Although I like trumpet okay, I typically spend my brass listening time on things like Holst's Military Suites or Louis Armstrong's jazz wanking... but I think I may have a new favorite instrumentalist!! As soon as as Botti played the opening notes of his first piece (9:30 here), I could see why thousands of people had paid good money to hear this amazing performer.
His flawlessly lyrical treatment of ballads provides a poignancy I have never before heard live or on a soundtrack. Within seconds of Botti putting his lips to his instrument, I was choking back tears, so deeply and instantly was the effect on my soul. And his band is no bunch of slouches either: Although he was backed on some tracks by the TSO, Botti also brought with him a slew of stunning performers, including the mesmerizing violinist Lucia Micarelli, who joined him on Emmanuel and a few other pieces as well. I was also blown away by the vocalist who scatted Botti's trumpet parts while he played (check out 4:10 and later, here; very cool)!!!
It is easy to see why Chris Botti is currently the top selling instrumentalist in America. Thank goodness some people still have musical taste!
Not since I discovered Arturo Sandoval at the Toronto Jazz Festival in my early 20s have I been so excited about a trumpet player! Determined to hear more, I searched Chris Botti on the internet and found several delightful concerts, including this show from the Newport Jazz Festival 2013.
Of course, it's not the same as hearing the man in person, but it's still something. Something pretty special!
Although Simon was somewhat less enthralled than I was (at least outwardly), I know the experience left an impression on him as well. I'm so grateful for the evening we spent immersed in sound together last night at the RTH.