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A Soulful Christmas

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
One of smooth jazz's funkiest and most popular artists, Brian Culbertson has engaged the genre's audiences for years with a perfect mix of lively funk, jazzy piano and keyboard energy, and a softer intimate side that earned him one critic's designation as "the Barry White of smooth jazz." Faced with trying to find new ways to skin the cat of holiday songs that have been done a million times, Culby exceeds all expectations, bringing every side of his charismatic magic touch to standards you won't mind hearing just one more time. He gets off to a rousing, big-production start, jamming wildly on an in-your-face bluesy, jazzy, gospel take on "Joy to the World" (complete ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
One of smooth jazz's funkiest and most popular artists, Brian Culbertson has engaged the genre's audiences for years with a perfect mix of lively funk, jazzy piano and keyboard energy, and a softer intimate side that earned him one critic's designation as "the Barry White of smooth jazz." Faced with trying to find new ways to skin the cat of holiday songs that have been done a million times, Culby exceeds all expectations, bringing every side of his charismatic magic touch to standards you won't mind hearing just one more time. He gets off to a rousing, big-production start, jamming wildly on an in-your-face bluesy, jazzy, gospel take on "Joy to the World" (complete with a gospel choir), then seeks Dave Koz's help in creating a sweet, subtle arrangement of "Deck the Halls." The vibe rides like a roller coaster from there, starting with a rousing, slightly stride-influenced "Jingle Bells" (which breaks into a fun, Ramsey Lewis-flavored traditional jazz verse and includes a big-band segment featuring Culbertson's other instrument, the trombone). It's incredible what happens when he enlists Jeff Lorber and Peter White to help him arrange two other classics -- Lorber helps Culby get even funkier and White brings out that intimate side. Amid the sizzle and cool are some unique and unexpected vocal treats -- Michael McDonald on the soaring, original power soul ballad "All Through the Christmas Night" and a stunning, crystalline pop classical vocal by wife Michelle Culbertson (who in 2006 released the inspirational album Be Still My Soul) on the lesser-heard "Some Children See Him." Culbertson also creates a trippy, off-meter percussion vibe on "Little Drummer Boy" that creates a fascinating impressionistic feeling. Calling this work A Soulful Christmas is a good marketing idea, but soul is only the beginning of a collection that truly captures the many emotions of the holidays -- and the artist at his most creative.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/31/2006
  • Label: Grp Records
  • UPC: 602517065185
  • Catalog Number: 000755802
  • Sales rank: 426

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Brian Culbertson Primary Artist, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet, Celeste, Bells, Muted Trumpet
Tom T. Hall Violin
Michael McDonald Vocals
Brian Bromberg Acoustic Bass
Warren Hill Alto Saxophone
Ricky Peterson Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Peter White Acoustic Guitar
Jeff Lorber Guitar, Keyboards, Wurlitzer
Marc Nelson Vocals
Alex Al Electric Bass
Keith Allen Choir, Chorus
Lenny Castro Percussion
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums
Nathan East Bass, Bass Guitar
Paul Jackson Jr. Guitar, wah wah guitar
Peter LaBella Violin, Concert Master
Tony Maiden Guitar, wah wah guitar
Eric Marienthal Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Collins Trier Bass
Troy Clark Choir, Chorus
Gary Stucka Cello
David Daughtry Choir, Chorus
Otha White Choir, Chorus
Teresa Fream Violin
Maurice Fitzgerald Bass
Wayne Bergeron Trumpet
Jorge Evans Guitar, Electric Guitar, wah wah guitar
Baird Dodge Violin
Shanika Leeks Choir, Chorus
Derrick Hodge Bass
Rika Seko Violin
Jason White Choir Director
Geneen White Choir, Chorus
Michelle Culbertson Vocals
Zach Collins Tuba
Chara Hammonds Choir, Chorus
Matthew Albert Violin
Nicholas Photinos Cello
Eric Darius Tenor Saxophone
Demeka Jackson Choir, Chorus
Jelena Dirks Oboe
Robert Waters Violin
Michael Stever Trumpet
Melody Rhynes Choir, Chorus
Robert Schaer Trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet
Ying Chai Violin
Sharon MaRee Choir, Chorus
Brandon Winbush Choir, Chorus
Precious Umunna Choir, Chorus
Ron Satkowitz Violin
Oscar Seaton Jr. Drums
Technical Credits
George Frideric Handel Composer
Donny Hathaway Composer
Dave Koz Arranger
Jeff Lorber Arranger
Marc Nelson Arranger, Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Brian Culbertson Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Horn Arrangements, rhythm arrangement, Audio Production
Shannon Forrest Engineer
Garry Kief Management
Eric Marienthal Horn Arrangements
Johnny Marks Composer
Tom McCauley Engineer
Isaac Watts Composer
Craig Bauer Engineer
Cliff Colnot Orchestration, Orchestral Arrangements
Scott Steiner Producer, Engineer, Piano Engineer
Maurice Fitzgerald Arranger
Hathaway McKinnor Composer
Traditional Composer
Eddie King Engineer
Jason White Choir Arrangement
Michelle Culbertson Arranger
Wihla Hutson Composer
Sara Zickuhr Cover Design
David C. Britz Management
Alfred S. Burt Composer
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