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Brian Culbertson to Release Remake of Debut Album, "Another Long Night Out" in Feb. 2014

“Another Long Night Out” for Brian Culbertson

On the 20th anniversary of its release, the multi-instrumentalist hitmaker returns to his contemporary jazz roots to remake his debut album joined by many of the accomplished artists that inspired him.

Los Angeles, Calif. (12 September 2013): Brian Culbertson was a 20-year-old student at DePaul University recording demos in his bedroom “studio” in a crowded apartment that he shared with three roommates above a costume shop on a busy Chicago street. Those demos not only landed the then trombone player in DePaul’s jazz ensemble a record deal, but they were released a year later - February 1994 - as part of his debut album, “Long Night Out,” on which Culbertson played most of the instruments himself.



Twenty years later, he’s an award-winning recording artist, songwriter and producer who is currently in the studio revisiting that first collection of songs that will be released in February 2014 as “Another Long Night Out,” but this time he’ll be accompanied by many of the contemporary jazz artists who influenced him when making the original.

Culbertson’s recent releases have primarily been excursions aboard R&B and funk grooves thus “Another Long Night Out” marks a return to his roots in contemporary jazz. Among the preeminent musicians joining him in the recording studio to play on the 11-song album are the Rippington’s Russ Freeman, Eric Marienthal, Candy Dulfer, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Paul Jackson Jr., Fourplay’s Chuck Loeb and Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip and Will Kennedy of Yellowjackets fame, Ricky Lawson, Michael Thompson, Lenny Castro, Michael Bland, Patches Stewart and a 38-piece orchestra with additional legendary artists soon to be added. Culbertson is producing the record.

Another major change for the keyboardist-trombonist who has released his 13-album catalogue through major record labels is that Culbertson decided to go the independent fan-funded route in order to get his worldwide fan base intimately involved with the project. In recent years, he has been a leading figure in contemporary jazz when it comes to embracing technological innovation, social media and video blogs and is energized about the new music business, the creative freedoms it affords and the opportunities to interact directly with fans.

Said Culbertson, who discusses the new project and shares footage from some of the recording sessions in his latest video blog (, “I’m excited about being able to make the album the way I’ve always wanted to make it. With the limited resources I had at the time, most of ‘Long Night Out’ was just me on drum machines, synth bass and sampled/synth piano trying to sound like real instruments. Now I’ve got some of the best contemporary jazz musicians on the planet playing those parts. This record is a true passion project and a return to my roots as a recording artist. I’m also enthused about opening up the recording process to fans via fan funding, which is almost like having them there in the studio with us. They’ll get to hear demo versions of songs and early mixes in almost real time. The entire recording process will be documented on my video blog. Plus we’ll be offering fans extraordinary experiences such as personalized videos and phone calls, private concerts, concert tickets, video blog shout outs or a thank you in the album’s liner notes, signed sheet music and CDs, a limited edition vinyl copy of ‘Another Long Night Out,’ an opportunity to hang with me at the mastering session followed by dinner or the chance to come to a rehearsal for my 2014 tour. I can even play on your record.”

A highly-popular headline concert performer, Culbertson is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a five-day festival of wine and jazz in breathtaking Napa, California. The luminous lineup for the third edition of the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, slated for June 11-15, 2014, will be revealed by the end of the month in conjunction with the release of tickets.

For more information, please visit and

Archie Shepp Attica Blues Orchestra | "I Hear The Sound" (Coming Jan. 14th, 2014)

Track Listing: Attica Blues; Arms; Blues for Brother G. Jackson; Come Sunday; The Cry of My People; Quiet Dawn; Déjà Vu; Steam; Goodbye Sweet Pop’s; Ballad for a Child; Mama Too Tight.

Personnel: Archie Shepp: tenor and soprano saxophones, voice; Amina Claudine Myers: piano, voice; Tom McClung: piano; Famoudou Don Moye: drums, congas; Reggie Washington: bass; Darryl Hall: bass (5); Pierre Durand: guitar; Stéphane Belmondo: trumpet; Izidor Leitinger: trumpet; Christophe Leloil: trumpet; Olivier Miconi: trumpet; Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (5); Sébastien Llado: trombone; Simon Sieger: trombone; Romain Morello: trombone; Michaël Ballue: trombone; Raphaël Imbert: alto saxophone; Olivier Chaussade: alto saxophone; François Théberge: tenor saxophone; Virgile Lefebvre: tenor saxophone; Jean-Philippe Scali: baritone saxophone; Manon Tenoudji: violin; Steve Duong: violin; Antoine Carlier: viola; Louise Rosbach: cello; Marion Rampal: voice; Cécile McLorin Salvant: voice.

