Peter White – Confidential

Peter White
(Sony – 2004)
by Ray Redmond

By confidential, White means “whimsical, like a knowing wink between two people.” Peter knows how to convey what he feels in his music to the listener as if it was meant just for them. “Talkin’ Bout Love” has already entered the Top 20 and bodes to be yet another chart-topper for the four-time winner of the Smooth Jazz Awards’ “Guitarist of the Year” honor. I particularly liked ‘Jump On It’ and ‘Are You Mine’ but hey, what’s not to like here? Peter White is arguably one of the best guitarists of our time, and certainly the best smooth jazz guitarist. White wrote or co-wrote ten new songs for the album, which includes contributions from Brian Culbertson, Chris Botti, Mindi Abair, Paul Brown and Christopher Cross, who croons angelically on the Brenda Russell cover “She’s In Love.”

As per usual with a White collection, a variety of producers, songwriting collaborators and musicians helped create Confidential, although they are seamlessly held together by White’s nifty guitar-work. Despite White’s incredibly successful track record, it’s the personal material that he wrote alone that he gets most anxious about, wondering how people will receive the new music. The music emanates from his heart and always seems to find its way into the hearts of listeners.

While a young man, White went to the top of the pops in association with a multi-platinum selling artist (Al Stewart). Years later, his solo music helped smooth jazz flourish, a genre which he refers to as “the great leveler, a musical melting pot without boundaries.” While idolizing The Beatles in his youth, White learned the importance of songwriting, especially in keeping it simple, yet clever. “It’s far more important to present a great song than to try to dazzle people with your skills as a musician,” he said. However, White manages to do both with consistency.