Archive for the ‘ Funk ’ Category

Brian Culbertson – XX

Jazz/R&B keyboardist Brian Culbertson is not only successful in the area of smooth jazz. But he unfolds his primordial power when he pushes into the fields of Funk. With Bringing Back The Funk, released in 2008 on GRP Records, and Funk! on his own label in 2016 he has already set two milestones. His new album XX, so named because it’s his twentieth album, extends the spectrum in the spirit of his diversity.

A large number of musicians have participated in this very elaborate production. Bootsy Collins, Ray Parker Jr., Avery* Sunshine, Maze’s Jubu Smith, Everette Harp, Marcus Anderson, DW3, Byron “Mr. Talkbox” Chambers, Noel Gourdin, Patches Stewart, Paul Jackson Jr., Nicholas Cole, Eric Marienthal, Ricky Peterson, Alex Al, Michael Thompson, Khari Parker, Lenny Castro, Gerey Johnson, Chance Howard, Ouiwey Collins, Candice Cheatham and Derek “D.O.A.” Allen. Furthermore singer Micaela Haley (aka Michelle Culbertson, Brian’s wife) and a gospel choir.

The opener Get Up! is the right advice in our crisis-ridden time, an energy booster with strong horn insert (Michael Stever (trumpet), Marqueal Jordan (saxes), Brian Culbertson (trombone), Marcus Anderson (saxes)) is the best rocket fuel for Brian’s funk explosion.

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Brian Culbertson – XX

Instead of being on stage in Pittsburgh Friday night, one week into a planned 70+-date coast-to-coast concert tour set up to launch his milestone twentieth album release, the aptly titled “XX” (Roman numerals for twenty), R&B/jazz/funk multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson will be home, marking the occasion by hanging out with a glass of wine and entertaining fans via his popular Facebook Live broadcast “Friday Night Studio Hang” (8pm ET/5pm PT).

While The XX Tour that was to start April 1 with shows booked through June had to be pushed to 2021 because of the corona virus pandemic, the new album’s retro-charged first single, “Get Up!” is already at No. 6 on the Billboard chart, easily within striking distance of becoming the hitmaker’s 33rd No. 1 single. Culbertson went all in on the 1980s vibes, even creating a “Get Up!” ringtone that is available for iPhones.

Issued on the BCM Entertainment label, Culbertson wrote and produced “XX,” taking a fresh approach by incorporating a bit of everything he has done throughout his versatile career.

“This album was about creating lots of different moods, which is a little different for me in terms of what I’ve done over the last several albums that were more conceptual and consistent from beginning to end – either the romantic side of things, a funk album, straight-ahead jazz trio or what not. I deliberately set out to have no one genre or one style in mind; just give people a total mix of everything that I do – funky instrumentals, jazz, R&B slow jams, gospel, pop and straight-up funk” said Culbertson, who hopes the collection will uplift listeners during this unprecedented time of social distancing and economic uncertainty. Continue reading

Clarence T Kyle – The 2ND Coming

Trumpeter, keyboardist, vocalist and composer Clarence Theodore Kyle is CTK.  CTK joined as young man the first band “7th Wonder”. While 16, he did jam sessions with a group called “Power“, which included future members of Fattburger Carl Evans Jr (piano) and Hollis Gentry (sax) and Fourplay founder Nathan East (bassist). CTK performed with Ike Turner, Al McKay and in several cover bands from EWF, Sade to Chicago. He has been in a number of top 40s bands who played jazz, soul, R&B, funk, rock, gospel and classical.

His new album The 2ND Coming is a musical gumbo for the soul, with Smooth Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop & Funk.  Get the new album on CDBaby.

Brian Culbertson – XX

As chart-topping multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Brian Culbertson crafts his 20th album, the aptly titled “XX” – Roman numerals representing twenty – he revealed plans for the extensive US concert tour that will support the record release. Beginning April 1 in Louisville, Kentucky, Culbertson will take an elaborately designed concert production, The XX Tour, on the road for three consecutive months, playing more than 70 shows, an extremely rare feat for a contemporary jazz artist.

Culbertson’s catalogue includes recordings of jazz – contemporary and straight ahead – as well as R&B, funk, instrumental pop and New Age. “XX,” which drops April 10, reflects his remarkable diversity.

