Chris Botti – Italia

Chris Botti – Italia / 2007 Sony / 12 Tracks / http://www.chrisbotti.com / http://www.sony.com /

Ah , Chris Botti. Before I received a copy of “Italia”, I had no clue who you were. For those individuals that want a short backdrop, Botti is a trumpeter that has released nine solo albums over the course of twelve years. Much of Botti’s work can be broadly categorized as “smooth jazz”, but there are a number of derivations from that general label. “Italia” is titled as such due to the two years that Botti spent of eir childhood growing up in Italy. Individuals that are not familiar with Botti’s solo work may still have some idea of what Botti does or how Botti sounds; throughout eir career, ey has worked with stars as bright as Sting, Frank Sinatra, Dave Koz, Michael Buble, and Lee Ritenour. Botti has immense potential, to the point that Botti could become a crossover star in the same vein as individuals like Kenny G; while individuals are not typically hip to the stylings of brass, the talent exuded by Botti during tracks such as “Venice” and “Caruso” will bring individuals in droves.

To those individuals that may not be completely comfortable with the trumpet taking the lead, there are a few songs that feature some of the century’s greatest singers. These songs include the title track, which features vocals by none less than Andrea Bocelli, “The Very Thought of You” (featuring Paula Cole) and “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” (with Dean Martin’s vocals present). Fans of either Family Guy or the Simpsons will be familiar with the latter, as the song was referenced in “Running Mates” and “The Italian Bob”. For those individuals that want to get into true jazz, “Italia” operates at a level that allows listeners to understand the logic behind the compositions and make it easy for individuals to follow Botti all the way to the end of “Nessun Dorma”.

For a fan of classic cinema, the best ttrack on “Italia” has to be the opening salvo; a reinterpretation of the classic Ennio Morricone composition from “Once Upon A Time In America”, “Deborah’s Theme”. With so many entrance points to “Italia”, a wide swath of individuals should be able to find something that they can all appreciate from this album. It may take a few listens to get behind what Botti is doing, but the reward associated with the cracking of the Botti key is well worth the time invested.

Top Tracks: Venice, Deborah’s Theme

Rating: 7.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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