The album was recorded on Sept 9 2012 at the Jazz à La Villette Festival, June 14 2013 at CNCDC de Châteauvallon and on June17 2013 at Les Nuits de Fourvière Festival

On September 9, 1971, a riot broke out in Attica Prison, New York State, and quickly spread. For five days, about a thousand prisoners controlled one of four yards encircled by the prison buildings, where they held thirty-three hostages, guards and civilian employees. On September 13, New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered the prison to be retaken by force. Thirty-nine people were left dead: twenty-nine prisoners and ten hostages were all killed by the troopers’ bullets. At first, the administration tried to blame the guards’ deaths on the rioters, before being forced to admit culpability.

In January 1972, Archie Shepp recorded the album Attica Blues in tribute to this rebellion.

After the original and the repeat performances in 1979 of his Attica Blues Orchestra at the Palais des Glaces, in 2012 Archie Shepp revived the fantastic ensemble, together with a brilliant and dynamic collective of performers. It is an orchestra that transcends styles and epochs. The band is international in scope, combining the extraordinary abilities of great American artists such as: Amina Claudine Myers, Jimmy Owens, Famoudou Don Moye, Ambrose Akinmusire, Reggie Washington, Tom McClung with an array of some of the brightest stars on the European horizon: Stéphane Belmondo, François Théberge, Christophe Leloil, Izidor Leitinger, Raphaël Imbert, Cécile McLorin-Salvant, a Franco-American vocalist currently studying music at the New School in New York. She also studied in the jazz class of the Aix-en-Provence conservatory and is winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Competition. Finally the remarkable and talented soprano, Marion Rampal of Marseille, France, who has performed extensively in Europe and recently in the U.S. The String Quartet from Dijon is a specially added feature which adds both colour and intensity to this joyful sound; a 26-piece orchestra which emits a unique generational and cultural ambiance.

Above all there is the cry of the blues which has lost nothing of its purpose and intensity in 2013. The blues is analogous to the album’s title, a beacon, and a metaphor, not the blues as a set style or particular aesthetic, but as a collective state of mind, a link that unites all the musicians. For example: Blues for Brother George Jackson seems to recall a devastating, dance groove, but Shepp insists that the music has both a social and aesthetic meaning. Written to preserve the memory of the Attica rebellion, it still strikes a strong chord in contemporary ears. 2013 is the year of Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, of Barack Obama’s second term, the old anxieties that we thought to be buried, and the inexhaustible reflexes of exclusion, suspicion, racism, and ostracism are still present, and grow more and more embedded in our daily lives. We experience Attica Blues as if it had been written today. There is a certain tristesse which continues to gnaw at us, a sense of shared suffering that will long remain in our collective memory.

Archie Shepp Attica Blues Orchestra Live CD Out in January

"I Hear The Sound" follows up on Shepp’s 1972 “Attica Blues” album

Terence Blanchard: The Hardest Working Man

The trumpeter balances a new album, an opera, mentoring & more

By Geoffrey Himes

As 2012 turned into 2013, trumpeter-composer Terence Blanchard, then 50, was juggling the following: composing Champion, his first-ever opera; recording Magnetic (Blue Note), his first album in four years; and serving his second academic year as artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. The album was released on May 28, three weeks after classes ended in Miami and just as the opera was going into rehearsals for its June 15 world premiere in St. Louis, Mo. As soon as the opera ended its two-week run, Blanchard left with his quintet for Europe. They were back in the States by August for the Newport Jazz Festival and a tour to showcase the new record.

Onstage at Newport, Blanchard wore a thin moustache, a half-buttoned white shirt and tie-dyed gold pants. His current quintet was supplemented by alumnus Lionel Loueke, and the tall, lean African coaxed animal cries from his guitar over Fabian Almazan’s quiet piano chords to introduce “Hallucinations,” a song from the new album. Blanchard and tenor saxophonist Brice Winston soon articulated the main theme: a melancholy elegy that spun off into an intense trumpet solo, full of punctuated cries that hinted at both anguish and anger over Kendrick Scott’s drum rumbles. The tune’s dark, knotty sound contrasted with the setting: a white canvas tent in the middle of a green field inside a gray-stone, 19th-century fort.

For the final number, Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” the quintet was further supplemented by Herbie Hancock, who had halted his car to the airport while passing the stage; impulsively, he climbed out and marched to the piano. Backstage afterward, Blanchard laughed about Hancock’s unexpected appearance: “He always does that, standing on the side of the stage, looking at you like, ‘C’mon and get your ass whipping. You might as well get it over with. I’m not going to be that rough on you.’”

