On the heels of his breakthrough debut When I Fall In Love and follow-up To Love Again, trumpeter Chris Botti plays two triumphant shows at The Wilshire Theatre with guest vocals from Sting, Jill Scott, Gladys Knight, Paula Cole and Burt Bacharach
Trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets picks up where his stellar 2004 release When I Fall in Love leaves off, with more gorgeously lush and heartfelt orchestral jazz via the London Session Orchestra. This time showcasing guest vocalists – as well as a handful of instrumental tracks – Botti takes an even more classicist approach than before and once again brings to mind such iconic jazz albums as Clifford Brown with Strings and Miles Davis' Porgy and Bess. Largely known as a smooth jazz artist with a sweet trumpet tone, it wasn't until When I Fall in Love that Botti dropped the smooth jazz synthesizers and pop-oriented compositions in favor of Gil Evans-style jazz orchestrations and an acoustic backing quartet…
Trumpeter Chris Botti drops the synthesizers and drum loops of his previous effort, Thousand Kisses Deep, for a more elegant and traditional sound on When I Fall in Love. While Thousand Kisses Deep maximized Botti's penchant for mixing perfect pop songs with his Miles Davis-influenced jazz style, it nonetheless featured many of the electronic and processed sounds predictable on modern smooth jazz releases. By eschewing such "go to" pop-jazz production techniques as drum machines and synthesized strings in favor of the real instruments here, Botti ironically sounds utterly groundbreaking on what is ultimately a straight-ahead orchestral jazz album. While nowhere near as improvisationally adventurous as its predecessors, When I Fall in Love is still a revelation in the tradition of Sketches of Spain, Clifford Brown With Strings, and Wynton Marsalis' Hot House Flowers. Mixing standards and contemporary pop tunes all in a straight-ahead style, Botti gives his minimalist Miles-ian horn sound a chance to breath and be enjoyed on its own.
Chris Smither's Another Way to Find You was the live album that chronicled his career up to 1991. Live As I'll Ever Be takes up where that one left off, featuring songs from the four albums he released in the '90s. It was recorded over several years – beginning in 1996 – and captured performances in California, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Ireland. One mike recorded his large, unmistakable voice; the other was placed on the floor to pick up his steadily tapping and stomping feet. Many audience favorites were included, such as "I Am the Ride," "Slow Surprise," "Small Revelations," and "Up on the Lowdown." Two covers, Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom" and Rolly Sally's "Killin' the Blues," were also recorded. There are entertaining song intros and bits of warm banter with the audience, too. Chris Smither is always at his best when he is performing live. In fact, he often says that he writes songs and records albums just so he can perform live, and not the other way around. Live As I'll Ever Be gives you a great front-row seat, any time you want it.
After her unforgettable rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on "American Idol" in 2006, Katharine McPhee catapulted to instant stardom. Further propelling her success was the hit single “Over It” from her 2007 chart-topping debut album. McPhee’s talents also extended to acting, which she put to good use in two popular television series, "Smash" and "Scorpion," and she is no stranger to PBS specials, having guested on "Foster and Friends" and "Chris Botti in Boston." In this jazz-filled installment of "Soundstage," McPhee gets the spotlight to herself (with a little help from her friends David Foster, Eric Benet, and Frederic Yonnet) performing selections from her fifth studio album, "I Fall In Love Too Easily." Audiences across America will fall in love very easily with this "Soundstage" performance.