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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Concert, December 14, 2006
This review is from: Chris Botti - Live - With Orchestra & Special Guests (DVD)
"When I was growing up learning how to play the trumpet, not in a million years did I ever think that tonight will be possible. For an instrumentalist to have his own special, to be onstage with an incredible orchestra, a beautiful hall, and most of all to share the stage with perhaps some of the most distinctive voices in any kind of music - Sting, Gladys Knight, Jill Scott, Paula Cole, Paul Buchanan, Rene Olstead and Burt Bacharach. Everyone's here to join me onstage for this event, which I think is the greatest musical night of my life." ~ Chris Botti ~

Flashback: December 2, 2005 at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills, California was to me a fabulous night to remember. And that memorable event is eternalized in this DVD. How great it was to be at that concert - the dreamiest of concerts, and it was so fulfilling to be able to watch Chris Botti perform live in concert with his very special guests - Sting, Gladys Knight, Paula Cole, Paul Buchanan, Jill Scott, Rene Olstead and of course, Burt Bacharach. He acknowledged the presence of David Foster and Jeremy Lubbock from among the audience. My only regret is that I wasn't able to meet the trumpeter-extraordinaire and let him sign my CD booklets as my friend was rushing to leave right after the concert.

Not only Chris Botti does his craft in a creatively exceptional manner but also has a very excellent showmanship. All throughout the concert, he showed a terrific stage presence. All the performances are backed by a full orchestra conducted by Gil Goldstein, and Mr. Botti's awesome band members - Billy Childs (piano), James Genus (bass), Mark Whitfield (guitar), and Billy Kilson (drums). In "Why Not" Billy Kilson showed off his artistry in drums. Chris Botti believes that the "foundation of any music really comes from drums." And he quips, "I may not be Sting, but I have Billy Kilson in my band."

Who wouldn't be mesmerized with his hauntingly beautiful solo performances that show off his exquisite trumpet playing? And these beguiling tunes are "When I Fall In Love," "Someone To Watch Over Me, "Cinema Paradiso," "One For My Baby" and "A Thousand Kisses Deep."

One of the show's glorious moments is the special appearance of a living legend, Burt Bacharach, on one of the most stunning performances, well-applauded, a standing ovation and his own composition, "The Look of Love," which showcase his piano skills and Paula Cole's great vocal style. And Chris Botti has the most wonderful praises about the great composer and I quote: "Burt has not only written so many incredible songs but musicians love him. He is loved by the public and musicians. When you can capture the elements of both things - to be loved by the public and to be loved by musicians, you probably are in a crew of three to four people."

Sting adds glitter to the show with his performances on "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" and "My Funny Valentine," which elicited laughter from the audience whenever his look was directed to Chris as he sings ... "Your looks are laughable, unphotographable" and "Is your figure less than Greek? Is your mouth a little weak?" After the song, Chris Botti acknowledged and gave credit to Sting saying that if it were not for him, he wouldn't be standing onstage that night. It was Sting who asked him to join his band in Spring of 1999, and he thanked him and his wife, Trudy, as well. Yes, she's the lady from the audience being serenaded by Chris Botti on the intro of "My Funny Valentine."

Gladys Knight's dazzling performance on "Lover Man" received an enthusiastic response from the audience. There was a prolonged standing ovation. The lady who was seated next to me at the concert said that she was there mainly for Gladys Knight. Rene Olstead gives "Pennies From Heaven" a fresh interpretation that is so stylishly jazzy. Jill Scott delivers "Good Morning Heartache" with creativity and elegance. Paul Buchanan's heartfelt and emotional performance on "Are You Lonesome Tonight" is so moving. And a show-stopper, Paula Cole's "My One And Only Love."

I truly enjoy watching this DVD as much as I've enjoyed the live concert a year ago. It's one gem of a DVD. It's a collector's item and one of my most precious collections of recorded live concerts ever. It also features clips from recording sessions, interviews with Chris Botti and his musicians, Sting, and some of his guest artists plus a special performance of "Message In A Bottle" by Sting.