“It’s a mix of things that I’ve done throughout my twenty records. There’s a lot of funky instrumentals, some pop-sounding tracks, a couple slow jams, straight-ahead jazz, gospel, some vocals, lots of horns and some straight-up FUNK! The album is very much a mixture of some modern sounding programming along with live instruments, too. Real drums on almost everything mixed with programming. Definitely a cool sound,” said Culbertson, who invites fans to get involved with the making of “XX” via an Indiegogo campaign that launched this week (https://igg.me/at/BCXX).

Recreating that cool sound live for The XX Tour is Culbertson’s favorite part. Like his massive Colors of Love Tour that played 77 shows in three months and was captured for “Brian Culbertson’s Colors of Love Tour: Live in Las Vegas” Blu-ray disc and two-disc CD that dropped last Valentine’s Day, Culbertson is creating the sound and look for The XX Tour as a sensory experience. The exuberant performer spends months in preproduction meticulously conceiving stunning visuals – staging, lighting, wardrobe and effects – in order to put on a mesmerizing show each time he takes the stage. In addition to spotlighting the new album, the setlist will include cuts from Culbertson’s hit-filled songbook that has amassed 32 Billboard No. 1 singles. There will also be a segment showcasing songs from “Winter Stories,” an album released last month that placed him in an acoustic jazz trio setting for the first time.
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U-Nam – Future Love

Paris born guitar virtuoso Emmanuel “U-Nam” Abiteboul is showing his generous side again. With fifteen tracks on his new album Future Love he provides us with plenty of good music. Future Love is U-Nam’s positive view of things.

A large number of top-notch musicians have participated in this gigantic project. U-Nam performs guitars, bass, keyboards, synth bass, Vocoder and also made programming and editing. Further musicians are Alex Al, Dwayne “Smitty” Smith (bass), Denis Benarrosh (percussion), Fran Merante, Michael White (drums), Christian Martinez (trumpet & flugelhorn), Andrey Chmut (sax), Valeriy Stepanov, Mathias Roos, Bill Steinway (Rhodes), Frank Sitborn (Rhodes and Clavinet), Maria Grig (viola and violin), Kim Hansen (B3 organ),  Tim “Tio” Owens, Kim Chandler (vocals), and Shannon Abiteboul (sax and flute).

U-Nam loves it terrific and so the album starts with Changes uncomprisingly, volume pulled on maximum. The result is like a musical battle of George Benson and Nile Rodgers. The unbridled passion is also the main driving force of the title song and and with all the stops from George Benson’s stylistic wardrobe is the enthusiasm of the audience in the bag.

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Ricky Peterson – Drop Shot

61ToZO0qt9L._SL1200_Ricky Peterson is a musician’s musician. Although he has had a handful of recordings under his own name (on Warner Brothers and Ben Sidran’s Go Jazz label), he is mostly known as the soulful and groovy organ player from David Sanborn’s band. He is also known as a successful producer (Prince, Paula Abdul etc.). This record continues the Peterson sound, organic, groove-based soulful songs, with understated arrangements.

Peterson is a good keyboard player from a musical family. His technique merges blues, rock, and traditional jazz sounds, somewhat in the vein of George Benson but not as pop-oriented. In 1991, he issued a recording on Mesa/Bluemoon titled Smile Blue, with brothers Billy and Paul as part of the ensemble. Subsequent albums in the ’90s included 1995’s Tear Can Tell and 1999’s Souvenir. During the 2000s he has appeared on numerous CDs by both jazz and pop artists, including Stevie Nicks, John Mayer, David Sanborn, Jessy J, Kirk Whalum, Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, and Larry Carlton.

Drop Shot is featuring Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band Cologne. Get the album on iTunes.

David Garfield – Jammin’ – Outside The Box

Every musician strives for immortal fame. This can hardly be achieved with public appearances, as the moments are too short. An album is more suitable as a building block. But keyboard player David Garfield thinks ahead. He has already recorded music for four albums for his Outside The Box Project and they will all be released.

We are currently in a phase of transition to the tetralogy of his creative urge. After the release of his first album Jazz – Outside The Box, David Garfield’s vision of straight-ahead jazz, now follows Jammin’ – Outside The Box, a collection of popular songs performed by an army of noteworthy soloists including George Benson, Ray Parker Jr., Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Marcus Miller, Paul Jackson Jr., Eric Marienthal, Tom Scott, Vinnie Colaiuta, Greg Phillinganes, Smokey Robinson, Greg Adams, David Sanborn, Bill Champlin, Phil Perry, Oleta Adams, John Klemmer, Michael McDonald, Kenya Hathaway, Steve Jordan, Freddie Washington, Will Lee, Tony Maiden, Rickey Minor and Lenny Castro. Everyone will know one or the other, but rarely do you experience such a number of exceptional artists on a single album.

