Peter White – Perfect Moment
(New York, August 19, 1998) Hot on the heels of his stellar debut release for Columbia Jazz, Caravan of Dreams, contemporary jazz’s premiere acoustic guitarist Peter White presents his second outing for the label Perfect Moment. Veteran producer Paul Brown, along with Steven Dubin, who worked with White on Caravan of Dreams and also scored hits with Rick Braun, Boney James and Richard Elliot, again teams with Peter to create this “perfect moment.” Keeping true to his musical spirit of capturing places, moments and moods which have inspired him over the years, Perfect Moment continues a personal journey for White that has set new standards for the contemporary jazz music genres
Aside from being a continuation of the warm, friendly atmosphere I try to create onstage, this is another travelogue connecting specific locations with the feelings of any given moment,” states White. “The music always starts with that feeling, and the groove and melody jogs my memory and creates these interesting associations. ‘San Diego,’ for instance, gives me that summery feeling I get when I visit. ‘Windy City,’ which I wrote with Brian Culbertson in Chicago, has a certain wacky bounce that makes me think of overcoat weather. ‘Midnight In Manhattan’ gives off that urban groove that just feels like New York City to me.”
One of White’s most unique musical trademarks is his uncanny ability to make conversation with the saxophone, trading melody against melody and then letting his acoustic harmonize perfectly with the horn. Helping him achieve this on Perfect Moment are all-star saxmen Grover Washington Jr. (“Midnight in Manhattan”), Gerald Albright (on the Luther Vandross cover, “Don’t Want To Be A Fool”) and Greg Vail on (“Autumn Day.”) Also joining, White is trumpeter Rick Braun, who guested on Caravan of Dreams and is featured on the track “Kinda Sweet.”
Since starting his solo career in 1990, with the release of reveillez-vous, and his subsequent recordings Excusez-moi (1992), Promenade (1993), Reflections (1994) and his 1996 Columbia hit Caravan of Dreams, White’s enormous popularity, unique sound and natural, unpretentious musical vision has established him as one of the mainstays at the top of virtually every smooth jazz radio airplay and sales chart.
Born and raised in London, White was a virtual one man band as a child. A self-taught guitarist (he taught himself how to play by listening to James Taylor albums), it was Eric Clapton and Cream which made him realize his life would be about the guitar. And, it was younger brother Danny (who is Basia’s musical collaborator) accidentally setting fire to Peter’s first electric guitar and amp, that settled him on the acoustic As a teenager playing at the Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, he was recruited to play keyboards in Al Stewart’s band. During the recording of the landmark Year of the Cot album, Stewart recognized White’s growing guitar skills, and those acoustic strains became an identifiable part of Stewart’s sound over a nearly 20-year touring and recording collaboration. White co-wrote two of Stewart’s biggest hits “Time Passages” and “Midnight Rocks,” served as his bandleader and later co-produced his Famous Lost Words album.
Moving to Los Angeles in 1978, White formed his own band, Shot in the Dark recording one album for RSO Records and opened for Stewart on an international tour. 1984 began his highly successful association with Basia when brother Danny and then-unknown Basia formed the band Matt Bianco Peter performed on the group’s debut album, Whose Side Are You On, as well as its hit single, ‘Half A Minute.” When Basia and Danny left the band to focus on her solo career, Peter’s guitar and accordion became an integral flavor in her popular sound. He played on her three bestselling albums and appeared on her live performance release Basia on Broadway. White was touring with Basia in the summer of 1990, when his own solo debut, reveillez-vous turned the contemporary jazz world on its ear. Basia would later add her distinctive vocal style to “Just Another Day,” which became a hit from Peter’s Caravan of Dreams album. Additionally, Peter’s enormous popularity has led him to record with such artists as 3rd Force, Rick Braun, The Crusaders, Craig Chaquico and a new project by Kirk Whalum, to name a few.
Over the years, Peter has also become a major force as a performer in his own right, most notably with the Guitars and Saxes tour. In fact, it was an outgrowth of a recent appearance at the Maui Music Festival which led to the naming of the new album. “A fan came up to me and asked if he could propose to his girlfriend onstage during my show. I brought him up, gave him the microphone and he did just that After the show, I asked him why he wanted to do it there instead of in a quiet romantic setting,” Peter recalls. He replied, ‘It just seemed like the perfect moment!”‘ And, Perfect Moment it is, Peter White’s dazzling follow-up to his debut on Columbia Jazz, which is destined to create many perfect moments of listening pleasure for his ever-growing legion of fans around the world!