If you’ve seen previous posts about the current Thornton Winery Champagne Jazz series in the Temecula Wine Country, you know there’s lots of excitement about this year’s lineup. Kenny G & Earl Klugh performed this weekend, and such luminaries as Rick Braun & Richard Elliott, Dave Koz, and George Benson are also scheduled for this 24th season.
While all these shows are sure to be great, the bar for sheer entertainment value was set quite high at the sold-out “Dream Tour” show featuring David Sanborn & Brian Culbertson July 15th.
This is an interesting pairing as David Sanborn is one of the truly iconic saxophonists in contemporary jazz, who has worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to David Bowie to the Rolling Stones, and boasts both Gold & Platinum solo albums. Keyboardist and composer Brian Culbertson is 27 years his junior, but already has thirteen solo albums to his credit and has toured with Dave Koz among many others. Culbertson’s latest effort is entitled “Dreams”, and Sanborn is celebrating the 25th anniversary of one his most famous songs “The Dream”, hence the name of the tour.
And yes, they crushed it! Kicking things off with one of Brian’s tunes featuring a hot sax solo, they segued into “Maputo”, another of Sanborn’s biggest hits. The entire show was structured in that way, trading off songs and solos, really enhancing each other’s pieces. Long-time Sanborn fans were also treated to “Spooky”, “Bang Bang”, “Chicago Song”, and “The Dream.” Culbertson highlights included “Always Remember”, “Serpentine Fire” and the first single from his current project entitled “Your Smile.” Those not familiar with Brian were wowed by his prowess on the trombone as well, in segments that let him move all over the stage.
He is not just an accomplished musician, Brian Culbertson is a real entertainer. Speaking of prowess, their outstanding band deserves to be mentioned. It featured two terrific drummers, guitar, bass and two keyboard players, one of whom was the well known and well-respected Ricky Peterson, who also added backing vocals. The Dream Tour will be headlining the Long Beach Jazz Festival on August 12th.
Thornton Winery Champagne Jazz series continues through October 21st, and their Mediterranean terrace overlooking the Temecula Wine Country is simply a wonderful place to see a concert. Both general admission tickets and reserved seats with gourmet supper packages are available. Get more info at www.thorntonwinery.com/jazz Oh, and try the chardonnay!