All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Contemporary Vibes


Peter White: It's All Confidential

Cheryl Hughey By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Peter White is set to release Confidential on March 23, 2003. Full of smooth grooves and romantic undertones, this CD features guest appearances by Chris Botti, Brian Culbertson, Christopher Cross, Mindi Abair, Paul Brown and Michael Paulo. White took the time to share with the Jazz Review his road of success that led to this ninth solo album.

White began studying the guitar as a teen and knew by the time he was sixteen that he was going to make a life in music. However, big breaks aren’t free. “I was living in a small town in England and had no idea how I as going to get into the music business. I was working in a soup factory. I’d given that up and decided I was going to go for it,” shared White.

Although he’d played locally at the Holiday Inn, he’d never connected with any major names in his London suburb of Letchworth. He thought, “What was I going to do? I want to be musician.” In a moment that would define the rest of his life, he caught the first train to London. As brave as this move might sound to the rest of the world, White admits he was “petrified.” Simply sharing, “Everything was telling me [to] turn back. You’re a twenty-year-old kid with no experience in the music business. There’s people who are going to be there far more experienced than you.” Yet, he pressed on.

“So, I didn’t turn back. I played, they loved me, I joined the band . . . within a few weeks, I was playing in Al Stewart’s band,” said White. It was this defining moment that would shape the rest of White’s life. Reflecting back on the experience, he believes that “the greatest lesson” is that “everybody has fear.” Continuing, “You think you have fear and no one else does. Everybody has fear. The only thing is some people let fear make their decisions and some people don’t. I was determined that fear would not make the decision for me. I acknowledged the fear and went past it. I said . . . yes, I’m scared, but I’m still going to do it.”

White expands on this “life lesson” to his fans during performances. Telling them to “be themselves.” He isn’t afraid to share the stories of his own battles won and thrives on connecting with the audience. The greatest compliment a fan can give White in return is to just enjoy the music. If someone says to him, “I love that song you recorded. It helped me through a hard time,” he believes “that is what it is all about. That is my reward.”

White sees himself as an entertainer and a musician. He doesn’t cut records to impress. The quality of the sound and enjoying what he does is far more important. White took his time in the making of Confidential. “The last album I thought was very good and I’ve been working for a whole year to try and make one that’s as least as good as that one,” said White.

The idea to make a new album actually came from producer Paul Brown. Brown invited White over to the house and played him a rough demo for the song that would become Talkin About Love. Later, they would take a look at the Brenda Russell tune, She’s in Love. White shared, “I wanted to do this song because I like the song. It’s written by Brenda Russell. I’d played it with Brenda many times.” The original piece was written for the piano, but White rearranged it for the guitar with fabulous results. The addition of Christopher Cross on vocals added a romantically fickle touch that brought it all together. An assortment of special guest appearances would create an album full of sensual layers and alluring ambience. For instance, you’ll hear the passionate side of Culbertson in Confidential and sexy trumpet lines from Botti in Stormfront.

White’s favorite song on the album is Endless Journey. Of all the songs on the album, this one took the longest to finish. It is “really two songs in one,” said White. However, what is most fascinating about this piece is the minimalism of the guitar. “In the last three minutes of my own album, the guitar is barely there and I like that,” he said.

White feels that one of the biggest mistakes a musician can make is playing too much. Saying, “Every time I went back and listened to the album, I realized I wanted to make it even simpler.” Perhaps there is one more lesson we could all learn from Peter White – Life is much easier when you just let the music speak for itself.

Visit Peter White on the web at .


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Down to the Bone Plays Capital Jazz Fest Contemporary Vibes
Down to the Bone Plays Capital Jazz Fest
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: June 12, 2004
Read Smooth Jazz Jam II Contemporary Vibes
Smooth Jazz Jam II
by AAJ Staff
Published: May 2, 2004
Read A Taste of Spring Contemporary Vibes
A Taste of Spring
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: April 18, 2004
Read Four For February Contemporary Vibes
Four For February
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: February 22, 2004
Read Richard Smith:  Living 'Soulidified' Contemporary Vibes
Richard Smith: Living 'Soulidified'
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: January 27, 2004
Read Dave Koz:  A Holiday Tradition Contemporary Vibes
Dave Koz: A Holiday Tradition
by Cheryl Hughey
Published: December 10, 2003
Read "Meet Abby London Crawford" Out and About: The Super Fans Meet Abby London Crawford
by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017" Live Reviews Redwood City Salsa Festival 2017
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko: Elective Affinities" Musician 2 Musician Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko: Elective Affinities
by AAJ Staff
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Vijay Iyer Sextet at The Village Vanguard" Live Reviews Vijay Iyer Sextet at The Village Vanguard
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 21, 2018