Urban-jazz bassist Darryl Williams shows he’s got staying power on new single

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Urban-jazz bassist Darryl Williams shows he’s got staying power on new single

“Do You Remember,” featuring saxophonist Michael Lington, follows the Billboard top 10 “Here to Stay.” 

TEMECULA (11 January 2018): It took ten years for urban-jazz bass player Darryl Williams to write, record and release “Here to Stay,” his Billboard top 10 single and the title track to his second album. This week’s release of the follow-up single, “Do You Remember,” proves that he doesn’t plan to go away anytime soon. Plucking rubbery basslines on piccolo and electric basses on the slick jazz-funk energizer that he wrote and produced, Williams is joined on the dancefloor filler by chart-toppers Michael Lington (saxophone) and Adam Hawley (guitarist).

Williams’ return to center stage as a frontman with the “Here to Stay” set resulted in a 2017 Best New Artist nomination from the Smooth Jazz Network. The first-call bassman calls the collection that he produced with sax powerhouse Euge Groove “a labor of love,” featuring eight of his hand-penned originals along with a pair of remakes that have personal meaning to the San Diego native who currently resides in Temecula. A stellar list of his regular employers were quick to return the favor by making guest appearances on “Here to Stay,” including Groove, who ignites a pair of tunes including the title cut, two-time Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Paul Brown, jazz-funk keyboard pioneer Jeff Lorber, saxmen Marcus Anderson and Elan Trotman, and keyboardists Jonathan Fritzen, Greg Manning and Scott Wilkie. The disc’s lone vocal number, a faithful rendering of The Emotions’ “Don’t Ask My Neighbors,” is soul kissed by R&B crooner Ashling Cole. Williams remembers his late mentor, Carl Evans Jr., by revamping the former Fattburger leader’s sweetly redolent “The Doctor,” which is graced by Michael Paolo’s caressing soprano sax.

“While to some people, ‘labor of love’ is an overused cliché, it certainly applies to ‘Here to Stay.’ I began writing songs for the collection in 2007 before moving my family to Temecula from Las Vegas. The compositions were inspired by different experiences we went through in our journey throughout that period. It was an important and formative time in my career as well. That’s when I first started playing in Euge’s (Groove) band and did a tour with Jeff (Lorber) a couple years later. In between is when my very good friend and mentor Carl (Evans Jr.) passed, which was devastating. ‘Do You Remember’ was one of the last songs I wrote for the record and it was inspired by reflecting on how far I’ve come from growing up as a kid in Los Angeles and San Diego to playing in a funk band with my brother as a teenager. It took me ten years to finish this album and while it takes me back in time, the reaction from fans, radio and reviewers has me looking forward with excitement. I couldn’t be more proud of this album,” said Williams.

Williams was a teenager when he opened for R&B acts Lakeside and Al Green along with gospel legend Shirley Caesar. After studying jazz at San Diego State University, Williams went from regular gigs backing many of San Diego’s most prominent homegrown talent to the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied such nationally-renowned headliners as Clint Holmes, Angela Bofill, Tevin Campbell, Howard Hewett and Keith Washington, and did a road stint with Chaka Khan. After moving back to California in 2008, Williams dropped his debut album, “That Was Then,” garnering praise from JazzTimes and national airplay on SiriusXM. He has become a fixture on the smooth/contemporary jazz scene where he has shared the stage with the genre’s heavy hitters: Richard Elliot, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Brenda Russell, Darren Rahn, Jessy J, Everette Harp and Jeff Kashiwa. He has also recorded with Jackiem Joyner, Blake Aaron, Nils Jiptner, U-Nam and Kay-Ta Matsuno.

For additional information, please visit http://darrylwilliamsmusic.com/.

