Review by James Walker, Jr.
Peter White's Christmas CD is much more than the fantastic acoustic guitarist leading a group of studio artists. On this recording, White involves some of his favorite musicians, including the lovely and talented saxophonist Mindi Abair and masterful trumpet/flugelhorn player Rick Braun, and both are integral components throughout. This trio has performed together over the past few years during the holiday season, entertaining thousands of their fans and now the entire world can share in this spirited holiday music.
Although the bulk of this fine CD is composed of traditional Christmas music, there are several exceptional selections written by the talented Mindi Abair. Mindi exercises her tender vocals on "I Can't Wait For Christmas," a piece she cowrote with Matthew Hagen, She also cowrote "The Best Part of Christmas" and is the lead vocalist on this sweet love song, while also providing a well done vocal turn on Joni Mitchell's "River."
R&B vocalist Jeffrey Osborne joins White and Braun on a beautiful version of "Silent Night." What's a Christmas album without this timeless tune. I only wish Osborne had a few more bars on this song. Although Braun is noted for his horn playing, he actually demonstrates excellent vocals on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Braun also wrote "Jingle Jangle Blues," a takeoff of "Jingle Bells," but with a blues theme. Talented backup keyboardist Ron Reinhardt has a nice solo on this piece.
Even though White isn't credited for penning any of the CD's songs, he arranged several of the tunes, and as usual, plays some outstanding acoustic guitar and harmonica throughout the entirety of this fine Christmas CD. If you haven't had an opportunity to experience this trio's Christmas concert, this CD is the next best thing.