Dozens of jazz performers over the years have cut live albums at Yoshi’s, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, John Handy, Marian McPartland, Oregon, George Coleman, Mads Tolling and – my favorite – Mulgrew Miller. Now add contemporary jazz star Brian Culbertson to the list.
Contemporary jazz luminary Brian Culbertson continues to commemorate his 20th anniversary as a recording artist in a prolific way with two vastly different projects: his first live album, which will be recorded during a four-night stand (September 11-14) at Yoshi’s Oakland, and the release of a 31-minute solo piano piece entitled “Breathe,” created as therapeutic accompaniment for relaxation, massage, yoga and meditation.
Last February, Culbertson kicked off the celebration with the release of “Another Long Night Out,” an outing on which the hitmaker was joined by an all-star ensemble on a revamped version of his 20 year-old debut disc, “Long Night Out.” The first release on his new BCM Entertainment label became his sixth session to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and spawned “Fullerton Ave.,” his 27th No. 1 single as an artist, producer and songwriter. Backed by his six-piece band, he then launched the “Brian Culbertson Live: 20th Anniversary Tour,” which will be preserved for posterity when all eight shows at Yoshi’s are recorded with the best moments culled for the live collection. The set list will be comprised of fan favorites from Culbertson’s chart-topping catalog consisting of 14 studio albums plus one new track that he wrote with long-time writing partner guitarist Sheldon Reynolds.
“I really wanted to capture this moment in time because it is such a milestone,” said Culbertson about the live album slated for release on his next birthday, January 12, 2015. Tickets for the Yoshi’s engagement are expected to sell out and anyone who pre-orders the album at the show will have their name included in the album’s liner notes.
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