Twenty years after the release of his debut album, “Long Night Out,” award-winning contemporary jazz/R&B multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson completely reimagined the collection as “Another Long Night Out,” his 14th album and first on his BCM Entertainment label, which debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. The set spotlighting a stellar collective comprised of many of the contemporary jazz luminaries that influenced and inspired Culbertson to make the first record is the musician’s sixth album to debut at No. 1. Speeding up the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart to No. 2, the first single, “Fullerton Ave.” featuring guitarist Chuck Loeb, is on the road to earning Culbertson his 27th No. 1 single as an artist, producer and songwriter.
The day before the February 25 album release, Culbertson took over Sirius XM’s Watercolors for 16 hours programming cuts from the new collection as well as from some of the musicians featured on “Another Long Night Out” including Loeb, Lee Ritenour, Eric Marienthal, Rick Braun, Steve Lukather, Russ Freeman, “Patches” Stewart, Candy Dulfer and Jonathan Butler. Other noteworthy musicians appearing on the remake are Paul Jackson Jr., Jimmy Haslip, Will Kennedy, Nathan East, the late Ricky Lawson, Ray Parker Jr., Jeff Kashiwa, Larry Dunn and Ricky Peterson along with a 33-piece orchestra playing arrangements by David Benoit and Culbertson.
For the first time, Culbertson has made the sheet music used during the “Another Long Night Out” recording sessions available for free on his website. Musicians that want to play along can purchase “Music Minus One” mixes for piano, bass, drums and “band only” (no piano or other lead instruments) on Culbertson’s webstore.
Recorded in the bedroom of his crowded college apartment above a Chicago costume shop while he was a 20-year-old music student at DePaul University, the three demos that formed the basis of “Long Night Out” landed Culbertson a 6-album record deal. The notion to rebuild the album from scratch using fresh arrangements and feature performances from contemporary jazz royalty has long-ruminated inside Culbertson’s head and began with a wish list cast of musicians.
“The idea behind the remake was to make the album the way I always wanted to do it. Over the years, I’d randomly listen to that album. I liked the songs and arrangements, but always heard things that I would have liked to have done differently, mainly because of the limitations I had at the time. I had a very limited budget and limited technology so I tried to make the instruments sound real even though I had to use synth piano, a drum machine and synth bass. Now I can use real piano and live players along with the experience I’ve had over the past 20 years as a producer,” said Culbertson, who also had another purpose for the new recording in mind. “I wanted to return to my roots and introduce newer fans to another side of me as a musician and an artist. Contemporary jazz fans will dig ‘Another Long Night Out.’ I hadn’t done a full instrumental album in years. It is jazz fusion-y and I want to be known as a broader artist than just the R&B/funk guy. A lot of people didn’t know the (music on the) first album, which is out of print.”
Also a popular concert draw known for high-energy performances and masterful musicianship, Culbertson will begin rehearsals next week for an entirely new show that will be unveiled at a dress rehearsal March 12 for invited guests and 94.7 The Wave Los Angeles radio station contest winners with the first tour dates in support of “Another Long Night Out” taking place March 20-23 at Seattle’s Jazz Alley. Last week, Culbertson played a short set in Napa for Wine Country royalty as he launched his own wine, “Culbertson” Pinot Noir by Reata Wines, a personal blend he created in partnership with Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. Tickets for Culbertson’s third annual Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a star-studded wine and jazz festival that will again lure thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world to Napa June 11-15, 2014, are on sale now with the June 14 & 15 shows taking place on the stunning Jamieson Ranch property.