Dan Peterson




Daniel Peterson

Illinois Jazz Project 

Talented multi-instrumentalist Peterson delivers plenty of smooth, glass-of-Cognac-after-a-night-of-clubbing moments on this jazz set, and hepcats of the Playboy glory days will absolutely revel in his melodic forays and tuxedo-sophisticate tone. Another bonus is his reverence for songs and song structures. You can groove to these tracks as background ambience or as a critical listener and never feel as if you’re being pulled too far out of your comfort zone. In other words, Illinois Jazz Project is definitely produced to caress and please, rather than challenge your sensibilities of melody, harmony, and tone. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but Peterson also manages to add just enough funk (harmonies, interesting melodic shifts, some “blue” bends, etc.) to lift the album out of the realm of invisible cocktail-bar music. The only things that truly threaten the mellow vibe-out are his percussion parts— which tend to sound stiff and overly bright (on the cymbal work), and are mixed way too far up front to enhance the moods of the gentler tracks—and an occasional sharp bite and ever-so-slight stumble in his picking. You get the feeling that would absolutely cook in the right band, but, until that happens, Illinois Jazz Project is a real find for jazz guitar lovers jonesing for a more traditional fix. Blue Water Records

Michael Molenda   Guitar Player Magazine  



"Whether he's firing off supple volleys of jazz runs or experimenting with the avant-garde, Peterson will draw you with his impeccable taste and intense feeling. A satisfying album.... Wonderful mood music." 

Jas Obrecht    Guitar Player Magazine


"To say Dan Peterson is a skilled jazz guitarist would be an understatement. This is a very atmospheric record with Peterson playing all instruments. ....every cut creates a mood." 

 (He's) a wonderful player. Single line bursts, beautiful chordal work, and octaves out of Wes' book mix work to create musical landscapes. His "Somewhere Near Kansas City(which is the old chestnut "Kansas City" by Lieber-Stoller) is Jazz-Blues Heaven. 

 "Windy" expands on Wes Montgomery's version of the Association's 60's pop hit and his version of The Classic's IV's "Spooky" is a tour-de- force with some nice soloing. 

 "You'd be hard pressed to find anyone doing their own album, playing all the instruments and sounding this good. The multi-tracking is smooth and never interferes with the songs. His playing is great throughout and the twenty songs hang together beautifully. It'd be nice to hear other artists do this occasionally and pour their hearts into it as Peterson has." 

John Heidt    Vintage Guitar Magazine




"What's In the Editor's CD Player" Column 

Art Thompson, Senior Editor, Guitar Player 

"Forward View-Dan Peterson" 


"A Joyous spirit pervading throughout...A choice guitar album."

Jas Obrecht   Guitar Player Magazine


"Dan Peterson focuses on recording wonderful jazz guitar that covers a lot of ground." 

--John Heidt 

VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE May 2006 First Fret Article 

Audio Magazine

"A marvelous display of contemporary guitar playing at its most varied and intricately arranged...a guitar Virtuoso." 

Tom Bingham   Audio Magazine



"Complex, yet the themes are so fluid, melodically tasty, and are played with such skill, flair and spontaneity, they don't sound the least bit difficult or contrived. Peterson's musical personality insures their originality and quality."

Tom Bingham OP Magazine



"A Vibrant, Experienced guitarist whose sound evidences the influence of Wes Montgomery and George Benson"

Jazz Improv Magazine



"Despite great reviews that praised his style, dexterity and compositions, Dan Peterson actually walked away from music for almost a decade due to frustration with the direction commercial music had taken. Now he's back with a new energy and a new CD filled with red hot swing blues, jazz, and rock tunes. Anyone who loves good music and appreciates talented musicians should be grateful for his return. Peterson's new release features the same outstanding skill and taste that brought him critical acclaim for his earlier work....A promising and uncompromising artist whose music is filled with jazz and blues roots but is unquestionably original." 

