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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grammy-nominated Chris Botti's Impressions Has Certainly Left One and Is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know! It is What Peachy Deegan is Listening to This Summer! Our Coverage Sponsored by Paul Mayer Attitudes

Paul Mayer's luxuriously, comfortable designs keep women coming back for multiple -- even dozens -- of pairs. Classic, yet contemporary and always comfortable, his shoes are an addiction that we highly recommend. 
A staple of the Paul Mayer collection is the simple ballet-flat, with true ballerina construction for a perfect fit that comes in a variety of colors and materials. A cult favorite is the cozy, a flat with lavender-scent infused soles adding style and fragrance to collector's closets as Paul's designs emerge in sophisticated design incarnations season after season in the most incredible hues, textures and modern innovations in luxury footwear because we know firsthand how incredibly brilliant he is. Here are two recent hot numbers from the Paul Mayer hit parade:

Mayer founded the brand in 2004 with partner, Jeff Levy. All shoes in the line are manufactured in Spain’s Valencia region, along the Mediterranean coast by a skilled staff of 12 artisans. They craft each pair of shoes with an old-world attention to detail that includes in-house embroidery, quilting and stitching as well as custom tanned leather. This allows the brand to cater to each retailer’s specific demands in with timely and consistent alacrity, with orders completed in an unheard-of 3 to 5 weeks. 
In 2011, Paul Mayer stepped out into Manhattan's Upper East Side with a new attitude, opening his flagship store at 1388 Third Avenue. The store which cleverly resembles a pink and black shoebox offers up to 150 shoe styles, including his popular ballerinas, exclusive designs and more. As an added bonus, shoppers have the chance of running into the designer, himself. Paul's sage shopping advice and style eye has made him the New York shoe lover's best kept secret. When not in New York, Paul can be found traveling to his myriad of stores across the country meeting his loyal clientele or vacationing in his favorite spot, the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach.   
At Whom You Know, we applaud the pursuit of excellence across the board and Paul Mayer's blend of classics and innovation exemplify the “forever timeless” maxim that we believe Chris Botti's music echoes. 
Peachy Deegan's toes are always tapping in her Paul Mayer ballet flats as she listens to the sweet sound of Chris Botti.


If diamonds that sparkled in the sunlight or twinkled in the moonlight made noise, they would sound like the mellifluous sound coming out of Chris Botti's trumpet.  Listening to Chris Botti is like drinking your favorite champagne with your feet up sitting by your favorite body of water. We don't know Chris Botti yet, but after listening to this, we are even more convinced that we'd like to know him.  Peachy does own two of his other albums from her banking days so this is no random listen.  You know if you are an avid reader that New York Notes is populated once in a blue moon because there just are not that many musical acts that we find fantastic.  If she's shopping, Peachy is known to walk out of a store if she doesn't like the song playing...but if a store was playing Impressions by Chris Botti, it would make her stay there longer!  We believe he has not come out with an album in five years and this was absolutely worth waiting for!  In 2007 and 2009, Chris was nominated for Grammy awards and we think he'll win at least one with Impressions.  Columbia Records, you are so smart for working with Chris.  Though he collaborates with many different artists on this cd, the trumpet is the singular sensation that you walk away remembering after you listen to it.

Impressions Kicks Off with Prelude No. 20 in C Minor (written by Frederic Chopin) which begins with a relaxing melody of notes highlighting the clarity of his sound for nearly five minutes of instrumental sweetness.  This is the kind of song that you would want to lazily wake up to on a weekend, or if you don't have to get up with a bang on a weekday. It is a strong start.  Towards the end, the sound reminds us of black and white pictures of New York city from the 1930's-our perception of what it was like then, of course!  Per Te (For You) follows that and is a duo with vocalist and though not in English, the words are delivered passionately by Andrea Bocelli as are the notes of the trumpet which we believe to trump the vocals.  We love the value of crescendo and decrescendo that is employed in Per Te.  If you are interested in the words and their meaning, you can find them here. (Peachy's devotion to learning Italian on Rosetta Stone ended long ago...but we are happy to pick up a bit here and there when we can and the Italian in this song sounds fantastic.  She just asks Giuseppe at Sistina when she wants to know what something in Italian means...)

