Archive for May, 2012

Brian Culbertson – Dreams

If you haven’t heard, Brian Culbertson is releasing a new album called Dreams on June 12, 2012. The new album is packed with brand new songs from Brian, and Brian brought in guest vocalists Vivian Green, Noel Gourdin and Stokley Williams of Mint Condition to masterfully mix jazz with some R&B flair! Listen to snippets at Brian’s website or at soundcloud.

The result is a stunning collection of 10 mesmerizing tunes, including the poignant lead single “Still Here” — featuring the soulful rapture of Vivian Green, telling the passionate tale of how taking a risk on love can have a happy ending. “Your Smile,” the album’s lead jazz single, is an exquisite rhythmic excursion underscored with an undeniable buoyant groove. Brian recruited the R&B vocal prowess of singer Stokley Williams to enhance the melodic elegance of “No Limits,” whose romantic lyrics accentuate the thrill of actualizing an altruistic union. On “You’re My Music,” Boston-based singer Noel Gourdin pours his thick, soulful vocals over both Brian’s shimmering piano chords and bass guitar licks.

Dreams was arranged by esteemed R&B producer and longtime collaborator Rex Rideout (Angie Stone, Ledisi, Luther Vandross, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Kem) while also calling on four of R&B’s top session players to help round out the sound: bassist Alex Al (Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones) and guitarists Michael Thompson (Babyface, Toni Braxton), Rob Bacon (Beyoncé, Raphael Saadiq), and John “Jubu” Smith (Frankie Beverly & Maze, Whitney Houston).

Brian has released his 4-track EP Dreams featuring several of the album’s stellar tracks, “Your Smile,” “Later Tonight,” “Still Here” f/ Vivian Green and “No Limits” f/ Stokley Williams. The EP serves as a delectable audio appetizer for Brian’s full length album due out this Summer 2012.

With the concept of Dreams, Brian felt enraptured in a vivid sequence of thoughts, images, and sensations — a lifelike realm where radiant colors, sounds, and illusions intersect, creating the most vibrant experience.

“Last summer, I just started having these really vivid dreams, I was waking up inspired to get into the studio and write songs. Songs that made me feel like those dreams. On this whole record, I really concentrated on piano melodies that were really catchy and emotional. Melodies that tried to take you somewhere. On a little musical journey, if you will.”

Having worked with an array of stellar R&B artists such as Faith Evans, Ledisi, Brian McKnight, Kenny Lattimore, Musiq Soulchild and Avant on his past albums — in total, Brian has produced or performed on over 25 No. 1 records, topping the Billboard Charts, regularly appearing as the opening act for Barry Manilow, lauded by Prince, and received six Oasis Jazz Awards.

Upcoming events and tours include the already sold-out Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, taking place between June 7-10th. Celebrating the finest in wine, food, art, and music in the heart of California’s rich viticultural Napa valley, guests of the festival will be entertained by Brian and a host of special guests and fellow recording artists including comedian Sinbad, pianist David Benoit, saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Eric Darius, and vocalists Kenny Lattimore and Oleta Adams. Brian will also head out on tour with legendary jazz saxophonist David Sanborn during a 30-date stop appropriately titled The Dream Tour which will take place at an array of venues including wineries, cruises, casinos and festivals between June 17th and September 22nd.

2012 is certain to be a pivotal turning point in Brian’s illustrious career. Dreams holds the key to a new dimension of the jazz listening experience by effortlessly combining elements of R&B and soul with spellbinding melodies and the marvel of inner visions. With Dreams, as with his previous efforts, Brian proceeds to keep the genre of jazz alive and viable by consistently injecting a fresh approach into his own unique sensibility. Dreams definitely proves that jazz and groove fit hand-in-glove.


Mike DeRose & Jason Weber – 1st Avenue Reunion

Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1994 Jason Weber is since a long time an integral part of the San Diego jazz scene. He started his solo career with 1st AVENUE in 1997, followed by Leap of Faith (1999), Something Blue (2002), Can U Feel Me Now? (2005) and in 2009 Five. He also collaborated with guitarist Michael Rosati on the album Bringin’ It (2011).

His newest collaboration is with  guitarist Mike DeRose, who already performed on Jason’s albums Something Blue and Five. Mike DeRose hails from the Midwest city of Racine, WI. Born & raised there he was drawn towards the guitar at an early age. Mike taught guitar for 20 years at a local music store, until recently when he decided to devote all of his time to recording and performing. To date Mike has appeared on several projects, as guest musician, for such artists as: Jason Weber, Bennett Carl, The Smooth Jazz All Stars, khalage, G. Womack. He has also recorded and released original material, and his own renditions of pop standards.

1st Avenue Reunion is now available at CDBaby.

John Raymond – Strength & Song

John Raymond is a New York-based trumpeter, composer and horn arranger. A 2009 college graduate, he debuts in powerful form with Strength & Song (Strength & Song Records, 2011), co-produced by fellow trumpeter Jon Faddis.

The ensemble consists of Raymond on trumpet and flugelhorn, Gilad Hekselman on guitar, Javier Santiago on piano and Fender Rhodes, Raviv Markovitz on bass and Cory Cox on drums.

“Onward,” featuring guest musician Gerald Clayton on piano, is a moving, yet easygoing piece. Clayton is out front much of the way, with subtle, but effective backup from the rhythm section. Raymond plays it cool during his middle solo, starting softly, and gradually building up.


