[JPL] Chris Botti review by Nate Chinen

Bob Harrigan rharrigan at tampabay.rr.com
Fri Dec 14 12:47:33 EST 2007


Blaise,Your opinion,John Swana.Thanks,Bob H.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Blaise Lantana" <blaise.lantana at riomail.maricopa.edu>
To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:28 PM
Subject: RE: [JPL] Chris Botti review by Nate Chinen


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>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Botti is at the Blue Note in NY through Christmas and if you're in the 
> hood
> I recommend that you treat yourself to the show.
>
> I went to see Chris Botti after I interviewed him here at KJZZ.  He was 
> nice
> enough to come to the station and spend an hour talking with me about his
> life and music.  Not everyone is willing to make that effort and it makes 
> it
> easier for us to sell the music when people find out more about the 
> artist.
>
> Botti is amazing and I was surprised because I think of him as smooth 
> jazz.
> He has been moving in his own direction in the past few years and it's 
> more
> interesting to my little jazz snob ears.  His construction and pacing of 
> the
> show was great, using a vocalist, Sy Smith, for a couple of tunes plenty 
> of
> improvisation, some adventurous meters and harmonies and using his singing
> tones on some familiar crowd pleasing melodies.  He talked with me about 
> how
> he learned how to present a show from Sting and Paul Simon and he learned
> well.  His show is clear and defined with plenty of jamming and some 
> pretty
> crowd pleasers but it never has that smooth jazz schmaltz and shtick that
> makes me walk out on Dave Koz.  Opening with Ave Maria featuring just him
> and piano player Peter Martin, he and the band then break into a killer
> groove improv led by Billy Kilson giving everyone room to solo and having
> everyone in the hall moving to THAT beat.  Whoa! He had me there.
>
> Being the none too sweetheart interviewer that I am I asked Chris why he
> plays below his talent, why he doesn't flash his chops, he certainly has
> them.  He replied, only slightly annoyed that just because something 
> sounds
> simple does not mean it is not difficult and inspired.
>
> His tone is so impeccably beautiful and it never falters, he is a 
> dedicated
> player.
> Botti is working with guitarist Mark Whitfield a terrific foil who adds
> humor, fun and spark to Botti's cool sound and he gives him plenty of room
> to shine; Billy Killson on drums played with Dave Holland and lays down a
> mighty groove as well being able to be invisible and propelling on a soft
> ballad, he was pure excitement to watch.  Maybe it was because Botti gave
> his band equal time to develop their ideas that it felt like a true jazz
> concert where one artist inspires another to a spontaneous composition; it
> wasn't just a trumpet player with his backup band.  Botti's encore was
> Sinatra's "One for My Baby" playing a duet with the pianist, it was 
> haunting
> and full of surprising ideas. Good jazz from the old school of Chet Baker
> and Miles in the 50s but with a contemporary flavor.
>
> The concert suited my taste more than the albums I thought, but he sure is
> doing a job of selling his CDs and he claims that is because he tours
> CONSTANTLY.  He says he's been on the road for 7 years straight and 
> doesn't
> have plans to stop.  One point that he made is that people want different
> things from a concert than from a CD and he presents his music with that
> consideration.  I'm using some things off of his "December" release for 
> the
> holidays and a couple of cuts of the new one "Italia".
>
> I'll have the interview up on our website next week and I'll let you know
> when you can access it.
>
> Blaise Lantana
> Music Director
> KJZZ Phoenix
>
>
>
>
>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Anybody catch the above NY Times review, or the actual show?  I found the
> review very strange, as if Nate Chinen possibly enjoyed himself but 
> couldn't
> stand the fact that he did because he doesn't respect Chris Botti. I've
> never seen Botti live, but I've seen live performances on television that,
> while not being very adventurous, were surely much more musical to my ears
> than someone like Kenny G. Interested in your thoughts...
>
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