En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor reminds us of of what a movie score should be especially about two minutes into it, and absolutely during the third minute, and is our second favorite song on the album.  It is elegant and sounds meaningful (here's the translation) and to our knowledge, it is not yet a film score-to our new pal Ted Hartley-we hope you are reading today!   You Are Not Alone  the subtle guitar of Leonardo Amuedo on R. Kelly’s “You Are Not Alone,”  is the song you all know that Michael Jackson did but is delivered with much more class and a soothing nature here, and is just what you'd expect.  There are bars in the song that we think we have heard on the Seal song "Kiss from a Rose"...then Losing You is a bit melancholy.  Vince Gill sings on that one.

Get excited for the sixth number!  Ooooh we just love the Tango Suite and not just because we like to Tango!  But Mr. Pacino if you and Mr. Botti are available and the ballroom is open in The Plaza...we are free!  Tango Suite is a lively, punchy number that we think would generate sales if played in a retail store.  This takes the cake and is our favorite song on the album.  It sounds like a clearcut celebration and would be great background music to someone opening a mountain of presents on their birthday.  Herbie Hancock hats off to you as well as the pianist on this hot number.  It fades out quietly and you hardly know another song is starting when Setembro arrives, which is like sailing down a lovely stream, or perhaps a gondola in Italy, which so far has been a figment of our imagination-we haven't done that-but if we did, we'd want Setembro playing concurrently.

Oblivion resonates with the violin by Caroline Campbell complimenting the trumpet by Botti, and the trumpet returning the favor.  Again, it is a high-class piece that celebrates the good life musically.  We are oblivious to where the name of the song comes from-Chris has not yet been available for comment!  
Sevedah has a lovely understated siren quality that reminds us of a sound of a druid princess, and the crescendo about four minutes in is quite extraordinary.  
Summertime is quite appropriate for this time of year of course, but we think it would be even more valued in the winter when one longs for what we enjoy now, and the living isn't so easy under a mountain of snow.  The bright accuracy of Botti's notes pronounce the victory of the current season in a song that everyone knows but has not ever been conveyed with such creative passion.

Contigo En La Distancia-oh Chris-you are making us work hard on translations!-this one's in Spanish and the meaning is here.  Otherwise known as With You At a Distance, even if you don't speak this language, it's not necessary as Chris Botti and his trumpet effectively translate musically (no vocals on this number) the love and assurance the narrator has for the one he loves.

Over the Rainbow has been loved by the world ever since we met Dorothy Gale, but Botti's notes make the yellow brick road just a little more golden.   The penultimate and ultimate songs tie for a win on our third favorite songs of the album.  
What A Wonderful World is brilliant to be put as the conclusion, because when this trumpet player is in your world, all seems right.  If you thought jazz was just elevator music, you haven't heard Chris Botti.  We understand that trumpets date back to around at least 1500 BC (no, that doesn't mean Boston College this time!) so Botti carries on a long tradition and clearly has mastered the craft.  An absolute perfectionist, Botti and his  celebrated efforts have culminated into quite an extraordinary impression that awaits you.

Whom You Know Highly Recommends Impressions by Chris Botti.  It's no accident that he's the world’s largest selling jazz instrumentalist!

Thank you to Peachy's dad, who studied the trumpet and told us how it works and thank you to Jeanna at Madison Square Garden and The Beacon Theatre for her assistance-we sincerely appreciate it.


30 March 2012

Featuring Herbie Hancock, Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, David Foster and Caroline Campbell

Trumpeter Chris Botti, the world’s largest selling jazz instrumentalist, will release his latest album, Impressions, on Columbia Records on April 17, 2012. A collection of songs and compositions expressing his love for rich, evocative melodies, the album showcases Botti among a high profile group of featured guests, including pianist/composer Herbie Hancock, tenor Andrea Bocelli, country singer Vince Gill, rock star Mark Knopfler, composer/pianist David Foster and violinist Caroline Campbell.

The colorful array of music Botti has selected for Impressions reaches across stylistic areas and national boundaries with works by classical composer Frédéric Chopin, American songwriters George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, R. Kelly, Randy Newman, Bob Thiele and David Weiss, Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins, Argentine composer Astor Piazolla, Cuban composer Cesar Portillo de la Luz, as well as a pair of songs co-written by Botti. Many of the tracks are deeply enhanced by the superb orchestrations of William Ross, Vince Mendoza, Gil Goldstein and Jaques Morelenbaum.

Melody has always been at the heart of Botti’s music. Whether applying the lush sounds of his trumpet to the long, lyrical phrases of a familiar ballad or the arching, rhythmic lines of a jazz improvisation, his solos tell evocative stories, finding their way into the very heart of a song.

