Derrick “D” White
Trombonist, Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Producer
Derrick White (D. White) is a fresh sound on the music scene. His musical birth began in church at an early age. Through the years his talent and engraving sound have been developed from listening, playing, and being around a wide variety of musical influences. He has been a director, arranger, and instructor for many different brass bands and other groups. Since moving to Boston in 2005, his instrumental, performing, and industry training has been extended. He plays weekly around the area, and is a sought after trombone player for studio sessions, horn section performances, and as a backing instrumentalist for a R&B, funk, and gospel groups. When hearing D. White perform, listeners are immediately drawn to his vocal approach. The vibe is flooded with a soulful tone not expected from a bone player. The characteristics of his melodies reflect his everyday presence: playful, mellow, confident, vague...and some personalities that would otherwise take some time to see: over-bearing, gentle, exuberant. The future of a young talent with such a seasoned mind and passionate work ethic, is one with no promises, yet an invaluable asset to the world of music!!!
Worship Project 2008
By Willie J. Felder, Jr.
Indie Music Enthusiast
Imagine there’s a place…a void in space and time, where music enthusiasts are able to come together in spiritual unanimity to worship God. A place with no limitations, where we are boundless by the theories and conventional wisdoms that have been imparted to us. Where we can truly escape the mental burdens and get in tune with our spiritual beings. A place where an immersion in spiritual worship is so magnanimous that only the angels can truly testify. Oh how euphoric! Musical heaven best epitomizes this place. Well the Worship Project 2008, so brilliantly orchestrated, composed, arranged, produced and performed by a new musical virtuoso by the name of Derrick “D” White, has beckoned us to go to such a place. He’s managed to keep his music unpredictable without losing the listener, ever consistently ushering us to the throne of worship.
Many words come to mind when trying to describe the musical personification of Derrick White. Two that come to the forefront are “musical virtuoso”. The word “musical” is defined as, fond of, sensitive to, or skilled in music. The word “virtuoso” can be defined as, somebody who shows exceptional technique or ability in something. Upon listing to the Worship Project 2008, I am sure you will agree that D. White’s exceptional musical gift is absolutely undeniable. He is responsible for 98% of the instrumentation on this first CD release.
The Intro on Worship Project 2008 is in fact a rendition of the traditional hymn, “I Surrender All.” The simplicity of the chord structures highlight the unbelievable tone quality that D. White possesses as a seasoned trombone player. Coming from an organization that breeds trombone players, not just naturally but spiritually also, not many can dispute his ability to maneuver between lower and higher registers without losing tonal integrity. The next track “Surrender” gives us a pleasant surprise of a new rendition all together. D. White elusively draws us in as he sits us down for a one-on-one lesson on surrendering during the first verse. The chord progressions used in this piece compare to that of the late greats, J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding. In the modulation, the flow of progression is shocking but not out of place. Lastly, the vamp begins to usher us into the place of praise preparing us for the ultimate worship experience.
The next track “Incredible” is a beautiful flowing journey encouraging us to give God what he deserves. D. White shows us by example how musical praise is offered up to God. Although the chords are simple and there are not a lot of rifts, the sheer potency of his tone is utterly captivating. With the rhythm in a constant swing, you have no choice but to praise God in a dance. On the subsequent track “Come Too Far”, D. White begins with a gospel/classical approach to an old classic, forcing the listener to stay with him during this musical journey. Clearly, at this point in the CD, you do not know where D. White will take you but you know it will be musically enlightening. By the time the vamp comes in you are entering the Holy of Holies. Your mind has begun to reflect on where God has brought you. D. White challenges you to allow the music to walk through and elevate from praise to worship.
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” has somewhat of a “New Orleans” style flavor that is decorated in spiritual overtones. Again, quite simplistic in structure, D. White begins to play as the Apostle Paul declared, “in spirit and power.” Comparatively, he begins to show us his incredible versatility with the slide. He fades out with a nice vamp that allows you to get into a spiritual groove. The interlude entitled “Spirit” is a very passionate entrance into the worship realm. While listening to this song, my mind created the mental picture of how as the body of Jesus lay in a tomb and His followers mourn him, the spirit and power of Christ goes to the depths of hell to deliver the lost souls from their torment. By the climax of the interlude, we then see the power of the spirit of Christ return to awaken the body of Jesus for a triumphant resurrection. This is truly a diamond in the rough on this CD and shows the true talent and musical diversity of D. White. It is reminiscent of the music used in great film scores.
When listening to “Never Walk Alone,” you cannot help but to feel that it is a personal testimony that D. White has so graciously decided to share with the world. The first part delivers such a mellow start of the journey. Then, we again follow D. White to another vamp that is not only tranquil but most assuredly hypnotizing. The effects used on this part intensify our spiritual being as he brings us again to the Throne Room for ultimate and selfless worship. He returns with an interlude, “Choose” which is actually an introduction to “Chosen”, a beautiful and heartfelt song that was sung honoring his Spiritual Advisor, who passed about two months before this CD release. This definitely goes straight to the heart with a musical arrangement comparable to that of Nat King Cole. If this was a tribute, it was a job well done.
The finale, “All The Way,” is a rendition of the hymn “Where He Leads Me.” The inclusion of the acoustic guitar allows us to bear witness to D. White’s versatility yet again. It adds another dimension to a brass wind dominated setup. The arrangement is like none other. D. White’s ability to assemble unique instrumentation is truly genius.
He carries us off with yet another vamp. Although we know that this is the end of the CD, we know that it is just the beginning of a musical journey. A journey that is sure to allow us to climb over the hills with mind-blowing chord progressions and piercing tonal quality, give us strength during valley times, give us vamps to dismiss the troubles around us and spiritual themes that bring us to the where we can truly worship.
It is hard to get through even the best film without a great soundtrack. Your life is your film. Let D. White do your soundtrack, it will be easier to get through.
Willie J. Felder, Jr.
Indie Music Enthusiast