Monitor Magazine



"His music demonstrates the artistry and tradition of a man who knows his instrument, but still maintains a fresh, youthful exuberance. It's clear that artistic pride and integrity are important to this jazz man. His determination and eagerness to explore are reflected in each record that Peterson produces. 

Roland US


When Daniel Peterson's CD "Illinois Jazz Project" arrived at my office I was eager to pop it into my CD player and have a listen. I had heard a few cuts from the CD via the web and genuinely enjoyed what I heard. Now...let me clarify that I'm not a jazz cat in any way shape or form. As much as I've tried to become cognizant of jazz I simply have been unable to appreciate much of the wandering, meandering notes of say a pure jazz combo. To my unsophisticated ear it often sounds like three guys playing three unrelated songs. However with that being said, being a guitar player I have great respect and admiration for those players who have the musical savvy to integrate various types and styles into their music. I personally steal snippets of basic jazz licks and chord voicings and use them in my own original compositions with regularity. Those jazzy touches of class not only make my songs sound better but they make me feel like a better player than I probably am. 

 Daniel Peterson doesn't have any problem convincing his listener that he's got the chops to jazz it up with the best of them. His playing has that savvy and sophistication that's easy to appreciate. It also doesn't hurt that the guy is genuinely musical. To even the uninitiated it's clear he's got a mastery of his instrument and his style of jazz is moving, classy, and in my opinion far removed from that pretentious style that I fail to comprehend. I understand Dan's music; I like how it makes me feel. He's an honest player who let's the notes flow from his fingertips. He knows how to milk a chord for all it's worth and while many a guitarist strives for machinegun-type speed in runs and scales, Dan let's his tone and emotion fill his notes and phrasing. Dan let's his electric guitar drip with sound and you can tell he's trying to squeeze every drop of resonance with each pluck, strum, pick or tap of the strings. For someone who want's to get a quality taste of jazz but doesn't want to have to contend with the confusing depths often associated with the genre, "Illinois Jazz Project" is a perfect choice. The tracks are mostly soothing tunes and they demonstrate the cool sophistication that jazz licks and chords add to a melody. Classic cover tunes such as "Spooky" and "Windy" don't escape Dan's creative and cool spin. To his credit he retains the original feel of both of these tune yet has found a subtle method to make them his own through his tasteful playing. Overall I dig this CD, "Illinois Jazz Project" is a relaxing, wondeful CD to listen to. I did feel that some of the digital percussion sounded a bit stiff and I also was of the opinion that some of the tunes ended abruptly... but that might just be a jazz thing!! Small criticisms indeed for a CD featuring 20 tracks and all the instrumentation is played by one guy. In addition it's all instrumental so no annoying vocals to interfere with the guitar. Yeah.....I enjoyed this CD and Dan Peterson should be grinning on the cover because fresh sounding quality music like his isn't that easy to find." 

 Chris Armold    Guitar Digest


"Even if you don't consider yourself a jazz fan, Daniel Peterson's Illinois Jazz Project has something for anyone who appreciates good musicianship. Peterson plays all the instruments on the record, impressive enough once you hear the layers of tracks piled on each song, but it's the guitar playing that really sets him apart. Make sure you check out "Go (Go Irish)," where Peterson ditches the jazz and lets it rip with some hard rock licks." 

Trevor Fisher    Illinois Entertainer Magazine


"It would be rather sly if there were actually two Dan Petersons playing on Forward View, the axe-grinding is that sick. With a mish-mash of standards ("My Favorite Things") and Xmas songs (""Drummer Boy") fashioned for bop guitar, it would appear that Peterson's fingers know no fear. Personal taste will dictate whether you need 75 minutes of his fluid strokes -- motion sickness begins establishing itself -- but the guitarist is otherwise restrained in providing such a wonderful view." 

Steve Forstneger    Illinois Entertainer Magazine




 Dan Peterson plays and endorses Godin Guitars