Wholeheartedly recommended for your viewing pleasure. It's truly a dream concert.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 9, 2007 6:26:03 AM PDT
The most comprehensive, beautifully-written review (among the 39 posted here) for my favorite, "best-ever" jazz concert DVD. Particularly appreciated your pointing out that,

"In 'Why Not' Billy Kilson showed off his artistry in drums. Chris Botti believes that the "foundation of any music really comes from drums." And he quips, "I may not be Sting, but I have Billy Kilson in my band."

A review, posted soon after this "dream concert" by someone who was there! (And whose review belongs, I say, in the "spotlight," like so many others Rebecca has written -- check them out!)

Mark B -of-the-still-frozen-north (4/09/07)

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 7:18:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2008 7:21:05 AM PDT
Delighted to see someone with literary (as well as musical) good taste put this review into the "spotlight" where it belongs! Still my favorite review for my favorite "live" performance. Wish I could have been there with you, in that audience, Rebecca when this amazing concert was recorded. Whenever the camera shows the audience, I always wonder which one of those ecstatic fans was you! . . .and whether you were sitting near Jeremy Lubbock -- one of my all-time favorite arrangers.

[I'd love to find out if Jeremy was influenced by "Canada's gift to orchestral-arranging Robert Farnon (I swear I hear 'echoes' of Bob's brilliant orchestrations, in Jeremy Lubbock's lovely (and unique) string work.]

Just had to say one more time, "Great review, Rebecca!"

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 9:36:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2012 11:00:45 AM PDT
Six years on and still my favorite review of a Chris Botti concert DVD. Just went in search of the Botti album (I was sure you reviewed) featuring Paula Cole singing "The Very Thought of You." I can't find it, but distinctly remember you introducing me to the recording, Rebecca. Which CD has that "favorite version of a Ray Noble song"?

Thought of you when I posted a moment ago to "A Great Melody First, THEN the lyrics" -- the thread/blog I have going over at HARMONY CENTRAL where it turned 429,000 (correct) "views" this date -- with a celebration of this very song. (I said in part)

A hot and lazy holiday Monday (our "Canada Day" weekend) and every neighbor it seems is cutting their lawn . . . while I listen to music: at this very moment, Chris Botti & Paula Cole's version of THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU. It was my parents' "other favorite Ray Noble song" and so I'm flooded in memories. Indulge my reverie please . . .

The night before Christmas, 1936, when my future Dad planted his first kiss on my Mom's lips, they were dancing in her parents' parlour (what people called their front rooms with piano in those days) to a 78 rpm recording of "The Touch of Your Lips."

Almost six decades later, I informed my Dad that the guitarist playing rhythm on that recording was George Van Eps (one P) ¨C my other favorite 'finger-style' guitarist after Chet Atkins. Google for George and the first offering is by his 'distant cousin' Chris, (independent musician, film buff and observer of the world) who informs us,

George Van Eps, a distant cousin of mine, invented the seven string guitar in 1938. That was the year he commissioned Epi Stathopoulo, president of the Epiphone guitar company, to build him his first seven string axe. George called it a 'lap piano' and the seventh string allowed him to play bass lines and chords simultaneously. Van Eps went onto become one of the most innovative musicians of all time, working with artists such as Freddy Martin, Benny Goodman, and Ray Noble. He recorded several albums in the 50's and 60's, worked in television, and wrote several how-to books. George Van Eps died of pneumonia in 1998. I never got to meet him but I've been in touch with his daughter, Kay, back when I was researching my geneology (including why my last name has an extra "p").


All this flowing from listening to Chris Botti, the young trumpet virtuoso my wife and I have seen (twice) here in Winnipeg -- minus all the great singers he duets with - like Paula Cole. As we used to say at the movies, This is where I came in.

Not sure I've ever heard a better version of my folks "other favorite" Ray Noble song. Like Irving Berlin, and very few others, Mr. Noble always wrote both words and music for his "great melodies." See if you too find this affecting.

[uploaded Chris Botti video here]

Just had to say "Thanks again, Rebecca" for all the inspiration your fine reviews have provided me for six years now.

p.s. It's 11:00 in the morning and already 90F here in what is usually "the world's coldest major city" Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
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