It’s easy to like the trumpeter Chris Botti. It’s easy not to like him, too: Video

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12.10. – Happy Birthday !!! Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD When I Fall In Love, Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. 

His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop muisc and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy Awards.  Most recently, his latest album Impressionswon the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album.  Performing worldwide and selling more than four million albums, he has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.

Over the past three decades, Botti has recorded and performed with the best in music, including Sting, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Bublé, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, Joshua Bell, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and even Frank Sinatra. Hitting the road for as many as 300 days per year, the trumpeter has also performed with many of the finest symphonies and at some of the world’s most prestigious venues from Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl to the Sydney Opera House and the Real Teatro di San Carlo in Italy.

Impressions, Botti’s 2012 Columbia Records and Grammy winning release, is the latest in a stellar parade of albums – including When I Fall In Love(2004), To Love Again: The Duets(2005), Italia (2007), and the CD/DVD Chris Botti in Boston(2009) – that has firmly established him as a clarion voice in the American contemporary music scene. Playing with his uniquely expressive sound and soaring musical imagination, Botti is joined on the disc by featured artists Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, and David Foster in a warm, intimate celebration of melodic balladry.

With Impressions and the albums that preceded it, Chris Botti has thoroughly established himself as one of the important, innovative figures of the contemporary music world.

It’s easy to like the trumpeter Chris Botti. It’s easy not to like him, too. Since the release of his first solo album in 1995, Mr. Botti has burnished an image of pensive romance, achieving stardom in the realm of adult-contemporary pop. His faintly jazz-inflected style — traceable to the Miles Davis of late-1950s vintage, around “Porgy and Bess” and “Kind of Blue” — luxuriates in melody and mood. He’s Sting-endorsed and Oprah-approved, with brooding looks that any camera seems to love.

This week Mr. Botti began what has become an annual residency at the Blue Note, in the company of musicians who are better than they strictly need to be: the guitarist Mark Whitfield, the pianist Peter Martin, the bassist Robert Hurst and the drummer Billy Kilson. The group’s second set on Tuesday night was impressive for its dynamic range, flaring up nearly as often as it simmered.

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