“STARTING OVER” ACCORDING TO CHRIS GODBER

Chris Godber is celebrating the release of his latest project, “Starting Over.” If anyone appreciates and understands the true meaning of “Starting Over,” it is Chris. He learned very early in his life that with God and faith, new beginnings are possible. After dedicating his talent and love for playing the saxophone to God, promising to always use it for him, Godber has excelled at keeping his promise. “Starting Over” is Chris’ pathway of re-entry and rebranding himself in the world of Contemporary and Smooth Jazz. Chris worked with Caleb Middleton as producer on “Starting Over” and credits him with expanding his musical boundaries. In addition to Middleton’s work as producer and keyboard player, Godber was also joined by Adam Hawley and Lowell Hopper. Together, they created eleven original songs and a cover of “At Last.”

Chris tells me all about “Starting Over”:

Chris Godber Starting Over Album Thumbnail

CECIL RAMIREZ SETS THE TONE WITH “PARTY IN THE BACK”

The sound of Cecil Ramirez’s new album, “Party In The Back,” is reminiscent of the 80’s. It is a throwback to an era in music that he loves and that is memorable to most people. Although the album was released a year later than Cecil anticipated, friends and fans patiently waited. Cecil Ramirez is just coming from his fourth year at the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. He performs at the welcome dinner and sets the tone for the rest of the week. Napa is beautiful for multiple reasons and often times, special for a few. The latter is true for Ramirez and his wife. They had their first date there and got engaged there. Needless to say, Napa will always hold a special place in his heart. Embracing the beauty of wine country sparked an interest in learning about wine in Cecil. Wine and music are a perfect combination. “Party In The Back” is a fun, energetic, and funky background to many of summer’s festivities. It puts you in the mood to reflect and party. Cecil wrote seven of the ten songs on the album. He collaborated with Brian Culbertson, Michael Lington, Adam Hawley, Darren Rahn, and Phil Denny. He also covered a few songs that are sure to take you back: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson, “Stronger Than Before,” and “Georgy Porgy” by David Paich.

Cecil and I have a great time discussing the album:

Party In The Back

Party In The Back

Culbertson celebrates a milestone anniversary “Live”‏

Brian Culbertson "Live"

 

Culbertson celebrates a milestone anniversary “Live”

The first live recording from the multi-genre multi-instrumentalist aims to get radio to “Think Free”

Los Angeles, California (12 January 2015): Years ago, a young ambitious musician-songwriter-producer emerged from Chicago who went on to architect 27 No. 1 Billboard singles along with a half-dozen albums that debuted at No.1 that changed the status quo with a creative and fresh alchemy of astutely performed contemporary jazz, soulful R&B and horn-powered funk. Decades later, his ability to achieve and balance commercial success and the respect of his peers is perhaps as admirable as his hit-making consistency and the meticulous approach he uses to craft infectious melodies and compelling rhythms. The above description could easily apply to the works of his role models, Maurice White and Quincy Jones, but here we refer to Brian Culbertson.

From the 1994 debut of “Long Night Out,” released while the keyboardist-trombonist was a DePaul University music major recording demos in the bedroom of his crowded apartment that landed him a six-album record deal, right up through his 14th album, 2014’s “Another Long Night Out,” Culbertson has injected a much needed jolt of lyrical harmony and deft musicianship along with a flair for lively showmanship that meshes to form an aesthetic that raises the bar on a musical genre. To commemorate his 20th anniversary as a recording artist, Culbertson marched his well-drilled band out on a coast-to-coast concert mission last year that was preserved for posterity on his first live album recorded during a sold-out, eight-show stand at the famed Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland, California last September.  The resulting double CD set, “Live – 20th Anniversary Tour,” was released Monday – Culbertson’s 42nd birthday – on his own BCM Entertainment label.

Featuring a crack eight-piece band, many of whom are musicians out of Chicago and have been playing with Culbertson for years, “Live” is a spirited and at times sweaty celebration of jazz, fusion, R&B, romantic piano pop and deep funk grooves that barely let up for air bolstered by crisp horn section arrangements reminiscent of the mighty Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power.

