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.
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