The horn powered Go Home, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s hit single from his album Square Circle (1985), is dedicated to late drummer Ricky Lawson. Nick Lane has created the superb horn arrangement staring featured soloist Kirk Whalum on tenor sax. Chasing Pavements is a single by Adele from her debut album Hometown Glory. The vocal part of the cover is substituted by Rick Braun on flugelhorn and John Klemmer on sax.

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Eddie Reddick – Bass Matters

Eddie Reddick’s new 2018 album Bass Matters is a compilation of funky informative songs staying true to the old school format. The title cut, “Bass Matters” is a funky instrumental featuring the Bass. “This Time”, is a tune dealing with a male who tries to convince his ex lover that no one will do all the things he did for her when they were together, and how wrong she was for walking out on him. “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” is a song dealing with a guy who made a bad choice in a moment of weakness, his wife finds out, an now he’s paying for the mistake because she has left him. Now he’s trying to win her back. “Just Like I Told You”, is a song depicting how two people meet, fall in love, get married have kids, face many adversities and still manage to stay together, way into their golden years. “Total Ecstasy”, is a Bass driven song dealing with a shy guy who doesn’t have the courage to approach a woman he’s been attracted to for a while, so he keeps promising himself every night will be the night he will make his move.

“Never Give Up”, is another Bass Driven song explaining that we should never give up on anything we choose to pursue in life. “Distractions”, is a song describing how so many things in our lives are taking our attention away from things which are important to us, causing negative things to occur as a result of losing focus. “The Most Beautiful Girl”, is a song written by Prince. I’ve always loved the melody and the message of this song. That’s the reason I decided to cover it on this CD. “Wish I Could Do That”‘ is a song of love and hope. Encouraging the whole world to sing and dance along with each other. A great compilation of heartfelt songs written to entertain and inform on some level or other. Let it play, listen and enjoy the stories and the grooves.

Get the album here.

Marcus Miller – Laid Black

LaidBlackBass great Marcus Miller brings the influence of modern urban music to his trademark sound on his highly-anticipated, genre-defying new album Laid Black, which will be released June 1 on Blue Note Records. The album pre-order is already launched along with the lead single “Untamed” which is available to stream or download now.

It’s been three years since Miller’s last album, Afrodeezia, which The New York Times called “vibrant and expressive… music that frames his playing beautifully.” Miller says: “Afrodeezia was like a musical voyage through my history. I followed the journey of my ancestors by collaborating with musicians along the African Slave route – musicians from West Africa, North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. With Laid Black, I decided to bring the music right up to the present – using elements from what’s happening in urban music today. So you’ll hear hip-hop, trap, soul, funk, R&B and jazz on this album. The music is calm but also powerful and funky, drawing on the black musical experience. Laid Black.”

Miller recorded most of the nine tracks on Laid Black with his band in a New York studio and also recruited guest artists Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Take Six, Jonathan Butler, and Belgian singer Selah Sue. Of his band, Miller says: “My guys are incredibly talented. They play everything from bebop to hip-hop. All of the special guests I called have the same vision about jazz, which made it possible to create this mix of music. Oh and if you like bass, there’s plenty of serious bass work on this album too! Continue reading

Byron Miller – The Gift Psychobass 2

Bassist Byron Miller shares the fate of many sidemen who play with the superstars without the fame promotes their reputation significantly. He performed with George Duke, Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Santana, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and The Crusaders, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, and Luther Vandross.

In 2015 he released Psycho Bass, the fourth of his solo career after Git Wit Me, Until (1997), and I’ll Come By (2003), with three of the last recorded performances of George Duke, Ndugu Chancler on drums, guitarist David T. Walker and percussionist Sheila E. Psycho Bass is Byron’s Funk name.

The Gift: Psychobass 2 (2018) is Myron’s follow up offering performances of Kirk Whalum, Paul Jackson, Jr., Walter Beasley, Gordon Campbell, Phil Davis, Munyungo Jackson and more. Three tracks with Ndugu Chancler on drums he just left off. “When he passed, I couldn’t hear anybody else playing on them…”

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