One could say that “Live” is a statement album. Forget what you thought you knew about so called “smooth jazz.” Seldom does a contemporary jazz artist dare to release a live record these days making it even more of a treat that Culbertson & Company was able to bottle the magic, charismatic energy and excitement of their live show on this recording. The 21-song session – 22 songs if you include the CD exclusive bonus track, “Forever” – rifles through Culbertson’s chart-topping original compositions and introduces a vibrant new number, “Think Free,” the album’s initial radio single written by Culbertson and Sheldon Reynolds especially for the occasion. Culbertson’s set list also pays tribute to his influences – White’s Earth, Wind & Fire (“Serpentine Fire”) and Jones (“Secret Garden”) – along with the rump-shaking party starter “Hollywood Swingin’,” a Kool & The Gang classic.

“I just wanted to capture the raw dynamic energy of our live show. My band members are each incredible talents in their own right and I’m happy to be able to showcase them, which in turn makes the entire project more exciting and daring,” said Culbertson, who is also a lifestyle curator who founded and serves as artistic director of the starry Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, the fourth annual wine and music festival presented by Lexus in the heart of California’s stunning wine country slated for June 10-14, 2015.

Culbertson’s touring band consists of Marqueal Jordan (vocals, tenor sax & percussion), Eddie Miller (keyboards, Hammond B3 organ & vocals), Michael Stever (trumpet & keyboards), Adam Hawley (guitar & background vocals), Rodney Jones Jr. (bass) and Chris Miskel (drums). For the “Live” recording, they were supplemented by the firepower of Doug Beavers (trombone & additional percussion) and Doug Rowan (Bari sax).

“Live” contains the following songs:

Disc 1

“City Lights Intro”

“Always Remember”

“Hollywood Swingin’”

“Do You Really Love Me”

“Come To Me”

“All About You”

“Let’s Get Started”

“Fullerton Ave.”

“Beautiful Liar”

“Get It On”

“Skies Wide Open”

“Another Love”

“Horizon”

Disc 2

“Think Free”

“Dreams”

“On My Mind”

“Secret Garden”

“Serpentine Fire”

“Funkin’ Like My Father”

“City Lights Outro”

“Our Love”

“Forever” (CD bonus track only)

For additional information, please visit www.BrianCulbertson.com.

Carol Duboc’s “Smile”

Carol Duboc new release Smile available online Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013. In stores May 21, 2013. Pre-Order http://www.amazon.com/Smile-Carol-Duboc/dp/B00BNWWYCG/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=13650…

Carol Duboc

Carol Duboc

Music Therapy: Duboc delivers a revealing “Smile”

Jazz singer-songwriter teams with Jeff Lorber for a deeply personal album about the demise of her marriage

Los Angeles, California (22 May 2013): Thinking that everything had fallen apart, the tears streamed down Carol Duboc’s face as she wrote the lyrics to “Smile,” the title track to the soulful jazz vocalist’s stunning sixth album that was released Tuesday (May 21) by Gold Note Music. She gazed at her young daughter’s smile and found hope. Hope infuses the painfully honest and courageously candid collection Duboc penned and produced with fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber about coming to terms with the end of her marriage. The shuffling beats of the funky first single, “Elephant,” one of Billboard BDSradio’s most added tracks this week, elusively dances around the realization that she and her husband faced: the amassed problems in the marriage were the elephant that could no longer be ignored.

Duboc and Lorber have a history of writing songs together that spans more than a decade yet became more frequent a few years ago when the chanteuse with the candied voice moved into a Los Angeles, Calif. neighborhood near Lorber’s home studio. They complement each other’s strengths as songwriters organically with Duboc coming up with catchy melodies and compelling storytelling lyrics for Lorber’s jazz-funk rhythms and grooves. Naturally turning to her own life for lyrical themes, Duboc delved into the flood of feelings that she was experiencing at the time in the troubled relationship. She intimately chronicled utilizing the process as a form of therapy allowing her to work through the morass. Despite the difficult subject matter, the songs are not bitter as Duboc instills a sense of hope into her melodies – perhaps because of her daughter’s presence. She remains poised throughout her cathartic emotional exploration.

