On July 20, 2010, chart-topping musician Brian Culbertson will release the twelfth album of his multi-faceted career, simply titled XII, on GRP Records.
Culbertson commemorates his twelfth release with 12 new songs that continue to reflect his broad-ranging musicality and mastery of intimate moods. The titles swing from the rapturous metaphorically rich love ballad “Skies Wide Open” (featuring R&B singing star Avant), the sexy bedroom baby-maker “I Wanna Love You” (featuring singer/guitarist Ray Parker Jr.), the strings-kissed dance jam “Another Love” (featuring 21st century soul man Kenny Lattimore) and the cool club persuader “Out On the Floor” (featuring balladeer supreme Brian McKnight) to the slammin’ attitude jam “Don’t U Know Me By Now” (featuring powerhouse Faith Evans), a journey through the many moods of being entitled “That’s Life” (featuring Earl Klugh who co-penned it along with fellow Detroit native Parker and Culbertson), a think piece on the meaning of it all titled “I Don’t Know” (featuring spoken word enchantress Natalie Stewart of Floetry), and an all-out Go-Go party jam titled “Feelin’ It” (featuring the man who put Washington, D.C. Go-Go Music on the map, Chuck Brown in addition to a comedic appearance by Sinbad). Four more instrumentals round out the album, including the lovely dreamscape “Waiting for You” and the incredibly funky “Stay Wit It” on which he takes a rippin’ Moog solo.
It was while in the act of Twittering about the making of his latest creation that Culbertson decided to simply title the project XII (Twelve). “I was just noticing that there are a lot of ’12s’ in my life,” Brian muses … “I was born on January 12, I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 12 years now and have been married to my beautiful wife Michelle for 12 years. There are 12 notes on the piano … and it was at the age of 12 that I knew I was going to be a professional musician.”
As he started work on the album, Brian thought of yet another way to make his fans a part of the creative process in a brilliant extension of the DVD he created last year, Live From The Inside. “I decided to create a video blog to give fans a chance to watch me make the album from start to finish. Almost daily, they could watch me execute and explain every step of the process, plus see me in sessions with all of my amazingly talented friends. The response has been phenomenal with many people tuning in every day to see what I’m up to. To ‘Twitter’ about the project, I labeled the topic #BCXII. Someone said that would be a great title for the album, so it stuck.”
Culbertson’s steady stream of top albums and hit singles should come as no surprise since he began playing the piano at age 8, which he went on to master, along with the trombone, bass and drums. Growing up, he was influenced by heavy players ranging from Earth, Wind & Fire to The Brecker Brothers to James Brown.
After studying at DePaul University in Chicago, Brian released his self-produced album, Long Night Out (1994). Since that time, Culbertson has recorded on and/or produced over 25 chart-topping records on the contemporary jazz charts in musical styles that have moved from R&B throw downs to New Age lullabies. That rare eclecticism also informs the cornucopia of styles that animate this latest work, XII.
Culbertson produced all of the tracks on XII – nine alone, three in collaboration with the prolific Rex Rideout. The first single for Urban AC radio is the vocal ballad featuring Avant, “Skies Wide Open” (co-produced with Rideout) while the first single for smooth jazz radio is the Earl Klugh feature, “That’s Life.”
In addition to gearing up for the much anticipated twelfth title XII, Culbertson is bringing his new tour to cities around the world all summer long (including stops throughout the U.S., Japan, Germany, England and a return to the Capitol Jazz SuperCruise) and at year’s end he’ll join the “Dave Koz Christmas Tour” (along with Candy Dulfer and Jonathan Butler).
XII Official Tracklisting:
1 Feelin’ It (Featuring Chuck Brown)
2 Another Love (Featuring Kenny Lattimore)
3 It’s Time
4 Out on the Floor (Featuring Brian McKnight)
5 Waiting for You
6 Stay Wit It
7 Skies Wide Open (Featuring Avant)
9 Don’t U Know Me By Now (Featuring Faith Evans)
10 That’s Life (Featuring Earl Klugh)
1 I Wanna Love You (Featuring Ray Parker Jr.)
12) I Don’t Know