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.