Guitarist Peter White gears up to release “Smile,” October 7, 2014 on Heads Up/Concord Music Group. “Smile,” is Peter’s fourteenth recording featuring an impressive array of special guests including vocalist Mindi Abair, trumpeter Rick Braun, soprano saxophonist Euge Groove, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, bassist Nate Phillips, violinist (and daughter) Charlotte White, Ramon Yslas on bongos and vocalist Stevo Theard.
“This CD is my third recording for Concord of all original songs,” White says. “It started with Good Day (2009) and continued with Here We Go (2012). What I try to do on every single album is produce a story that has adventures; that has different styles that take you to different places.”
The ten tracks on Smile reflect the wide reach of White’s musical horizons, which emanate from contemporary jazz and branch out into R&B, classical and world music vistas. White’s nuanced and nimble fingers take the listener on an aural movie, set in a multitude of musical places and spaces.
Born in 1954 in Luton, and raised in Letchworth – both suburbs of London, White played the clarinet, trombone, violin and piano before settling on the electric guitar, and, like most kids of his era, he fell under the electric spell of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, before he crossed over into the acoustic realm, which was also encouraged when his brother, pianist Danny White, accidentally destroyed his electric axe.
White professionally started his career around the age of nineteen and the following year joined Al Stewart and stayed for two decades. Originally hired as a pianist, White’s first big break was on Stewart’s 1976 hit “The Year of the Cat,” and he also co-wrote many songs on Stewart’s 1978 LP, Time Passages. White later moved to Los Angeles and formed the band Shot in the Dark. His brother Danny was one of the founding members of the British pop group Matt Bianco, which included singer Basia. When she went solo, the guitarist and his brother recorded several albums with her, including her 1987 debut, Time and Tide, and the 1990 follow-up, London Warsaw New York.
“People have told me that when I play electric guitar, it sounds good,” he says. “But as soon as I play acoustic guitar, it sounds distinctive. And that’s because I put what I learned from playing the electric guitar and apply it to the acoustic guitar. It’s very easy for me to go that route. My musical voice speaks on the nylon-string guitar.” Peter White
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