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.