Chris Botti | 01.26-27.07

ev_chrisbotti_smSuddenly, Chris Botti's on VH1, dating Katie Couric, showing up as one of People magazine's most beautiful people, and selling "Botti-Call" panties on his Web site.

 

 

 

 

at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, St. Louis
8 p.m., all ages | TIX: $27-40 | CALL: 314-516-4949

ev_chrisbottiPrior to 1999, trumpeter Chris Botti was a name well known to jazz aficionados, but hardly recognized outside of those exclusive circles. Sure, he toured with Paul Simon and logged some serious studio time with Joni Mitchell, Marc Cohn, and Natalie Merchant. Then some cat named Sting asked him to play on a few tracks on his Brand New Day CD, then join him on a two-and-a-half year spin around the globe. After that, Oprah Winfrey showcased his music and matinee-idol good looks to her audience, sending sales of his CDs through the roof.

Suddenly, Chris Botti's on VH1, dating Katie Couric, showing up as one of People magazine's most beautiful people, and selling "Botti-Call" panties on his Web site. Well, really, that's not all he's accomplished. Like Sting, his lush and atmospheric smooth jazz has succeeded in drawing listeners to the genre who otherwise would have never given it a chance. His latest Columbia release, To Love Again, continues the trend of dropping the synthesizers and pop arrangements in favor of Gil Evans-inspired orchestrations that better showcase his minimalist Miles Davis approach and improvisational skills.

Fans seem to be appreciating the move to a more traditional old-school jazz sound, which will certainly translate quite well to the stage. Along with longtime bassist Jon Ossman, Botti will be bringing along drummer Billy Kilson, guitarist Marc Whitfield, pianists Billy Childs and Andy Ezrin, and vocalist Jeanne Jolly. When this remarkable band takes the stage, expect to hear beautifully arranged tracks such as "Embraceable You" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight" dressed up with the polish and shine of that sweet trumpet tone that Botti has made his trademark. | Jim Ousley

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