Popular smooth jazz guitarist Peter White continues his mastery of the idiom on Glow, his latest for Columbia. I have to admit, one reason I like Peter White’s work better than most smoothies these days is that his playing always does seem to emit a happy, effervescent glow. His friendly, personable style goes a long way towards trying to redeem an otherwise mechanical, non-descript program. He invites an assortment today’s leading sax smoothies to lend their talents: Kirk Whalum, Euge Groove (Steve Grove, formerly with Tower of Power for a couple years, if you didn’t know), Steve Cole, Dave Koz. Trumpeters Rick Braun and Jerry Hey provide the wind-driven counterpoint to White’s guitar on a few tunes. White also calls on the talents of several keyboard/programmers in an attempt to vary the mix: Tim Heintz, Jeff Lorber, Michael Egizi, and Steven Dubin. Dubin really serves as White’s musical partner on most of the disc, co-composing many tunes and providing most of the drum loops and a majority of the production. Despite the changing rosters, though, this program suffers from a remarkable sameness. There are many more shining moments in White’s past releases. The most interesting piece is “Pedro Blanco,” which sports a funkier edge and nice multi-tracked trumpet punctuations (all performed by veteran horn arranger Hey). “Life Story,” a tribute to White’s recently deceased father, emotes a little stronger than the other tunes, and the closer, “Baby Steps” ends the program on a light, happy, upbeat note.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.