Chris Botti Live with Orchestra & Special
C+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Concert: B-
Botti is fast rising as one of the greatest trumpeters of his generation and
potentially one of the most commercially successful in the history of the music
business. Even if you have not heard his
work, it does not take long to see why in the new Blu-ray concert release Chris Botti Live with Orchestra &
Special Guests from December 2005.
Also broadcast on TV, this version is expanded with higher definition
performance, though with limits.
concert is good on a musicianship level and that consistency is a big
plus. It is some of the songs covered
that I had issues with. The selections
Someone To Watch Over Me
When I Fall in Love
A Thousand Kisses Deep
What Are You Doing The Rest of
Your Life? (with
Good Morning Heartache (with Jill Scott)
My One & Only (with Paula Cole & Burt
The Look Of Love (with Paula Cole & Burt
Pennies From Heaven (with Renee Olstead)
10) Are You Lonesome Tonight? (with Paul Buchanan)
11) Lover Man (with Gladys Knight)
12) Why Not?
13) My Funny Valentine (with Sting)
14) One For My Baby
15) Bows (Credits)
music business clueless these days in how to promote their best artists, then
scratch their heads on why the albums are not doing the business they deserve,
this is often the first exposure many will get to these vocalists, let alone
Botti. Sting is a veteran, but his
covers just fall flat in this case.
Gladys Knight on the other hand can do no wrong and still has her great
voice here. Renee Olstead’s cover of the
Depression classic is not bad, but still has me thinking on it. Jill Scott is so talented and her cover of
the Billie Holiday classic is decent and
more jazz-like than the hit Diana Ross version from Lady Sings The Blues, reviewed elsewhere on this site. That leaves the Cole/Bacharach tracks. Only
works fine, but The Look Of Love
(from the soundtrack to the 1967 Casino
Royale that Bacharach made a much loved, imitated and admired soundtrack
for) is a tougher song to pull off and it was on the flat side despite Cole’s
is the star overall and for those sick of Kenny G, (or who simply never liked
him) here is an instrumentalist who has more edge to his work. Though the guests make this an event show,
Botti more than holds his own, exceeding the show’s overall limits.
record for most machines used to check one disc, I am sad to report that the
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is weak, problematic and very odd,
as if someone was trying to maybe take 1080i and upgrade it when they did not
need to. Long shots are more of a
problem than close ones, but this is not much better than a standard DVD and
some of the results here have a strange, strained phony look to them. The sound is the opposite, which is the
highlight of this disc as the PCM 96/24 5.1 mix is terrific, audiophile quality
and has more than a few fine sonic moments.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is lame by comparison.
reminded me of DVD-Audio discs when the sound was good while stills or video
footage was softer than a new format should have been. That is justification enough to get this disc
if you love the music. Extras include
five segments, including Sting performing the Police classic Message In A Bottle with introduction, One For My Baby performance also not
seen on TV, piece on the musicians, interview with Botti and a behind the
scenes featurette. Despite the picture
issues, this is one of the more interesting Sony/BMG Blu-ray releases we have
seen and hope the concerts keep on coming.
Some classic concerts and other classic footage (like Music Videos)
would be nice, but until then, don’t miss this disc.
- Nicholas Sheffo