Berks Jazz Fest 2006: Brian Culbertson, Eric Darius

Berks2006_CulbertsonDarius.jpgAfter the Ivan Lins show we rushed over to the Sheraton where more great music was waiting for us. Crowd pleaser Brian Culbertson with special guest Eric Darius on sax were on. I arrived just in time for the start of the concert and they grooved right away. Brian Culbertson has such a great sense for melodies and knows how to deliver a song. His touring band is first rate and like a well oiled machine. They were hitting us with some great music. This year rising star Eric Darius on sax was part of his show, along with his dad Jim on trumpet who must be proud of his offspring. They gave us many great songs with Brian's playing being as outstanding as ever, either breaking it down and playing it soft or building it up to a great climax. Eric Darius blended well with his fiery solos and spirited playing, being another darling of the crowd. On top of all this, there were parts of the show when Brian switched from the keyboard to the trombone, joining trumpet and sax for a horn frenzy playing funky songs running around on stage to the delight of the crowd. I always like the part of the show when they bring some music for all the lovers in the crowd being soft and sensual and bearing all the Culbertson trademarks. Asking the guitar player (and music director) to bring an old school vibe, we also got some great covers of old R&B classics showing where they were coming from and where their musical heart lies. This show was not very different from previous shows I saw but very entertaining as always. The whole show by the way was broadcasted on 69-WFMZ-TV and hosted by Cameron Smith (Smooth Jazz TV) and Michael Tozzi (WJJZ Philadelphia).

Photo credit: Michael Packard