Archive for June 2nd, 2010

Brian Culbertson – XII

On July 20, 2010, chart-topping musician Brian Culbertson will release the twelfth album of his multi-faceted career, simply titled XII, on GRP Records.

Culbertson commemorates his twelfth release with 12 new songs that continue to reflect his broad-ranging musicality and mastery of intimate moods. The titles swing from the rapturous metaphorically rich love ballad “Skies Wide Open” (featuring R&B singing star Avant), the sexy bedroom baby-maker “I Wanna Love You” (featuring singer/guitarist Ray Parker Jr.), the strings-kissed dance jam “Another Love” (featuring 21st century soul man Kenny Lattimore) and the cool club persuader “Out On the Floor” (featuring balladeer supreme Brian McKnight) to the slammin’ attitude jam “Don’t U Know Me By Now” (featuring powerhouse Faith Evans), a journey through the many moods of being entitled “That’s Life” (featuring Earl Klugh who co-penned it along with fellow Detroit native Parker and Culbertson), a think piece on the meaning of it all titled “I Don’t Know” (featuring spoken word enchantress Natalie Stewart of Floetry), and an all-out Go-Go party jam titled “Feelin’ It” (featuring the man who put Washington, D.C. Go-Go Music on the map, Chuck Brown in addition to a comedic appearance by Sinbad).

Four more instrumentals round out the album, including the lovely dreamscape “Waiting for You” and the incredibly funky “Stay Wit It” on which he takes a rippin’ Moog solo. It was while in the act of Twittering about the making of his latest creation that Culbertson decided to simply title the project XII (Twelve). “I was just noticing that there are a lot of ’12s’ in my life,” Brian muses … “I was born on January 12, I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 12 years now and have been married to my beautiful wife Michelle for 12 years. There are 12 notes on the piano … and it was at the age of 12 that I knew I was going to be a professional musician.”

As he started work on the album, Brian thought of yet another way to make his fans a part of the creative process in a brilliant extension of the DVD he created last year, Live From The Inside. “I decided to create a video blog to give fans a chance to watch me make the album from start to finish. Almost daily, they could watch me execute and explain every step of the process, plus see me in sessions with all of my amazingly talented friends. The response has been phenomenal with many people tuning in every day to see what I’m up to. To ‘Twitter’ about the project, I labeled the topic #BCXII. Someone said that would be a great title for the album, so it stuck.”

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Eric Darius – On A Mission

Saxophonist and composer Eric Darius is on a mission. “I want my music to be a vehicle for change and to transcend boundaries from age to race. I believe my music can make a difference in the world,” states the commanding and strikingly handsome 20-something musician, composer, and performer, known for his dynamic and exhilarating live shows. Darius’ explosive arrival on the contemporary jazz scene at age 17 caused a frenzy.

This was not a surprise as the ambitious saxophonist, who has shared the stage with everyone from Prince and Wynton Marsalis, to George Benson and Brian McKnight, had just released an auspicious recording debut and several years prior had already made an appearance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Garnering accolades from critics, musicians and fans alike, there seemed to be a consensus that this young man was bringing a sense of history but yet a youthful and forward-thinking approach to the genre.

Eric Darius, who has scored a #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts and several top ten hits, has steadily proven to be anything but your typical ‘smooth jazz guy.’ The savvy business school grad, whose ipod features a mix of everyone from John Coltrane and Bob Marley to Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones and Alicia Keys, confesses, “Contemporary jazz is the genre that has embraced my music, but I see myself as a musician first. I play every style of music from Jazz, R&B, Pop and Reggae to Hip-hop, Rock and Gospel. As I continue to evolve and grow musically, it’s the journey to explore new things that keeps me excited and hungry to do what I do.”

On June 29, 2010, Eric Darius will release his Shanachie Entertainment debut, On A Mission. Danny Weiss, VP of Jazz A&R for Shanachie states, “If you think of jazz as a wonderful tree whose trunk is its great tradition and whose branches are the never ending innovations of its young disciples, then Eric Darius is the newest branch of that tree. He can swing like the masters and funk like a hip-hopper; truly the blossoming of tomorrow’s jazz.” The seeds have been sown and Eric Darius unearths his talents not only as a saxophonist, but equally important, as a composer and co-producer on On A Mission. His fifth album as a leader features all originals with the exception of Herbie Hancock’s classic Headhunters tune “Butterfly” and a new original from Pieces of a Dream’s James Lloyd.

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Milton Ruffin – Bassic Principal

Milton Ruffin presents his debut album Bassic Principal. This recording is a blend of smooth jazz, instrumental gospel and traditional jazz with a unique flavor of inspiration that will make it difficult to stop listening. The compositions are pleasing, and clever for a bass solo project.

Milton Ruffin, a Youngstown, Ohio native, comes from a family of talented musicians, notably his cousin, the late David Ruffin, of the world famous Temptations. As an accomplished performer, composer and arranger, Ruffin has worked with such famous musicians as Lou Rawls, Jennifer Holiday, Rusty Bryant, Eric Gale, Keith Pringle, Keith Dobbins, Cameo, Rick James, Melvin Williams and many more. He has produced arrangements for the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

Enough said? Then listen to his album at CDBaby.