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While his ballad album emphasizes the clear tone and gentle spirit that this lyrical trumpeter releases quite naturally, it also serves to exhibit the nuances with which Chris Botti can convince. His subtle improvisations ooze heartfelt emotion from start to finish. Comparisons with Miles Davis and Chet Baker prove valid. While Columbia prefers to market his good looks and youthful, boyish charm, they know they've got a winning formula here, in this evocative trumpet soloist.
Backed by a large studio orchestra and close friends and acquaintances, Botti interprets thirteen sensual ballads with passion and understanding. And who can resist "Con te Partiro"? As he closes out the album with this dramatic aria, the clear tones of his open trumpet ring through the halls in glory. It's a triumphant closing for a session that pays homage to centuries of lyrical beauty. Botti has harnessed that spine-tingling feeling into his solemn work.
As Sting sings "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" in French, the session turns light and bouncy. He and Botti pour the gentle bossa gracefully and gently. Paula Cole interprets "How Love Should Be" slowly with a dramatic spirit. She builds the piece gradually and infuses a sincere plea. Botti replies with a muted trumpet whisper that tugs at your heartstrings. His "One for My Baby" seals the message for good. Open and boldly confident, the trumpeter makes no secret of his feelings. Late at night, in the wee hours, he's in love with a ballad. Highly recommended for all loversthis one hits home.
Track Listing: When I Fall in Love; What'll I Do?; No Ordinary Love; My Romance; Let's Fall in Love; Cinema Paradiso; Someone to Watch Over Me; La Belle Dame Sans Regrets; Nearness Of You; How Love Should Be; Make Someone Happy; One for My Baby; Time to Say Goodbye (Con te Partiro).
Personnel: Chris Botti- trumpet, vocals; Shane Fontayne, Dean Parks- guitar; Federico Gonzalez Pena, Greg Phillinganes- piano; Billy Childs- piano, electric piano; Jon Ossman, Brian Bromberg- bass; Billy Kilson, Vinnie Colaiuta - drums; Paulinho Da Costa- percussion; Dominic Miller- guitar on "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets;" Mitch Dalton- guitar on "Someone to Watch Over Me;" Alec Dankworth- bass on "Someone to Watch Over Me;" Ralph Salmins- drums on "Someone to Watch Over Me;" Jeff Lorber- keyboards on "No Ordinary Love;" Bob Sheppard- tenor saxophone on "No Ordinary Love;" Gil Goldstein- accordion on "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets"Paula Cole- vocal on "What'll I Do?" and "How Love Should Be"Jill Zadeh- vocal on "No Ordinary Love; Sting- vocal on "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets;" The London Session Orchestra: Isobel Griffiths- conductor; Ken Silleto, Rolf Wilson, Roger Garland, Thomas Bowes, Jonathan Evans-Jones, Patrick Kiernan, Boguslaw Kostecki, Julian Leaper, Rita Manning, Steve Morris, Maciej Rakowski, Jackie Shave, Cathy Thompson, Debbie Widdup, Paul Willey, Dave Woodcock- violin; Edward Vanderspar, Peter Lale, George Robertson, Ivo Van Der Werff, Vicci Wardman, Bruce White- viola; Anthony Pleeth, Dave Daniels, Caroline Dearnley, Paul Kegg, Anthony Lewis, Frank Schaeffer- cello; Chris Laurence, Mary Scully, Alec Dankworth, Patrick Lannigan- double bass; Fiona Hibbert- harp; Phil Todd, Stan Sulzmann, Karen Jones, Helen Keen- flute, alto flute; Andy Panayi- bass flute; Jane Marshall- English horn; David Theodore- oboe; Nick Rodwell, Anthony Pike- clarinet; Jamie Talbot- bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Derek Watkins, John Barclay, Guy Barker- trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Thompson, David Pyatt, Richard Bissill- French horn; Peter Beachill, Richard Edwards, Mark Nightingale- trombone; Dave Stewart- trombone, bass trombone; Nigel Hitchcock- alto saxophone; Mitch Dalton- guitar; Ralph Salmins- drums.