On his latest collection, When I Fall In Love, the best-selling trumpet virtuoso expands the range of his earlier work with an album devoted to once and future classic love songs, each one performed with Botti's impeccable taste and signature tonal qualities.
Featuring guest vocal performances from Paula Cole ("What'll I Do" & "How Love Should Be") and Sting ("La Belle Dame Sans Regrets"), When I Fall In Love reunites Botti with legendary producer/musician Bobby Colomby, who helmed Botti's 2002 seasonal collection, December. Botti is accompanied by the London Session Orchestra on all but one of the new album's tracks and the result is a lush and sultry sojourn into the very heart of romance. When I Fall In Love is mixed by the multiple Grammy-winning engineer Al Schmitt with arrangements by Jeremy Lubbock, Billy Childs and Gil Goldstein.
"When Don Ienner (President and CEO of Sony Music Label Group, U.S.) makes a suggestion that is also a personal dream, I know that I'm truly blessed," writes Botti, describing the album's genesis in his liner notes to When I Fall In Love. "We agreed a recording of romantic music allowing an escape from life's everyday anxieties would be a timely remedy for listeners and truly extraordinary at this point in time. I have often been seduced by the melody of a beautiful song. That these melodies often play to our notion of what romance is, or how it feels, is something that captivates and inspires me when I play. I'm grateful I've been given the opportunity to reach into that peaceful, transcendent moment and share it with others.
On his new album, Chris Botti, recently picked as one of People magazine's "2004’s 50 Most Beautiful People," breathes new soul and magic into classic pop penned by Irving Berlin ("What'll I Do?"), Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart ("My Romance"), Ira and George Gershwin ("Someone To Watch Over Me"), Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer ("One For My Baby And One More For The Road") and others.
Botti, who opened a series of shows on the North American leg of Sting's "Sacred Love" tour in January-March, 2004, will headline his own stateside gigs in support of When I Fall In Love before once again opening for Sting on a European tour running from October 29 through December 9. Early 2005 will have Botti on the road again, this time sharing a bill with Josh Groban on 35 gigs starting January 25 and running through March 19.
Botti's association with Sting dates back to 1999, when the trumpeter joined the pop legend's band as featured soloist on the "Brand New Day" tour, which lasted two-and-a-half years. Veteran of both the contemporary jazz world and mainstream pop studio scene, Botti has worked with Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, and renowned film composer John Barry, among others. Film critic Rex Reed has called him "the sexiest trumpeter since Chet Baker."
About The Artist
Chris Botti is a native of Oregon who was born in Portland and grew up in Corvallis. His earliest musical influence was his mother, a classically trained pianist and part-time piano teacher. "I can't really sit down and play a song on the piano," Chris admits. "But I know harmony, and generally I compose on the piano rather than on the trumpet." He pursued his music studies with a succession of outstanding teachers: David Friesen in the Northwest, Dave Baker in Indiana, and--following Botti's move to New York City in 1986--the late trumpet master Woody Shaw.
When Paul Simon set out on a 15-month world tour in 1990, Chris became a key sideman in a backing group that combined Brazilian and African players with New York session veterans like Randy Brecker, Richard Tee, and Steve Gadd. Botti's solo debut, First Wish, was released in 1995; his second effort, Midnight Without You (a collaboration with English ambient pop group the Blue Nile) appeared in 1997 and was followed by Slowing Down The World in 1999. The Academy Award-winning film composer John Barry cast Chris as the featured soloist in his orchestral score Playing By Heart; Chris himself composed and performed the score for the Robert M. Young film "Caught."
In the studio and on stage, Chris Botti worked with such leading singer-songwriters as Marc Cohn, Joni Mitchell and Natalie Merchant; as a sideman, he has appeared on dozens of albums, compilations and soundtracks. In 2000, Chris joined Sting for two years of roadwork, as the featured soloist with the latter's "Brand New Day" band. That tour culminated in Tuscany, where the concert was taped, later to become Sting's first live CD in 15 years. "Sting in Tuscany: All This Time" aired as a part of the A&E In Concert series, garnering six Emmy nominations in the process. The documentary was later released on DVD. Chris became a part of a dramatic and memorable performance on that fateful day in the fall, September 11, 2001.
Working with band mate and multi-instrumentalist Kipper, Chris's Columbia label debut Night Sessions--inspired by the sounds of the late-night European club scene--was written and recorded during a two and a half-month hiatus between Sting tours. The album became a breakthrough contemporary jazz hit upon its release in October 2001. A Columbia DVD, Night Sessions – Live In Concert, was issued in August 2002. Taped live at the historic El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, "Chris Botti and Friends" featured the trumpeter with his own expert road band plus guest appearances by Sting and Shawn Colvin.
In October 2002, Chris released the holiday theme album December. This 13-track collection combined joyful interpretations of seasonal standards ("Little Drummer Boy," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing") with contemporary songs in the Christmas spirit, including Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and "Perfect Day" by Richard Marx. On the promotional trail in support of December, Botti appeared on "The Caroline Rhea Show" (WB network). He was invited to return the next day…then promptly hired as Rhea's on-air partner, chatting with the host at the start of every show and frequently sitting in with a house band led by bassist Tim LeFebvre.
Before he knew it, it was May 2003 and Chris had been part of "The Caroline Rhea Show" for five months. "You just never know what will happen in this business!" he says with a laugh.
Chris Botti's Upcoming Concerts: