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Chris Botti: Night Sessions

Jim Santella By

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His pure trumpet tone and fluid, conversational style makes contemporary trumpeter Chris Botti something special. Rooted in Miles Davis' later, electronic period and exhibiting Botti's creative ideas, Night Sessions offers smooth, romantic forces along with lighter, hip, upbeat rhythms. His fourth release as leader comes during a hiatus from nearly two years on the road with Sting's Brand New Day band. Botti and keyboardist/producer Kipper collaborated on a program that features tightly muted and open trumpet along with smooth sounds provided by his special guests. Shawn Colvin sings a lovely Sting composition that hadn't been recorded before now. Camilla adds background vocals to an exotic world adventure. "Streets Ahead" captures the kind of hip-hop environment that we face every day, while "Lisa" provides a romantic scene reserved for special occasions. Botti, who created the musical score for the 1996 film Caught, manages imagery and variety quite well. There's something here for everyone. While Botti's trumpet improvisations adhere to a melodic formula and fail to venture into the realm we've come to expect from jazz artists, his ballad style and audience appeal make him a sure winner. Botti studied with jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw, but he's determined to win in both worlds: jazz and pop. With Night Sessions, he's achieved that goal already; particularly on "Light the Stars," which showcases Botti's pure, open trumpet tone over a comfortable rhythm and soothing harmony.

Track Listing: Lisa; Miami Overnight; Streets Ahead; Interlude; All Would Envy; Best Time; When I See You; You Move Me; Blue Horizon; Light the Stars; Through an Open Window; Easter Parade.

Personnel: Chris Botti- trumpet; Dominic Miller- guitar; Shane Fontayne- additional guitar on "Miami Overnight;" Heitor Pereira- guitar on "When I See You;" Marc Shulman- guitar on "You Move Me;" Kipper- keyboards, programming; Billy Childs, Jeff Young, Jeff Lorber- keyboards; Jimmy Johnson, Christian McBride, Jon Ossman- bass; Abraham Laboriel, Jr., Vinnie Colaiuta- drums; Luis Conte- percussion; Bill Reichenbach- trombone; Kazu Matsui- shakuhachi on "Through an Open Window;" Shawn Colvin- vocal on "All Would Envy;" Lani Groves- backup vocal on "All Would Envy;" Camilla- vocal on "You Move Me."

| Record Label: Columbia Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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