Impressions offers all that and more. Like Chris Botti in Boston, as well as other albums reaching back to 2004’s When I Fall In Love, the music on Impressions fulfills Botti’s desire to offer the sort of programming variety that provides a little something for many different tastes. Every track on Impressions is an individual highlight, filled with memorable moments:
- Botti’s elegiac performance of the album-opening orchestral version of Chopin’s Prelude No. 20 in C minor.

- The magnificent voice of Andrea Bocelli singing the brand new song, “Per Te (For You),” composed for the album by Botti, David Foster and Tiziano Ferro.

- A floating, intimate duet between Botti and the subtle guitar of Leonardo Amuedo on R. Kelly’s “You Are Not Alone,” a hit for Michael Jackson in a very different version.

- Country singer Vince Gill’s poignant version of Randy Newman’s “Losing You.”

- The irresistible rhythmic flow and improvisational flair of “Tango Suite,” co-composed by Botti and Herbie Hancock.

- A quartet of songs reaching into the world of Latin music: Rodrigo’s magnificent En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, the trumpet and guitar lines of Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins’ lovely “Setembro,” the swaying rhythms of Astor Piazolla’s tango, “Oblivion,” and the dark sensuality of a Cuban bolero, “Contigo En La Distancia.”

- The cinematic intensity of the choral-textured, Middle Eastern timbres of “Sevdah.”
- Botti’s convincing foray into the Great American Songbook via the familiar classics, “Summertime” and “Over the Rainbow.”

- The lovely, closing coda of Mark Knopfler’s warm and amiable take on “What A Wonderful World.”

Chris Botti’s Impressions,’ combining a full menu of his incomparable trumpet playing, an exciting program of music and an impressive line-up of featured artists, is filled with major hit potential, fully ready to join his growing line-up of hugely popular CDs selling more than 3 million copies worldwide.

* * * * *

Chris Botti Expresses His Love For Romantic Melodies From Across the World In His New Sony CD, “Impressions.”

Playing with his uniquely expressive sound and soaring musical imagination, trumpeter Chris Botti is joined by featured artists Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, David Foster and Caroline Campbell in a warm, intimate celebration of melodic balladry.

Impressions, trumpeter Chris Botti’s new Sony CD, is the latest in a stellar parade of albums -- starting with 2004’s When I Fall In Love and continuing with To Love Again, Italia and the CD/DVD Chris Botti In Boston -- that have firmly established him as the world’s largest selling jazz instrumentalist. Add to that a cluster of Grammy nominations and three #1 albums on Billboard’s Jazz Albums listings.

As Botti began his planning for the new album, he was determined to do some “familiar songs” for Impressions, songs that reached back to his fascination with the melody and balladry that have been essential to his music since he first picked up a trumpet.

Songs such as “What A Wonderful World,’ “Summertime” and “Over the Rainbow” certainly fulfill that desire. But the album’s far-ranging program also encompasses many other areas, deeply influenced by conversations Botti had with fans during the busy, world-wide touring that keeps him on the road as much as 300 days a year.

“People kept mentioning Chris Botti In Boston,” he recalls. “They loved the music in that program. But they talked a lot about the variety among the performers, too – Yo Yo Ma, Steven Tyler, Sting, John Mayer, Josh Groban.”

Unlike the Boston album, however, Impressions was planned as a studio recording rather than a concert performance. So Botti and his manager/producer Bobby Colomby, put together a wish list of possible guest artists. The game plan: to match the variety in music and performers present in Chris Botti In Boston. But to do so in a very different way. At the top of the wish list, the legendary rocker from the band Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler.

“We had the idea,” says Botti, “of asking Mark to sing ‘What A Wonderful World.’ How much more different could we get than that?”

When Knopfler, who rarely sings songs by other writers, agreed to do the tune, the first important piece of the album was in place. Others quickly followed, some from unlikely sources.

Botti had been commissioned to do his version of Chopin’s Prelude No. 20 in C minor, and perform it in Warsaw for the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Always intrigued by the opportunity to take a classical work and, as he explains it, “play with the time, move things around,” Botti accepted the commission. “And I immediately realized,” he adds, “that Prelude could be the starting point for Impressions, as well.

Another serendipitous event – a concert at the White House – added a completely unexpected composition to the program. After Botti performed with pianist Herbie Hancock at the event, a state dinner for the President of China, Colomby suggested they compose a piece together. An afternoon of free improvising at Hancock’s house resulted in Tango Suite. And Hancock’s presence as a guest on the album.