Steve Oliver – World Citizen

Steve Oliver blew a passionate Global Kiss to fans everywhere on his 2010 album release, scoring two number 1 hits (Global Kiss and Fun In The Sun) on the Billboard chart. Further defining his unique role as a musical World Citizen. On his latest collection, the dynamic guitarist and vocalist keeps the universal spirit alive. On World Citizen, Oliver creates an amazing array of sounds with his guitar, guitar synth and voice (singing three lead vocals and many wordless passages), and introduces his skills on the violin on Fiesta.

He invites along several of the key musicians who made Global Kiss an invigorating triumph, including longtime collaborator, keyboardist Tom Schuman, and Trinidad born drummer/percussionist Bonny B (both from Spyro Gyra). Also making notable appearances are saxophonists Paul Taylor, Andrew Neu and Will Donato. Bassists Eddie Reddick, Donald Philips, KT Tyler and Billy Sherwood (from the legendary band Yes); and Moody Blues keyboardist Alan Hewitt on the Hammond B-3 organ on the funky and bluesy, brass splashed opening track Watching The World, which is the album s first single.

No Oliver recording would be complete without a batch of high energy tunes showcasing his infectious, husky lead vocals, which he delivers on World Citizen via How Will You Know (an incisive powerful song which questions ‘know it all types’ who speak of things they have never experienced themselves). The empowering soul-jazz anthem New Possibilities (featuring optimistic lyrics co-written by Oliver and Grammy winning singer/songwriter Jim Peterik, of Ides of March and Survivor fame).

Oliver comments: “I came up with the title World Citizen while I was recording Global Kiss and felt that the concept would lend itself to an expansive musical landscape and where I could really explore a lot of exciting and fertile territory as a composer. ” Steve has scored numerous airplay hits and nominations for Best New Artist and Best Guitar Player, both in the US and Canada. World Citizen is an amazing statement from a passionate Artist.

The album is available at Oliver’s website or at

Tomazz – Winter Chill

Thomas James Ackley aka Tomazz started his musical activity as recording engineer in the Philadelphia area. Boyz to Men and Grover Washington, Jr. counted to his clients. After his move to New York he worked at the famous Hit Factory Studios for artists including Celine Dion and Will Smith.

Since 2007 he releases solo projects like Orient Bay (2007), Chronicles (2008), Lucid Dream (2010) and Thinking About You (2010). His newest album is Winter Chill (2012), currently only available as download.

His album Lucid Dream received a rave review by smooth jazz ride author Ronald Jackson and Winter Chill is a keeper too. The album is like its predecessors very synth-oriented. Tomazz has written and recorded all tracks.


Various Artists – All Things Jazz (Globatone Radio Presents)

This exceptional compilation unites 14 superb and accomplished jazz artists in a well-orchestrated arrangement. Represented here are selections from the smooth, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz sub-genres as well as blues. Unique and diverse!

Thank You Marcus Miller by Paul “Sequence” Ferguson
Kalimba Dreaming by Gino Goss
My Brothers Keeper by Isaiah Williams
Retta’s Rhapsody by Bernard Rose
Under Fire by John Dubiel
Quiet Strength by Russel Blake
Skully!! by Dennis Bell
They That Wait by Joel Del Rosario
Angelic Eyes by Frank Piombo
If Miles Met Jimi by Russel Booker
Big Time by Derek Buchanan
Just One of Those Things by William Roch IV
Fresh Cup by Sean O’Bryan Smith
Grover Style by Rod Williams

Get it at CDBaby.


Zdany Chisholm – Genesis

Atlanta based saxophonist/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist /producer Zdany Chisholm is a native of Tampa, Florida. He began his melodic life as a tot beating on pot and pans in his mother’s kitchen. Inspired by his musical family, he has played his way from the kitchen floor, to churches, all throughout Europe. Every show was an opportunity to exploit his musical talents and further the development of his passion. Zdany is known mostly for his soulful and heart-felt sound and performances.

A graduate of Florida A&M University and a former member of the Marching 100, Zdany has performed for the mayor, other dignitaries, and the capital city residents with many great musicians, including his own band, Minor7even. He has performed at many weddings, parties, and charity events, like the Big Bend Back to School Community Experience, the Lincoln Center Health Awareness Block Party, MusicFest: Sounds of Hope – sponsored by the Refuge House for Victims of Domestic Violence, Jazz for Justice, a celebratory gala for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a 2008 Inauguration Gala for President Obama.

He has received numerous awards, nominations and accolades for his outstanding leadership, dedication and superior musicianship in his craft. He was a recipient of the much acclaimed John Phillip Sousa Award and the Gospel Music Workshop of America Award for Musicianship to name a couple. “Only what you do for Christ will last,” the humble man quotes his mother.

Zdany’s musical influences are great in number and are not genre specific. He believes that everyone from the greats to the not-so greats has a voice and something can be learned. However, he does have his list of inspirational favorites.

Zdany is currently the Saxophonist for Cody Chestnutt, whose music blends elements of rock, funk, soul, blues, and hip hop. Zdany recently performed at the legendary 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, sharing the stage with Larry Graham with Graham Central Station, and Bootsy Collins. Although he has been featured on several CD projects, Zdany’s debut album entitled “Genesis,” highlight his diverse musical and producing interest. The album offers a little something for everyone and will keep you moving and grooving at the same time. Genesis is just arrived at CDBaby.