It's on Tonight

It's on Tonight

5.0 2
by Brian Culbertson
     
 

Many smooth jazz artists are leading double lives. On-stage, they conduct themselves like real improvisers; they stretch out, they blow, and they savor the joys of interacting with real musicians in real time. But their studio recordings are another matter. In the studio, they go out of their way to avoid the slightest hints of spontaneity and carefully avoid doing… See more details below

Overview

Many smooth jazz artists are leading double lives. On-stage, they conduct themselves like real improvisers; they stretch out, they blow, and they savor the joys of interacting with real musicians in real time. But their studio recordings are another matter. In the studio, they go out of their way to avoid the slightest hints of spontaneity and carefully avoid doing anything that might jeopardize their exposure on NAC/smooth jazz radio stations. Clearly, the play-for-radio approach prevails on this 2005 release, which has "commercial NAC radio" written all over it. Pianist/keyboardist Brian Culbertson (who also plays trumpet, trombone, and percussion) is by no means a bad musician; he definitely has chops, and he has the potential to provide a killer soul-jazz album in the tradition of Gene Harris and Joe Sample (two of his influences). But It's On Tonight, like much of Culbertson's work, favors a very innocuous, totally predictable blend of jazz, R&B, and pop. The material is pleasant background music -- nothing horrible, but far from an adequate reflection of Culbertson's skills as an improviser. Singer Patti Austin has a likable spot on the urban/adult contemporary item "Love Will Never Let You Down" (one of the few vocal offerings on a mostly instrumental CD), and trumpeter Chris Botti's appearance on "Secret Affair" gives that track a bit of Miles Davis-influenced mystery. Botti, for all his commercialism, has more integrity than most people in the smooth jazz/NAC field (which isn't saying much given how appallingly low the genre's standards have generally been since the '80s -- at least when it comes to studio recordings). It's On Tonight does have its moments, but Culbertson is capable of much more.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/2005
Label:
Grp Records
UPC:
0602498813607
catalogNumber:
000453502
Rank:
8605

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brian Culbertson   Primary Artist,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Trumpet,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Synthesizer Bass
Patti Austin   Vocals,Background Vocals
Will Downing   Vocals
Ricky Peterson   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Marc Nelson   Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Thompson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Boney James   Tenor Saxophone
Alex Al   Bass
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Paul Jackson   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tony Maiden   Guitar,wah wah guitar
Marcus Miller   Bass
Greg Phillinganes   fender rhodes
Kirk Whalum   Tenor Saxophone
Scott Steiner   Hand Clapping
J. Michael Thompson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Jorge Evans   Guitar
Stephen Lu   Keyboards,Synthesizer Bass
Ledisi   Vocals
Michelle Culbertson   Violin,Vocals
Eric Darius   Tenor Saxophone
Micah Otano   Acoustic Guitar,Hand Clapping
Tim Stewart   Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)

Technical Credits

Marc Nelson   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Brian Culbertson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements,drum programming,Audio Production,Vocal Effect
Bernie Grundman   Mastering
Bud Harner   Executive Producer
Scott Steiner   Producer,Engineer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Stephen Lu   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Audio Production
Michelle Culbertson   Vocal Effect
Micah Otano   Engineer

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