[JPL] Chris Botti

Jassgirl at aol.com Jassgirl at aol.com
Tue Nov 15 09:56:02 EST 2005


I so agree with Jae regarding the vocalists part. There are many vocalists  
today who wake up one morning and say, "I want to be a jazz vocalist" and just  
because they have a nice tone and can sing on key, they think that's all 
they'll  need to sing jazz. 
 
As one who's studied jazz intensely (both vocally and piano-wise), inside  & 
out (via the Univ of North Florida acclaimed Jazz School, dir. Bunky  Green) 
and through (Jazz Studies Degree, Bachelor of Music, Emphasis on Vocal  Jazz, 
1993- 1998...which included Jazz Fundamentals, Jazz Styles &  Analysis, Jazz 
History, Aural Theory, Jazz Ensemble [sang with Big Band for 8  semesters and 
played piano two semesters], Jazz Combo, Jazz Improvisation  [5 semesters, voice 
and 4 semesters, piano], Jazz Arranging [8 semesters, wrote  2 big band 
arrangements, one was my own composition], Music Business, Commercial  Music [on 
piano], in addition to Music History, American Music, Jazz Vocal Group  [2 
semesters], Applied Voice [10 semesters], Applied Jazz Piano [5  semesters], 
Performance Lab,   Choir, along with the required academic  courses), I'm always 
surprised that someone who's never even listened to a jazz  instrumental cd, can 
even sing jazz. 
 
But, call me a snob. Also, in addition, while at school, I started  
performing jazz in the area (with first the jazz musicians students and later  those 
who'd been performing jazz for yrs) and made so many blunders along the  way 
(including jazz jams where I'd try out what I'd learned in the practice room  
[hundreds of hours], fall on my face and then go back to the practice room and  
try to work out the problems). But, it's okay if these vocalists do what they  
do, because it feels so good to master each step along the way and realize 
that  you have so much to learn and will never stop learning and look forward to 
it. 
 
Thanks for the time...
Dot Wilder
Jazz Singer
_jassgirl at aol.com_ (mailto:jassgirl at aol.com) 
_www.dotwilderjazz.com_ (http://www.dotwilderjazz.com) 
"Dot Wilder, Live from the Warehouse" CD
 
(per Jae)
I remember someone writing in not long ago asking about the new Chris Botti  
CD. I'll give it to him.....the arrangements are fantastic. Give Jeremy 
Lubbock  and Billy Childs some love on this end. The use of space with his trumpet 
work  is musical and smart. While there is a risk in using the Harmon mute as 
much as  he does in terms of creating intonation problems......he pulls it off 
nicely.  Not many playing today can use the mute in ballad situations and keep 
the horn  in tune. His horn is also beautifully recorded although I could use 
a little  more "room" resonance as opposed to relying more on board reverb. 
I'm sure the  studio was big enough to create that type of room ambience but 
obviously not to  his ears. 

The weak points of the disc are with several of the vocalists.  In my opinion 
Sting sounds good and maybe one or two more. The others have  problems 
singing over advanced harmonic progressions and simply singing in tune  - which can 
be a result of not being able to hear the harmonic structures  underneath. One 
example would be with with Steve Tyler. Perhaps that's why he  was last in 
the sequencing. Pop and rock singers need to be a little more humble  and 
realize the pop music of today is nothing like that of yesterday.You needed  serious 
talent to deal with that music back then and the level of sophistication  
hasn't change with that material over the years. What has changed is the level  
of talent today. With some attempting to try and sing the music from back then  
most show little respect for the musicianship required to effectively deal 
with  it from the superior musical platform it deserves. Perhaps Botti and his  
producers are assuming that most of his fans are tone deaf and wouldn't
give  a rats butt about that but only the names. They would would probably be 
right.  

Jae Sinnett
WHRV FM
Norfolk VA 



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