On the heels of his breakthrough debut When I Fall In Love and follow-up To Love Again, trumpeter Chris Botti plays two triumphant shows at The Wilshire Theatre with guest vocals from Sting, Jill Scott, Gladys Knight, Paula Cole and Burt Bacharach
Trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets picks up where his stellar 2004 release When I Fall in Love leaves off, with more gorgeously lush and heartfelt orchestral jazz via the London Session Orchestra. This time showcasing guest vocalists – as well as a handful of instrumental tracks – Botti takes an even more classicist approach than before and once again brings to mind such iconic jazz albums as Clifford Brown with Strings and Miles Davis' Porgy and Bess. Largely known as a smooth jazz artist with a sweet trumpet tone, it wasn't until When I Fall in Love that Botti dropped the smooth jazz synthesizers and pop-oriented compositions in favor of Gil Evans-style jazz orchestrations and an acoustic backing quartet…
Trumpeter Chris Botti drops the synthesizers and drum loops of his previous effort, Thousand Kisses Deep, for a more elegant and traditional sound on When I Fall in Love. While Thousand Kisses Deep maximized Botti's penchant for mixing perfect pop songs with his Miles Davis-influenced jazz style, it nonetheless featured many of the electronic and processed sounds predictable on modern smooth jazz releases. By eschewing such "go to" pop-jazz production techniques as drum machines and synthesized strings in favor of the real instruments here, Botti ironically sounds utterly groundbreaking on what is ultimately a straight-ahead orchestral jazz album. While nowhere near as improvisationally adventurous as its predecessors, When I Fall in Love is still a revelation in the tradition of Sketches of Spain, Clifford Brown With Strings, and Wynton Marsalis' Hot House Flowers. Mixing standards and contemporary pop tunes all in a straight-ahead style, Botti gives his minimalist Miles-ian horn sound a chance to breath and be enjoyed on its own.
The follow-up to his smash 2009 concert album Live in Boston, Chris Botti's studio album Impressions features more of the cool trumpeter's crossover jazz, pop, and classical stylings. Focusing on Botti's love of melody, Impressions is an aesthetically varied album featuring works by classical composers Frederic Chopin and Astor Piazzolla as well as standards by George Gershwin and Harold Arlen. While Botti's virtuoso playing is always the focal point of his albums, here we get more of his acclaimed collaborations, including tracks with such artists as jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, guitarist Mark Knopfler, country singer Vince Gill, composer/pianist/producer David Foster, and more.