Chris Botti is the Willy Nelson of the jazz world. The short list consists of Paul Simon, Steven Tyler, David Foster, Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Scritti Politti, Roger Daltrey, Sting and he was a member of the jazz fusion Bill Bruford-Tony Levin based “Upper Extremities.” He won two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album and for Best Classical Crossover Album, not to shabby for a horn player.
The small but very enthusiastic Botti fans received everything they could have wanted. He opened with Miles Davis, covered Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and even through in a nod to Black Sabbath. Chris Botti is a musician’s musician in every sense of the word. He was signed to Columbia Records through his connection with Blood Sweat and Tears drummer Bobby Colomby.
Chris spoke with two young boys in the front row, “Bubba” who played viloin and trumpet and his brother who played the sax, which prompted Chris to direct sax jokes his way. For the encore he invited Bubba and his brother to play the drums which thrilled the boys as well as the house.
Judging from the many comments I heard after the show from people as they left the theatre they were simply blown away by his showmanship and sheer talent as a trumpeter/ band leader. Kudos to the Paramount for bringing Chris Botti and his band to Eastern Iowa.