November 7, 2012; A new look line-up, a revamped set list and that same old Peter White magic all combined to produce what proved to be another memorable night at London’s Pizza Express. In the fine company of Frank Felix on bass, Marc Parnell on drums, the invariably excellent Oli Silk on keys and seriously soulful sax-man Carl Stanley, White plundered his extensive discography for an evening that will live long in the memory. In fact from the opening bars of the wonderfully familiar ‘Promenade’ the audience (that included those who had traveled from Ireland, the USA and all over England to be there) knew they were in for a special treat and with White very much ‘in the mood’ he delivered on every level imaginable with a captivating choice of music that spanned well over two hours.
Quickly into ‘Mr Magic’ (that he deftly blended with ‘What Does It Take’) the show rolled sublimely on and, stopping off at his 1998 project ‘Perfect Moment’ for a brilliant new arrangement of ‘Autumn Day’ (and a sumptuous rendition of the title cut) White turned to ‘Good Day’ for the spicy ‘Ramon’s Revenge’ that provided the chance for Marc Parnell to really shine.
‘Lullaby’ from ‘Caravan Of Dreams’ and a tranquil take on Buddy Holly’s ‘Everyday’ provided a mellow oasis in what was otherwise a high-octane evening but as the tempo again increased it was ‘Talkin Bout Love’ from the ‘Confidential’ CD that really hit the spot.
A brilliantly innovative version of ‘Walk On By’ afforded the opportunity for Frank Felix to contribute a groove-drenched solo on bass that went far beyond the norm and when White generously handed center stage to Oli Silk the result was the title track from Silk’s 2010 album ‘All We Need’. It took a while but when White finally got around to his current release ‘Here We Go’ the reward was a zesty interpretation of the fabulous ‘Costa Rica’ while elsewhere other gems included a welcome outing for the title tune from ‘Caravan Of Dreams’ and White’s seminal cover of ‘Who’s That Lady’ for which the input of Mark Stanley on tenor sax rapidly approached Whalum-esqe proportions.
One pleasing diversion was the inclusion of ‘Boulevard’ from the 1993 recording ‘Promenade’ which was one of the tracks that way back when enabled White to establish a foothold on UK smooth jazz radio. It provided a timely reminder of the enduring quality of his music and, as the band stormed toward a glorious climax, it was the tried and tested combination of ‘Bueno Funk’, the similarly smoking ‘San Diego’ and the totally terrific ‘Bullseye’ that sent the crowd home happy.
White’s UK tour continues through November 14 where it concludes at the Concorde Club in Eastleigh. On the 23rd he will be in Austin, TX at the One World Theater where he is set to open his nineteen-city ‘A Peter White Christmas’ tour with Mindi Abair and Rick Braun which wraps up December 22 in San Diego.
For more details go to www.peterwhite.com