Top positive review
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Dramatically and Irresistibly Beautiful and Romantic
on October 14, 2007
"Chris Botti has the integrity of Miles Davis, the sexiness of Chet Baker and sells records like Kenny G. It's a triple combination." ~ David Foster ~
The whole-page ad from September 23rd issue of L.A. Times Arts & Music Section on this latest offering from my all-time favorite trumpeter-extraordinaire states that . . . "No one can resist the pleasures of Italy." It is especially true! And this irresistible CD/DVD Special Edition is the very essence of beauty and romance of Italy captured in a variety of songs and melodies recorded in Los Angeles, London and Italy in the most superb renditions, arrangements and orchestrations. This collection is an excellent combination of classical music, jazz standards and film scores. Featured guest artists who graced this wonderful recording are also my favorites, Andrea Bocelli, Paula Cole, and not to mention a special "magical collaboration" with the great Dean Martin.
It has a bonus DVD that shows the "Making of Italia," which features behind-the-scene footages, photo sessions and performances with the star-trumpeter, Andrea Bocelli, Paula Cole, interviews with Bobby Colomby (producer) and David Foster (pianist and composer of "Italia").
The CD dramatically spins off with a charming tune by film composer, Ennio Moriccone "Deborah's Theme" and followed by the title track "Italia," an original composition by Chris which he co-wrote with David Foster and lyrics by Lorenzo Cherubini. Andrea Bocelli's stirring vocal artistry is the perfect match for the dramatically beautiful trumpet of Grammy winner Chris Botti. He sings with a style so powerful and very romantic.
One of the loveliest tracks, and my absolute favorite is "The Very Thought of You" with Paula Cole's gorgeous and sensual vocal flair. Hers is the kind of voice that is so beautifully moving. She has been in Mr. Botti's recordings of "When I Fall In Love" and "To Love Again" and according to him, "she does everything in one take." Here, Chris Botti is again in full control of the resources of his trumpet, as he did in my all-time favorites "The Way You Look Tonight," "It Never Entered My Mind" and "Estaté."
Prepare to be hypnotized by his mesmeric take on a favorite classical piece of mine and a very memorable one since it was sung during my wedding ceremony, Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria." And likewise his delivery on Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from the opera "Turandot" that has irresistible charm that makes you want to listen endlessly!
Dean Martin graced this recording with what I call a magical collaboration between two great artists where his great vocals harmonized with Chris Botti's smooth, silky, sophisticated and elegant trumpet ingenuity. According to Chris it was Capitol Records' idea to do this duet, "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" and it turned out to be a listening delight.
The bonus tracks of "Emmanuel," "Flamenco Sketches" and two of my all-time favorites, "If I Loved You" and "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" are equally satisfying and pleasing to the ears. Paula Cole once again has proven her vocal prowess in "If I Loved You" by perfectly complimenting the trumpeter's silky and velvety tone. How I wish they would record a duet CD of standards. I would love to be in-charge with the song selection! In "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" Chris Botti flawlessly shows off his poetic musicality to the fullest. There's no denying that this is one of the very best instrumental versions of this classic gem from Jerome Kern.
One of my most cherished and memorable musical moments was the first time I watched Chris Botti perform live in concert at Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills a few years back and in my book, he is truly one of my top favorite musicians of all-time. He plays his favorite instrument like no other. He has an expressive range and depth of a truly remarkable trumpet player. Not only a gifted trumpeter but a composer as well, he communicates his passions thru his beautiful music, which is exceptionally heartwarming - the kind of music that stays with you forever.
With my heartfelt recommendation of a CD that deserves to be in your music library to be enjoyed now and forever. It's dramatically and irresistibly beautiful and romantic.