by Brian CulbertsonBrian Culbertson


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Given the widespread critical acclaim and commercial success Brian Culbertson garnered from 2008's retro Bringing Back the Funk, it would be understandably tempting for him -- or any musician -- to revisit it wholesale. However, Culbertson throws a changeup on XII and comes up with a set of collaborative originals with stellar guests that relies more on modern adult R&B than funk, and more on sophisticated pop than it does on contemporary jazz. He's got real star power on this set; it's a groover that includes everything from club to go-go funk, up- and midtempo R&B, and polished bedroom ballads, and it all holds together seamlessly. The set opens with "Feelin' It," which features some comedy from Sinbad in the intro and outro, but more importantly, Chuck Brown's vocals are the centerpiece -- Culbertson's piano line quotes liberally from Brown's classic "Bustin' Loose" (he gets a co-write). Ray Parker, Jr.'s guitar and Alex Al's bassline turn it into a monster. Next up is a soulful stepper in "Another Love," with vocals by Kenny Lattimore. Club makes another appearance in "Out on the Floor," with Brian McKnight laying down his brand of smooth groove above a killer string arrangement and a lockstep funky backbeat. Nu-soul balladeer Avant sings on the hit single "Skies Wide Open"; with Randy Bowland's guitar playing an excellent counterpoint to his vocal, it is among the standout cuts here. Faith Evans fronts Culbertson's band on "Don't U Know Me by Now," a midtempo attitude strutter. Parker makes a fine yet minimal vocal appearance on the simmering babymaker "I Wanna Love You," compensated for by killer guitar work and the spoken word bit from Floetry's Natalie Stewart on set closer "I Don't Know." Of the four instrumental tracks, the most notable are "It's Time" and the transcendently joyful contemporary jazz number "That's Life," co-written by Culbertson, Parker, and Earl Klugh, who also plays on it. While nothing on XII breaks new ground, one suspects that this wasn't Culbertson's intention: he was looking to write and record an album that had "quality" stamped all over it. For its diversity, imagination, and execution, he gets high marks: XII stands among his best.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/20/2010
Label: Grp Records
UPC: 0602527424811
catalogNumber: 001446002
Rank: 22448

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brian Culbertson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Euphonium,Keyboards,Vocals,Clavinet,cowbell,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Chuck Brown   Guitar,Vocals,wah wah guitar,Soloist
Earl Klugh   Acoustic Guitar
Marc Nelson   Background Vocals
Brian McKnight   Vocals,Background Vocals
Alex Al   Bass
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Greg Boyer   Trombone
Lenny Castro   Percussion,Conga
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Nick Lane   Conductor
David Low   Cello
Eric Marienthal   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ray Parker   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Marilyn Reynolds   Vocals
Sheldon Reynolds   Vocals
Rex Rideout   Keyboards,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass
Bruce Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Faith Evans   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kenny Lattimore   Vocals
Scott Steiner   Euphonium
Nathan Watts   Bass
Jorge Evans   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Darrin McCann   Viola
Julian Hallmark   Violin
Bryan Mills   Tenor Saxophone
Natalie Stewart   Spoken Word
Sara Perkins   Violin
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Brad Clements   Trumpet
Uno   Background Vocals
Oscar Seaton   Drums,Hi Hat
Daniel Fornero   Trumpet
Micahel Thompson   Guitar,Soloist
Kevin Connolly   Violin
Avant   Vocals

Technical Credits

Earl Klugh   Composer
Brian McKnight   Composer
Greg Boyer   Horn Arrangements
Brian Culbertson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming
Bob Horn   Engineer
Nick Lane   Orchestration,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Ray Parker   Composer
Sheldon Reynolds   Composer,Engineer
Rex Rideout   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,drum programming
Steven Miller   Engineer
Kenny Lattimore   Composer
Scott Steiner   Producer,Engineer,Piano Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Kevin Reagan   Artwork
Stephen Lu   Composer
Michael Thompson   Engineer
Eddie King   Engineer
Natalie Stewart   Composer
Dahlia Ambach Caplin   Executive Producer
Brad Todd   Engineer
Michael Stever   Horn Arrangements
Uno   Composer
Kurt Weiss   Photo Assistance
C. Brown   Composer
Marcus Young   Engineer
David Britz   Executive Producer
Avant   Composer

Customer Reviews

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XII 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
JEANPIERREFORRES6 More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, Brian has always done well. But with time he has really come to BE HIMSELF and what an awesome gift he has brought himself to be! I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago