If there were a Mount Rushmore for smooth jazz, then one of the founding fathers would have be the always popular guitarist Peter White. White picks up where he left off with his 2009 smash release, Good Day
. The same positive vibes that were emitted from that project are carried over to his latest called Here We Go
. “When I start recording, I don’t have a vision. I just go with the moment, what feels good, what sounds good. The vision comes out of the music. The music doesn’t come out of the vision,” says Peter. Those are the same vibes that pour from this performer’s live shows as well as the close relationships he has with his fans.
There is a thumping back beat that kicks off the opener called “Night After Night.” It is a track that White had worked on years earlier and with the collaboration of producer DC finished it for this project. “He added a lot to the rough idea that I had put together years ago,” says White. The driving beat along with some added keys make for a lively background for the guitar throughout. I really like this one and keep going back to it time and time again. The next track is a beautiful ballad that was written with keyboardist and friend Phillipe Saisse for his next CD. “We reversed the order of the verses so that instead of him playing the first verse on piano, it was now me and my guitar. After many other changes in the arrangement it felt right to go on my CD,” says Peter. The two of them play this one beautifully.
The title track was written with saxophone great David Sanborn in mind. “David is someone whom I’ve wanted to play with for the longest time. He’s a legend to me and to just about every musician I know. The excitement about having him play on my record inspired an uptempo rhythm, so I took it in that direction.” It begins with only Peter as he moves along nicely then introduces the sax of Sanborn as they reach the chorus. It continues to build as the two of them take it towards the end for a resounding finale. “If Ever” keeps the drive going once again as Saisse is featured on keys along with Andrew Neu on sax. This one is even more special to Peter as it includes the violin of his ten year old daughter Charlotte. “So I wrote this part for her, I set up the microphone at home and she played it. It’s a song about looking into the future. It’s about possibilities, about what one could do with one’s life if things were slightly different.” “Our Dance” opens with a beautiful intro from Saisse before launching into the introspective guitar of White. It is followed by the always emotional sax of Kirk Whalum as the two finish with some beautiful harmonies. This one is very nice, and will be so good to hear in concert.
He slows things down on “Desert Night” as warm keys serve as a nice complement to White’s acoustic guitar. It is a great contrast to “Joyride” which begins with strong corded piano by Saisse once again before launching into a driving back beat accented by Peter’s acoustic. “I added a classical arpeggio on top of this slamming disco groove in an effort to create something that people would want to dance to, sort of a latter day “Classical Gas” says White, laughing. This one of my favorites on the project and I love how it all comes together for an awesome ending. “Costa Rica” incorporates Latin rhythms as it moves along nicely with the addition of congas and timbales by Ramon Yslas. The flute and sax of Neu are good additions as it keeps this one as light and lively as the country of the title. “Whenever I go there, I’m struck by the happiness of the people and the beautiful countryside. Those are the things that I tried to capture in this song,” says White. It is a good lead in to the reggae sounding “My Lucky Day” as Peter puts his own spin on this one including some nice background accordion.
One of the final pieces is the darker “Requiem for a Princess” that was written in 1997 just after the death of Princess Diana. “I poured all of my sadness into this song and haven’t been able to record it until now, as the memory was too fresh. It’s all minor chords and descending lines; maybe the saddest I have ever written,” says White. It’s both moving and powerful as you feel the emotion coming from each pluck of the strings. “Reunion” is a good one to end the project on as it seems both happy and thought provoking as has the album has been. Heavily chorded, it features the guitarist at his best once more.
This will be one of the top CD’s of the year and I would encourage you to pick it soon after its March 13th release date. It is by the way, White’s thirteenth release and one of the best. I like what he has done throughout the project. “I wanted songs that moved me, in the hope that they will move the listener as well. I’m on a journey, and I want to bring with me anyone who’s willing to follow. That’s what the title of the album and indeed, the spirit of the album; is all about,” says Peter. Look out fans…….Here We Go!