When David Cullen told me he had access to a studio for
a few hours and might lay down some demos for a solo CD in the next
year, I was pleased to hear he was already working on new compositions.
When I received 15 finished recordings – which not only featured fully
fleshed-out tunes, but an absolutely stunning performance level
throughout – it was obvious we had a new record, not a new demo.
David’s typically low key and humble response to my enthusiastic call
was… “I had a good day.” We are honored to again present another set
from a great musician and guarantee a good day for all who listen.
David Cullen "In The Pocket" SACD 2033 CD
David Cullen can finesse a salvo of chords through space with the kind
of grace and intuition that an Olympic gymnast glides through her floor
routine. Both make the exceptionally difficult appear fluid and
effortless. But the real beauty of Cullen's fingerstyle jazz is less in
the execution than the choreography of the music. The "wow" of Cullen's
music is in the classically-influenced composition, the way his chordal
resolutions tug at some long-buried archetypal memory that recollects
both wistfully and pleasantly. "Bembe Minore" is one such aural
vignette, sounding much in spirit like Liz Story's bittersweet
composition "Wedding Rain". Cullen tale-spins both heartfelt and
rapturously on other perfectly constructed tunes "B Cool", "Call and
Answer" and "Seaside Soca". Yet, he's not so cloistered that he can't
do down and dirty... check out the funkifized blues intensity of
"Groove Etude", "Les McCann", "Go Ahead and Play" and "In the Pocket".
The purpose of music is to emotionally move the listener. David Cullen
has hit on that elusive magic by appealing paradoxically, but equally,
to heart and intellect.
IN THE POCKET : David Cullen SACD2033 CD
Known mainly as a classical and jazz guitarist, David Cullen
now presents an album called IN THE POCKET. This album has jazz
influences with an ambitious indulging groove in it and it really
swings. Groove Etude honors its name with a cracking groove. Bembe
Minore and In the Pocket have these Cuban Afro Rhythms in soft flowing
soundscapes. User Friendly induces as on the entire album great worked
out bass lines with a Brazilian melody line. Seaside Soca has this
gracious Caribbean character with nice chord changes and a weaving
rhythm. Samba de Agua, a samba composition with imaginary scenes. Ridin
on E David makes E major distinguished rhythm on a nice laid back
melody line. David Cullen establishes on IN THE POCKET to create
a great atmosphere which is based on groove in paintings , who find
there inspiration in Brazilian and Folk music. The 15 tracks are
uplifting music with great bass lines and excellent melodic pieces.
This music invites one to dance and let yourself go in the music of
this eminent guitarist.
Henk te Veiduis
In the Pocket
Solid Air Records 2033 CD
Genre: NEW AGE
David Cullen is a ferocious finger-style guitarist who has been the guitar
tech and accompanist for Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman for years.
Truth be told, Cullen is a more advanced and precise musician than
Ackerman. He can play the same airy melodies, but he also has a jazz side,
and that's what shows up on In the Pocket. It's not easy to get down on a
nylon string guitar, but Cullen does it, swinging from jump jazz to jazz
funk, with stops at Brazilian samba and gospel. "Les McCann" nods to the
soul jazz keyboardist, while "Call & Answer" has an African lilt. Cullen
occupied the opening track of the first Windham Hill Guitar Sampler, but In
the Pocket is more for late-night grooves than pastoral moods.