Blanchard seemed tired but elated. He was enjoying the reunion with Hancock almost as much as the chance to play the album’s strong new tunes in a live situation. Moreover, he had recently received news that several other opera companies were interested in possibly staging Champion. Former band members such as bassist Derrick Hodge stopped by to ask about the opera and the Mancini Institute


Smooth Music News (Smooth Jazz Network)

'Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together' 2014 Tour Announced

Music icons Paul Simon and Sting have announced they will launch a North American tour beginning February 8, 2014 in Houston, TX, continuing through March 16 with stops in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, DC and Orlando.  Dubbed "Paul Simon & Sting: On Stage Together," the two musicians plan to perform some of their biggest hits individually and as a duo with each singer-songwriter bringing along their respective bands on the tour.  The artists are friends from back-in-the-day when they were neighbors in the same Upper West Side apartment building in New York City.  They performed together in May at a benefit for the Robin Hood Foundation, offering up acoustic versions of their classics "The Boxer" and "Fields of Gold."  Paul says, "After we finished it, we both looked at each other and said: ‘Wow. That's pretty interesting.' "  Sting adds, "Paul and I both share this abiding curiosity about music and where it's going. We don't really know where this is going. We don't really have a clue how this is going to pan out."  The tour includes stops in 18 cities to date with pre-sale tickets available via each artists website, and, beginning Wednesday, November 6 at 10am local time.  Tickets for the general public will go on sale beginning Tuesday, November 12.

Al Jarreau for 2014 Brubeck Festival: Coast to Coast

The 2014 Brubeck Festival: Coast to Coast, hosted by the University of the Pacific's Brubeck Institute, will take place March 27-29, 2014 in Stockton, CA.  Headlining the event are three talented Grammy Award-winning artists, singer Al Jarreau, pianist Eddie Palmieri and drummer-composer Terri Lyne Carrington.  The festival is celebrating its 13th year as it highlights the music and life of legendary pianist-composer Dave Brubeck.  In conjunction with the west coast event, there will also be a Brubeck tribute at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 7-13.  The events will include a six-month exhibit, "Dave Brubeck: Jazz Ambassador," performances of new arrangements of Brubeck's music by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, performances by Brubeck's sons, and current and past Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet members. Jarreau, a Brubeck Institute Honorary Board member shares, "Dave Brubeck's music has been important to me through my life and career, so I am proud to serve as an honorary board member for his Institute.  And now, to have the opportunity to perform my music at the annual gala, that's fantastic. It will be a great weekend and I'm proud to be a part of it."  For more information and to purchase tickets for the festival visit here.

Tower of Power Releasing Live CD 'Hipper Than Hip'

Tower of Power is marking their 45th anniversary with the release of a new live album entitled Hipper Than Hip (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow-Live on the Air & in the Studio 1974) via Real Gone Music.  TOP got their start in Oakland, CA in 1968 when Emilio Castillo met Stephen "Doc" Kupka in July of that year.  In 1970 they were signed by Bill Graham's San Francisco records and released their first album East Bay Grease.  By 1974 the band was at the top of their game having released their fourth album Back To Oakland and on May 14, 1974 they stopped by the radio station WLIR in Hempstead, Long Island to play a live-in-the-studio show.  The performance resurfaced when a tape collector sent the show to Real Gone Studios and the band agreed the set should be released.  TOP has had numerous great artists as members over the years including trumpeter Greg Adams, saxophonist Richard Elliot and singer Lenny Williams.  The band is currently on tour with shows in Park City, UT November 15-17.  Visit their website here for more info and tickets.

Quincy Jones to Receive 'Louie' Award

The Louis Armstrong House Museum will hold its annual Gala on December 11, 2013 featuring a special performance by the Grammy Award-winning Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks.  This year the museum will honor award-winning musician, producer, composer Quincy Jones, esteemed jazz historian, author, educator Dan Morgenstern, Jay Hershenson and Grace Lawrence with the exclusive "Louie" award for their dedicated work to preserve and promote the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong.  Jones will be introduced by his friend, George Avakian, a legendary producer in his own right and the mastermind behind classic Armstrong albums such as Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy and Satch Plays Fats.  Avakian was a Louis Armstrong House Museum Gala Honoree in 2011 and his introduction of Jones will constitute a momentous meeting of two of the most important producers in the history of 20th century music.  For more information about the Louis Armstrong House Museum visit here.

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