Songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson ups the stakes with his follow-up to 1999's SOMETHIN' BOUT LOVE (which sent 3 singles into the Smooth Jazz charts, including #1 spots for "Back In The Day" and "Do You Really Love Me?" and remained on the Smooth Jazz charts for over 46 weeks.) NICE & SLOW - Culbertson's sixth Atlantic Group release - features a cast of superstar guest artists, including six-time Grammy-winning trumpeter "Herb Alpert ("Just Another Day"), pianist Jeff Lorber, and saxophonists Dave Koz ("Get It On" and "I Could Get Used To This") and Kirl Whalum. In addition to thse star-studded instrumentalists, NICE & SLOW also includes vocal tracks featuring Trey Lorenz and Sherree, as well as two versions of the seductive track "Someone," performed by none other than gold-selling R&B singer Kenny Lattimore.
When, as a teenager, Brian Culbertson released his debut album, Long Night Out
, in the early part of the 1990s, it was obvious that he was a child of smooth jazz, with a definite penchant for commercial musical hooks that hang together and shine. Subsequent successes showed that he had that talent in abundance, but those records seemed rushed to strike the smooth-jazz iron while the radio play was hot. Nice & Slow
varies from his recent efforts; as the title suggest, it's a mellower 11-song effort, but it seems Culbertson also used the title as a mantra in putting these songs together, as they are among his best compositions--Culbertson hasn't put out a more complete album since his debut. The evidence abounds, from the delicious ballad with Dave Koz
, "I Could Get Used to This" to the funky call-and-response Midwest groove on "Get It On." The young keyboardist uses (and gets the best of) his guest stars on this album, among them trumpeter Herb Alpert
, fellow keyboardist Jeff Lorber
, and R&B star Kenny Lattimore
. --Mark Ruffin