Chris Botti: Vol. 1

On his Blue Note debut, the trumpeter keeps close to the melody in music mostly redolent of late 50s Miles Davis

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Trumpeter Chris Botti has always been associated with the “smooth jazz” movement, appearing and recording with such as Sting, Barbra Streisand and George Benson. Given his background, it comes as no surprise that this disc offers nothing overly meaningful from the straight-ahead jazz perspective.

At best this can be described as pleasant enough, late-night mood music, with the tempos set at a gentle pace and improvisation kept to an absolute minimum. Botti stays very close to the melody on all tracks whether on open horn or using the Harmon mute, the tracks where he uses this device clearly aimed at creating a Milesian vibe.

The inclusion of classical violinist Joshua Bell on My Funny Valentine comes as a surprise, as does the appearance of Coldplay’s Fix You amongst the mainly standard material – unfortunately it suffers badly by comparison on the melodic front.

Botti is a fine trumpeter and there are good solos from him and others, but demanding jazzers can probably stay away.


Discography
Danny Boy; Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered; Two For The Road; Paris; Blue In Green; Someday My Prince Will Come; Time On My Hands; My Funny Valentine; Fix You; Old Folks (46.48)
Collectively, Botti (t); David Foster, Taylor Eigsti, Esteban Castro (p); Patrick Warren (strings); Zach Moses (b, elb); Thomas Morgan (b); Vinnie Colaiuta (d); Gilad Hekselman, Leonardo Amuedo, Shane Fontayne (g); Julian Pollack (elp); John Splithoff (v); Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (ts); Joshua Bell (vn). CA, 2023.
Blue Note 00602455165862