Adeli’s Music Blog

Viva Italia!

Posted in music by adeli on October 28, 2007

My first exposure to trumpeter Chris Botti was in 1999 from the front row at Sting’s Brand New Day concert in Miami. As I am good with names, I recognized it when I saw some of his CD’s at the record store a couple years later. After debating over which album to buy, I settled on his The Very Best Of collection. It was just a taste though, and I craved more of his smoothness and his interesting interpretations of standards.

I am a big fan of his Christmas album, December, mostly because it’s not the same old holiday fare. His masterpiece though is 2004’s When I Fall In Love. It’s my favorite of his albums, and the album that made critics realize that Botti was worth their attention and recognition. The follow up, To Love Again, is a great set as well. It’s all duets with Botti and his favorite singers, including Sting, Paula Cole, Gladys Knight, Steven Tyler, and Michael Bublé.

His interpretations are thoughtful and his original compositions are impressive. He’s smooth without actually being in that Smooth Jazz category. He improvises, and has a touch of Miles, but doesn’t go on for twelve minutes. He’s in a genre of his own, and that’s what makes him so remarkable.

”Chris

His current release, Italia, is a formidable set of compositions ranging from film music to classical opera, along with the newly composed title track. It captures the romance and sweeping atmosphere of Italy, and shows Botti’s strength as a composer and interpreter.

The opener, Deborah’s Theme (from Once Upon A Time In America) and Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission) are works of the accomplished Italian composer Ennio Morricone. While Morricone’s original Deborah’s Theme is entirely classical with a full orchestra, Botti interprets it with very little accompaniment, letting his trumpet shine on this shorter version. The title track, Italia, is a duet with one of Italy’s greatest tenors, Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli’s passion for music and his homeland bring this song to a higher level. Having the Tuscany-born Bocelli here is a wonderful addition to Botti’s tribute to Italy. Paula Cole, a frequent collaborator of Botti’s, offers her sensual vocals to a new rendition of Ray Noble’s The Very Thought Of You. Botti’s trumpet adds a touch of magic to the 1957 vocal recording of I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face by Dean Martin. Had Dino been alive to hear this, he would’ve been as pleased as Botti must be. Puccini’s Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot gets a stunning interpretation. Ave Maria is done so beautifully here; there’s a choir to create the religious and breathtaking characteristics of Schubert’s masterpiece.

Italia will transport you to the lushness and romance of Italy with the very first note. Botti brings new life to old standards and adds something extra to already perfect compositions. His work only continues to improve with each new release. Italia is masterful and quite beautiful, and evidence that Botti is the premier trumpeter of his time.

Go to the Blogroll on the right to view some of Botti’s live performances.

Free bonus track downloads/CDs at: Chris Botti

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One Response

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  1. Sue said, on November 1, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I first heard of Chris Botti because he did the soundtrack for the 1996 movie “Caught” ( Edward James Olmos, Maria Conchita Alonso) which was written by my teacher and good friend, Ed Pomerantz. It is a really beautiful soundtrack and just one reason why you should see this excellent movie. This was before Chris was really famous, and Ed says he was totally great to work with.


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