Playin' Favorites

Playin' Favorites

by Peter WhitePeter White


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For his tenth full-length album, Playin' Favourites, British smooth jazz giant Peter White decided to, as the title suggests, turn to some of his favorite tracks from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, giving each of them his own interpretation (he did a similar thing in 1994's Reflections). Working with longtime producer Paul Brown, as well as musicians Boney James, Rick Braun, and Dave Camp, among others, White successfully turns the 11 songs on Playin' Favourites into instant crossover jazz hits. Mainly this means adding horns and keyboards to the background while the guitarist lithely moves around from the melody into lush improvisationally based solos, rendering them much slicker and smoother than they were before (although granted, he didn't have to do much to turn Bacharach's James Bond classic "The Look of Love" into something so adult contemporary). For many of the songs White chooses, the arrangements, albeit a bit sugary, transfer well, and create very soothing, clean pieces of music that could be used in any setting where being inoffensively unmemorable is a priority. But for his version of "Hit the Road Jack," though he uses just his guitar, an upright bass, some finger-snapping, and a male vocal quartet in an attempt to sound bluesy, he still loses a lot of the urgency and instinct that made Ray Charles' rendition so affecting and great. By moving from the soul and emotion of the late pianist and singer towards something more universally "palatable," White ends up not properly respecting the contributions and innovations Ray Charles brought to music, which is unfortunate, because honoring his idols was most assuredly his purpose in making this album. The record's not a failure by any stretch: there's still plenty of smooth jazz to carry the audience through the quiet hours of the day, but because Playin' Favourites is a cover album, and it doesn't do all of the songs included on it quite enough justice, it ends up falling a little short.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969499221
catalogNumber: 94992
Rank: 8777

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Peter White   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Accordion,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Jonathan Butler   Vocals
Richard Elliot   Saxophone
Bob James   fender rhodes
Sam Riney   Saxophone
Kiki Ebsen   Vocals
Boney James   Saxophone
Rick Braun   Trumpet
Jeff Carruthers   Bass,Drums,Rhythm Guitar,Keyboards
Chuck Cymone   Bass,Drums,Keyboards
Jerry Hey   Flugelhorn
Dan Higgins   Flute,Saxophone
Herman Jackson   Keyboards
Ozzie Melendez   Trombone
Jeffrey Osborne   Vocals
Roberto Vally   Bass,Background Vocals
Ramon Yslas   Percussion
Don Harris   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Bill Harris   Saxophone
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Paul Rayner-Brown   Guitar,Drums,Background Vocals,wah wah guitar

Technical Credits

Percy Mayfield   Composer
Ernie Isley   Composer
Bill Withers   Composer
Peter White   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Daryl Hall   Composer
Ralph MacDonald   Composer
Bobby Hebb   Composer
Adrienne Anderson   Composer
Johnny Bristol   Composer
Paul Brown   Audio Production
Vernon Bullock   Composer
Jeff Carruthers   Arranger
Chuck Cymone   Arranger
Hal David   Composer
Harvey Fuqua   Composer
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements
Marvin Isley   Composer
O'Kelly Isley   Composer
Ronald Isley   Composer
Rudolph Isley   Composer
Stewart Lerman   Engineer
Van Morrison   Composer
William Salter   Composer
Skip Scarborough   Composer
Don Harris   Horn Arrangements
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Paul Rayner-Brown   Arranger,Producer,Engineer

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