasty percussion from Lenny
Castro. I just put this on
“repeat” and unwind. Culbertson
at his best.
The acoustic guitar which
opens the strutting All About You
is a surprise and the song grows on you.
You’ll hear Brian’s wife Michelle on backing vocals – the
album is dedicated to her. Lucky
Which smooth jazz fan has
not heard Kirk Whalum’s supreme tenor sax?
Enjoy it on I Wanna Know.
The intensity of the ballad builds during it’s almost 7-minute
length. Does it get much
better than this? Real
drums make one of their rare appearances on this song and they sound
The final track is a bonus mix of Someone.
The rhythm track is less busy than on the “standard” version
and the vocal shines through.
There is no radical departure from previous albums – vocals are featured more strongly than before and the progression is a gradual one. I never tire of Culbertson’s music – it’s like eating my favourite food. Why is that? It’s just GOOD.
Atlantic Records 83444 –
Executive Producer Guy Eckstine