Bringing Back the Funk

Bringing Back the Funk

5.0 1
by Brian Culbertson
In the 14 years since the Illinois-born and bred composer, producer, and keyboard whiz released his debut Long Night Out at the age of 21, he's evolved from a shy kid writing cheerful pop songs in a bedroom studio to one of contemporary jazz's most electrifying A-list performers. His fan base is large enough that he would have


In the 14 years since the Illinois-born and bred composer, producer, and keyboard whiz released his debut Long Night Out at the age of 21, he's evolved from a shy kid writing cheerful pop songs in a bedroom studio to one of contemporary jazz's most electrifying A-list performers. His fan base is large enough that he would have made a killing even had chosen to simply follow the easy grooving candlelit approach of his last non-holiday CD It's on Tonight with something similarly low-key and seductive. Fortunately for everyone who had been complaining that smooth jazz artists had been getting way too predictable in the latter 2000s, he had the pull and the wherewithal to make his dreams come true and seriously bring back the groove with just about every heavy hitting funkateer from the '70s. The cover shot of "little Culby" sitting and listening on headphones says it all -- he was a tyke when his guest list was defining all that was cool and happening. The luminaries included one-time James Brown bassist Bootsy Collins and Phelps "Catfish" Collins plus members of the Rubber Band and the Horny Horns (all out of P-Funk); Larry Graham (the slap bass great of Sly & the Family Stone and his own Graham Central Station -- no laid-back "One in a Million You" happening here!); Larry Dunn and Sheldon Reynolds (Earth, Wind & Fire); Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Tony Maiden and Bobby Watson (Rufus), Michael Bland, Cora Dunham, and Rhonda Smith (from Prince's bands), solo stars Ray Parker, Jr., David T. Walker, Ronnie Laws, Gerald Albright, Tom Scott, Paul Jackson, Jr., Perri, etc. Modern neo-soul was well represented as well, with Ledisi swaying dreamily through horn accents and multiple keyboard flavors on Bill Withers' lightly obscure gem "The World Keeps Going Around" and Musiq (Soulchild) slammin' it with urban sax god Gerald Albright, a sea of crunching horns and Culbertson's bright chordings on "Hollywood Swinging." Culbertson's choice of covers, which includes Candy Dulfer and Prince vocalist Chance Howard's urgent command from TOP that "You Got to Funkifize" (featuring Adams on trumpet), is inspired, but he also co-wrote a batch of gems that stand proudly alongside the classics. Reynolds and Collins are among the co-writers of the bright, brass splashed "Funkin' Like My Father" that comes across like an invitation to the party with a series of vocalists connecting past to present. The EWF-inspired Culbertson-Reynolds co-write "Always Remember" shows that no matter how crazy he gets with the production, Culbertson is still a joyfully melodic jazz keyboardist at heart. Other original highlights include the simmering gospel-blues number "The House of Music" (Graham and Laws are the billed stars, but Ricky Peterson's Hammond B-3 carries the soul), and the buoyant piano and horn section dance dubbed "The Groove" Parker (who cut his teeth on R&B sessions a decade before "Ghostbusters") chimes in on the percussive, two-minute interlude throw down "Excuse Me...What's Your Name?" which features Culbertson on the trombone, trumpet and Mini-Moog. An even more powerful party all night affair than Dulfer's magnificent Candy Store was the previous year, Bringing Back the Funk is Culbertson's masterwork that took contemporary urban jazz to a whole new level in 2008.

Product Details

Release Date:
Grp Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brian Culbertson   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Trumpet,Keyboards,Vocals,Clavinet,Muted Trumpet,Hand Clapping,fender rhodes,Soloist,Mini Moog
Maurice White   Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Bernie Worrell   Keyboards
Gerald Albright   Alto Saxophone,Soloist,Guest Appearance
Ronnie Laws   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist,Guest Appearance
Ricky Peterson   Hammond Organ,Vocals,Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Tom Scott   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Larry Graham   Bass,Guest Appearance
Maceo Parker   Alto Saxophone,Track Performer
David T. Walker   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Soloist,Guest Appearance
Michael Bland   Drums,Track Performer
Bootsy Collins   Vocals,Space Bass,Guest Appearance
Lenny Castro   Percussion,Track Performer
Phelps "Catfish" Collins   Guitar,Track Performer
Larry Dunn   Hand Clapping,fender rhodes,Mini Moog
Sonny Emory   Drums,Track Performer
Rick Gardner   Trumpet,Track Performer
Paul Jackson   Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Ron Jennings   Guitar,Track Performer,Soloist
Tony Maiden   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer,Hand Clapping,Soloist
Eric Marienthal   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
David Pack   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Ray Parker   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Darlene Perri   Tambourine,Vocals
Sharon Perri   Tambourine,Vocals
Morris Pleasure   Bass,Track Performer,Synthesizer Bass
Sheldon Reynolds   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Sam Sims   Vocals,Track Performer,Hand Clapping,Slap Bass
Lee Thornburg   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Fred Wesley   Trombone,Track Performer
Lori Perri   Tambourine,Vocals
Lee Thornberg   Track Performer
Greg Adams   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Maurice Fitzgerald   Bass,Track Performer
Rhonda Smith   Bass,Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Musiq (Soulchild)   Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Guest Appearance
Sonny Thompson   Guitar
Bobby Ray Watson   Bass,Track Performer
Derrick "D.O.A." Allen   Bass,Track Performer
Eddie Miller   Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Guest Appearance
Chris Miskel   Drums,Track Performer
Chance Howard   Vocals,Background Vocals,Clavinet,Hand Clapping,Synthesizer Bass,Guest Appearance
Cora Dunham   Drums,Track Performer,Hand Clapping
Kush Gardner   Trumpet
Ice Candi   Vocals,Track Performer
Zion Planet 10   Vocals,Track Performer
Monte Neuble   Synthesizer,Track Performer,Hand Clapping,Talk Box
Daniel Fornero   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Track Performer

Technical Credits

Maurice White   Composer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Bill Withers   Composer
Bill Meyers   Horn Arrangements
Larry Graham   Composer
Ronald Bell   Composer
Bootsy Collins   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ed Cherney   Engineer
Brian Culbertson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Bob Horn   Engineer
Garry Kief   Management
Eric Marienthal   Horn Arrangements
Sheldon Reynolds   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Donald Moore   Composer
Scott Steiner   Producer,Engineer
Greg Adams   Horn Arrangements
Maurice Fitzgerald   Composer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Pete Roberts   Composer
Eddie King   Engineer
Jim Ryberg   Engineer
Sachico Asano   Graphic Design
David C. Britz   Executive Producer,Management
Chris Miskel   Composer
Michael Stever   Horn Arrangements
Tommy Tucker   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Bringing Back the Funk 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome is a word that needs to used to describe this masterful piece of music. It was the talk of the Berks Jazz fest this year.