Archive for May, 2012

Chris Botti & Band were in the house last night – and when I say house (with a Canadian twang) I mean the stunning Orpheum Theatre here in Vancouver.

Unlike last time I planned ahead and bought my tickets as soon as they became available (around August 2011).

Being super prepared and dedicated afforded me and my wife one of the best seats in the house – front row.  (Classy!) – Above is a photo taken on the sly (as they don’t allow pics)

What unfolded over 2.5 hours was a fantastic concert – it had a bunch of the classic tracks – plus a few of the new tracks from the new Impressions album in for good measure.

The great thing about this band is that every musician in their own right is an awesome soloist – Billy Childs, Robert Hurst, Mark Whitfield and Billy Kilson – then you have Caroline Campbell and Lisa Fischer in there as guest artists also. Each soloist at some point almost store the show with each of their respective solos.

The show was mixed with some high energy songs like – When I fall in Love, The Look of Love (this was worth the price of admission alone – Lisa Fischer is amazing on this!) and Why Not where the band was just smoking hot. If you can get in the front row it’s totally worth the price of admission as you can see the expressions, hear the hidden comments and share much more of the experience. I especially loved watching Billy Childs on the keys. He is just a blur of hands in some songs – and he decides in a couple of sounds that he’s run out of keys to play – so he starts plucking or strumming the piano strings directly for additional effect.

On the slower/softer side there was – Italia (feat. Lisa Fischer & Caroline Campbell), Venice, Emmanuel (Feat. Caroline Campbell), Cinema Paradiso (Feat. Caroline Campbell) and a few more I can’t recall at the time of writing.

Being up close to Chris is a thing in itself also – I knew that he has a great sound (and I am not talking the electronics or reverb) – but the soft edge and fullness of the horn and how he creates that sound is testament to the time that he has put in on the horn. He’s also found a way to deliver percussive phrasing and runs on the horn unlike most horn players why try and fit in strings of notes. I must have looked like a weird guy in the front row staring intently at all the actions, nuances and phrases taking down mental notes on everything.

Seeing him live is a totally different experience to listening to a CD as you realize he can do all that, run the stage and the sound guy and the audience all at the same time.

From the new selection of songs on the Album the track – Prelude No.20 in C Minor is haunting and is a must listen track – we were lucky enough to get the live version played on the night.

To finish the show – My Funny Valentine (My all time favorite) with just him and Billy Childs. – Great!

What an awesome show!

Afterwards you get the opportunity to meet Chris (Billy was out signing too) and have him sign records and take photos. And he stays till the last person – which is nice as that takes about an extra hour to run through 150-200 people and all the photos. I didn’t want to miss out so I bought a CD and also brought along an old playcard bill from 2001 from his opening concert of Night Sessions which got a good chuckle as it was from 10+ years ago and he hadn’t seen it essentially since then. (Thanks Ebay!) Both now signed.

What I should have done was take along my Martin Committee Prototype horn built by Reynold Schilke and had him play it.  I have a small collection of interesting Martins brewing so he probably would have dug that

Thanks Chris

Hope to see you again next year!