“Smile” was recorded in the studio live with Duboc accompanied by a stellar ensemble consisting of Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), 3-time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano). Her graceful, caressing and expressive voice nestles into the plush contemporary jazz rhythm beds, rides the R&B grooves, and adds depth to the urbane pop confections.

After “Elephant” opens Duboc’s diary, the comforting and inspiring title track emits radiant light in the face of challenging times as captured in the uplifting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIPYZRYApRc). The sultry “Unpredictable” is a tantalizing fantasy about a stranger on which Thompson’s cool jazz guitar riffs admonish the dangers of acting on the daydream. Duboc realizes her dream of scatting along with one of Laws’ solos on “Telepathy” although at the time she was preoccupied trying to read her husband’s mind. The sensual “Atmosphere” sets the mood for romance in the hope of rekindling the love. A brisk Latin jazz adventure, Duboc puts her fear of flying aside to offer a pledge of faith and trust on “Parachute.” An ethereal sonicscape spotlighting Bromberg’s nuanced acoustic bass heightens the sex appeal of Duboc’s enticing purrs and prowls on “Behind A Kiss,” which finds physical love on the other side of the tumult. On the jazzy “Gliding,” the singer yearns to fly free from her troubles underscored by Laws’ soaring and fanciful flute. Begging to know what “Nobody Knows,” Duboc’s marriage was rocked unexpectedly after she returned home from the studio one day to learn something shocking about her partner, which proved to be the beginning of the end. Duboc describes the buoyant “Mythological” as being a “great closer for this musical and emotional journey.”

To help launch “Smile,” Duboc will perform a pair of album release gigs backed by Lorber, Haslip, drummer Tony Moore and guitarist Adam Hawley this Sunday (May 26) at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, Calif. and in Hollywood on May 29th at the Catalina Jazz Club.

Ever since her 2001 debut album, “With All That I Am,” Duboc has consistently set the bar high for her critically-acclaimed sophisticated urban-jazz tunes that have garnered gushing praise from the likes of the Los Angeles Times and JazzTimes. Laws appeared on that first album and remains a fixture on her recordings that over the years have spawned multiple Top 5 airplay singles at Radio & Records and included collaborations with Lorber, Gerald Albright and Patrice Rushen. Duboc’s gift for composing and arranging has enabled her to author songs on gold and platinum-selling albums by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, George Duke, Maurice White, and Fine Young Cannibals. Duboc was tapped as a special guest on several of the all-star Ladies’ Jazz series alongside Sarah Vaughan, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall and Dinah Washington. The beautiful blond Kansas City, Missouri native made her motion picture debut in 2005’s “Be Cool,” which starred John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito. Additional information is available at http://www.carolduboc.com.

The songs comprising Duboc’s “Smile” are:

“Elephant”

“Smile”

“Unpredictable”

“Telepathy”

“Atmosphere”

“Parachute”

“Behind A Kiss”

“Gliding”

“Nobody Knows”

“Mythological”

One on One with Brian Culbertson

I’m thrilled to share with you an interview I had with the one and only Brain Culbertson. I’m a “HUGE” fan, so that made it even more of an honor for me. He was very gracious to take the time out of his busy schedule. He shared with me his concept behind the 2nd Annual Napa Valley Getaway that he hosts. He gave me some insight on how his CD “Dreams” evolved, and talked about his collaborations with a few of the finest vocalists and musicians. We also shared our admiration for the legendary David Sanborn, and how he influenced us both at an early age.

Brian loves playing in Charlotte, NC, and is looking forward to performing at the Uptown Jazzfest on Friday June 21st.

Click below to hear our interview.

The man himself....Brian Culbertson

The man himself….Brian Culbertson

Brian's band

Brian’s band

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