Peter White – Smile

A glance at the track list and running times for Peter White’s Smile (Heads Up, 2014), one might go, “Oh, no. Cookie-cutter music.” The songs are short, hovering around that magical four-minute mark that makes all tracks acceptable for radio programmers who have the attention span of a gnat. However, it’s what White does in those four minutes that keeps this from being a typical, ho-hum, smooth jazz release.

White plays nylon-string, acoustic guitar and is joined throughout by co-producer DC. Together, they handle all instruments not specified by any of the nine guest artists who appear here and there.

One can’t help but smile with the title song. It opens the set with a delightful groove. Mindi Abair and Stevo Theard join with lead vocals. Rick Braun steps in with funky horn and flugelhorn solo. The lyrics are simple: “I just like the way you do it / smile / I love the way you do it / smile.” But it’s the overall vibe of the song that makes it work.

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