[JPL] Legends of Jazz on PBS

Jim Wilke jwilke123 at comcast.net
Tue Apr 11 12:31:30 EDT 2006

On Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at 08:47  AM, Peter Sokolowski wrote:

> And the controversial Chris Botti, recently crucified on the Trumpet
> Player's International Network listserv, played his tail off on "My 
> Funny
> Valentine." Cat can play. I don't think he gets that hot or deep on his
> records, but: cat can play. You try standing next to Clark and Roy, 
> and THEN
> showing your stuff. He did well.

I'll concur.  I haven't seen the TV show yet, but I did see Chris Botti 
at Jazz Alley in Seattle last week and he's a very good  trumpet 
player.  He tossed off bop licks with aplomb and played with beautiful 
tone on ballads, some of which he also dug in and swung.  He played a 
nice mix of tunes from old standards to contemporary,was engaging on 
stage and generous with introducing and showcasing his sidemen:   Billy 
Childs, Mark Whitfield, Billy Killson and a bass player (whose name I 
didn't catch) who was new to me.  He seemed to have no need to be front 
and center all the time and moved off to the side when others soloed.  
A small point perhaps, but indicative of his respect for the guys in 
his band.

I hadn't planned on attending, but Neal Sapper urged me to take it in, 
pointing out Billy Kilson was on drums.  I suspected there was more to 
Botti than the CDs revealed.  I was very pleasantly surprised and the 
place was packed on a Wednesday night - he sold out two shows a night 
for five nights.  I asked Carol Handley (mc from smooth jazz KWJZ) 
"how'd he get so famous all of a sudden?  Has he been on Oprah or 
People Mag?"   "Yes ... " she said, but she also pointed out he'd 
played for a KWJZ summer concert here nine years ago and is no kid. (He 
was mentored by Woody Shaw and George Coleman among others).

Jim Wilke
Jazz After Hours, PRI

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