A Soulful Christmas

A Soulful Christmas

by Brian Culbertson


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A Soulful Christmas

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/31/2006
Label: Grp Records
UPC: 0602517065185
catalogNumber: 000755802

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   Guitar,wah wah guitar
Peter LaBella   Violin,Concert Master
Tony Maiden   Guitar,wah wah guitar
Eric Marienthal   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
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   Drums
Collins Trier   Bass

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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