Brian Culbertson – Come On Up
Come On Up
(Warner – 2003)
by Paula Edelstein
The invite from Brian Culbertson is COME ON UP and keep the party going! This is Brian Culbertson’s sixth release for the Warner Brothers Jazz label and boy, did he have his hands full with this one! Besides writing or co-writing all of the songs except for “Serpentine,” he was co-executive producer, arranger and producer of all tracks, performs on a plethora of instruments, and handled most of the synth bass and drum programming. However, he had some very heavy-duty friends and fellow musicians stop by to perform on these 12 very funky songs including saxophonist Steve Cole, bass man Marcus Miller, trumpeter Rick Braun, vocalist Rahsaan Patterson and guitarist Norman Brown.
The 12 songs offer something for everyone that’s into contemporary music and its many styles. From the funky bebop-flavored “What’s Up B” and “Funky B” which showcase Brian on wah-trombone and “Our Love” a beautiful ballad with strings that spotlights his virtuosic piano skills; to the soulful remake of Earth Wind and Fire’s “Serpentine” which features a fiery horn arrangement by the great Jerry Hey, or “Last Night” with the cool trumpeting of Rick Braun, Culbertson gets his musical messages through in a variety of up-tempo and rhythmic contrasts. So put on your dancing shoes or just sit back and relax, but definitely COME ON UP and get prepared for a refresher course in having a great time. Top picks: “Our Love,” “Come On Up,” “Midnight,” and “Last Night.”