Another Long Night Out
2014 / BCM Entertainment
Review by Michael Debbage
Jazz pianist Brian Culbertson at the tender age of 20 years old was signed and asked to record his debut Long Night Out. On a shoestring budget and on a very tight schedule Culbertson met his deadlines and released his impressive debut. However, the musician always felt it was a somewhat compromised effort production wise. Almost literally twenty years in the making , Brian has decided to revisit his debut album and re-record those magical songs with today’s current technology along with the help from his all star friends resulting in the impressive Another Long Night Out.
With a total of eleven tracks, nine of them include collaborations with the likes of Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Russ Freeman, Rick Braun and Jonathan Butler just to name a few. Of these tracks the melancholy melody of Culbertson’s piano work on “Beautiful Liar” lays the foundation for a slow builder that will stir your emotions. Add in the layered guitar work of Toto’s Steve Lukather as well as David Benoit’s string arrangement you will find it very hard not to be moved by this emotional composition. This leads us right into “Double Exposure” featuring Russ Freeman as well as a few other cats from The Rippingtons only leaving you purring at the thought of Culbertson tinkering with this smooth jazz band that have been a huge commercial success.
Culbertson still finds the time to find the spotlight with two of his songs, the first being the ultra smooth “Beyond The Frontier”. As always his piano work is spot on with its spatial performance that is never overwrought or overplayed. It does not hurt to have the overlooked sensational session player Michael Thompson on both acoustic and electric guitar. The same can be said for the simple and under assuming mellow madness of “Alone With You” that would be great company with a romantic candlelight dinner on a roof garden sprinkled in the magic of the city lights.
Brian closes out the album with the wordless vocals of Jonathan Butler only to leave you scratching your head wondering why he has been such a well know performer yet remains on the fringes of the majors. While his past excursions have flirted more with R&B grooves, despite the material being over twenty years old, Another Long Night Out shows that Culbertson is completely at home in the contemporary jazz world. If he is here to stay then it will be very exciting to seeing what is on the horizon for this long overlooked artist. Yes Another Long Night Out is that impressive and a potential game changer.
April 6, 2014