A similar afternoon of creative compatibility – this time between Botti and pianist/composer/producer David Foster, with lyrics by Tiziano Ferro – produced “Per Te.” Sung by the incomparable tenor of Andrea Bocelli, it already sounds like a classic.
Country star Vince Gill, doing Randy Newman’s “Losing You,” was another of the album’s featured artists, his conversational, story-telling style adding more of the variety that Botti and Colomby were slowly accumulating for the album.

At the suggestion of arranger Mendoza, Colomby brought Brazilian guitarist Leonardo Amuedo to the studio, a further vital element was added. “We’d heard a lot of other guitar players, and liked everything they did,” says Botti. “But as soon as we heard Leo, we just started replacing all the guitar parts we’d already recorded. His beautiful, nylon classic Spanish guitar sound is all over this record.” And especially present in Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins’ lovely “Setembro,” the soaring lines of Rodrigo’s “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor,” “Over the Rainbow” and the contemplative Botti/Amuedo duet interpretation of R. Kelly’s “You Are Not Alone,” a hit for Michael Jackson.

Three other pieces brought more of the variety Botti was seeking. “Oblivion” is an Astor Piazolla tango, originally written for a chamber ensemble, here a romantic vehicle for Botti’s trumpet. “Sevdah,” with its cinematic Eastern European qualities and dramatic choral climax offers yet another hue to Impressions’ many musical colors. And “Contigo en La Distancia” adds the rich sensuality of a Cuban bolero.
As the songs began to accumulate, producer Colomby insisted on maintaining an open-minded receptivity, eager to allow the creative process leeway to produce the best possible results.. ‘His attitude,” says Botti, “was that it would be okay to record 19 songs even if we only used 13. That’s the way it turned out, and it was the right way to do it.”

Botti seemed destined to become a musician -- and even to become the kind of musician he is today -- almost from the very beginning. Born in Portland, Oregon, he was encouraged to pursue music by his mother, a concert pianist. He also had an early taste of the international world that would become his primary territory as a successful performing artist. His father, who is Italian, taught English and Italian languages, and he took the family to live in Italy for several years, beginning when Botti was in the first grade.

“I was speaking fluent Italian before we came back,” he recalls. “But, sadly, I’ve forgotten most of it.” That he still feels a firm connection with his Italian roots, however, was fully manifest in the title song he composed, with David Foster, for the album, Italia.

A different, but equally significant connection took place when Botti was twelve, and he heard Miles Davis play “My Funny Valentine.” The impact it had not only persuaded him to make a life time commitment to the trumpet, it also launched the affection for melody, space and balance that have been intrinsic aspects of Botti’s musical vision.

After attending Indiana University, and studying with the highly regarded jazz educator David Baker, the great trumpet teacher Bill Adam, jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw and jazz saxophonist George Coleman, he moved to New York in the mid-‘80s.

His early career was spent crafting his skills in settings reaching from the Buddy Rich Big Band and Frank Sinatra to Natalie Cole and Joni Mitchell. Throughout the ‘90s and into the new century, Botti played extensively with Paul Simon, and had an especially creative association with Sting.

Those gigs – and those relationships – were, he says, powerful learning experiences.
“Watching artists like Sting and Paul and Joni Mitchell,” explains Botti, “how they get in and out of songs, how they introduce people, whether they would do this or that sort of thing, what they would say about one of their players. All that was a huge asset for me. I wouldn’t be the performer I am today without that background.”

Now a major artist in his own right, performing worldwide, selling more than three million albums, he has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre. 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.

Track Listing in Order

Chris Botti

1. “Prelude” (Frédéric Chopin)
2. “Per Te (For You)” (Chris Botti/David Foster/Tiziano Ferro)
3. “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor” (Joaquín Rodrigo)
4. “You Are Not Alone” (R. Kelly)
5. “Losing You” (Randy Newman)
6. “Tango Suite” (Chris Botti/Herbie Hancock)
7. “Setembro” (Ivan Lins)
8. “Oblivion” (Astor Piazolla)
9. “Sevdah” (Gabriel Yared/Tanja Tzarovska)
10. “Summertime” (George and Ira Gershwin/DuBose Heyward)
11. “Contigo En La Distancia” (Cesar Portillo de la Luz)
12. “Over the Rainbow” (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg)
13. “What A Wonderful World” (Bob Thiele/George David Weiss)

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