April 10, 2011. It was a case of standing room only at London’s Pizza Express as Peter White played his penultimate gig before jetting off to Turkey for two nights at JC’s Jazz Club and Restaurant in Istanbul. Outside summer had arrived early while in the basement jazz club ‘on-air’ personalities such as Solar Radio’s Bruce Nazarian, Rod Lucas from Best Smooth Jazz and Rich Edwards of the SmoothGroves Radio Show mingled with the likes of Renato Falschi, James Colah and a fervent fan following to witness a show that even by Peter White’s colossal standards was right out of the top drawer. Indeed in the stellar company of Mark Parnell on drums, everyone’s favourite bass-player Frank Felix, sax-man Jaared and the immaculate Greg Karukas on keys, White delivered an outstanding two hour set that, while showing signs of being tweaked for 2011, retained everything that makes him the best in the business.
Peter quickly had the show up and running with ‘Promenade’ from the 1993 album of the same name and, after deftly merging it with a feisty rendition of ‘Mr Magic’, slid perfectly into ‘Bright’ from his current hit recording, ‘Good Day’. This tribute tune to the late Wayman Tisdale found great favour from the engaged audience and the excellent ‘Are You Mine’ from the ‘Confidential’ CD was received equally well. Reaching back to 2003 and his ‘Reflections’ project, Peter came up with the beautiful ‘My Cherie Amour’ and later, when he revisited ‘Reflections’, the result was a wonderful pairing of ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and the magical ‘Walk On By’.
Taking time set the scene; White gave full value to the exotic ‘Ramon’s Revenge’ from ‘Good Day’ and also found time for the title cut from this 1998 CD ‘Perfect Moment’ which he followed with his much loved version of ‘Who’s That Lady’. This familiar tune was given a whole new feel by White’s ultra cool intro for which Karukas played a significant part and when the time came for White to generously turn over the spotlight to this sensational player, Karukas regaled the crowd with both ‘Sound Of Emotion’ and his radio mega-hit ‘Lady In The Red Dress’.
Just as impressive was Jaared and his performance of ‘Dancing With You’ from his own current hit collection ‘Manhattan Nights’ while as is customary with most every Peter White gig, the evening ramped up to a glorious climax with the high octane ‘Bueno Funk’ and the similarly smoking ‘San Diego’ which White effortlessly blended with the terrific ‘Bullseye’.
Brought back to the stage by rapturous applause, Peter White brought down the curtain on another memorable Pizza Express’ night with the hugely optimistic message of ‘Just Give Me A Chance’. It was a fitting end to a fine show and when White returns to the Pizza Express in November there will be no shortage of people there to see him.