Chris Botti makes a fresh start and returns to his love of jazz on his Blue Note Records debut Vol. 1, which is out now.
Having successfully crossed over from jazz renown to pop stardom, the Grammy-winning trumpeter’s first album in more than a decade finds him crossing back with a small group project focused on acoustic jazz and classic standards. Vol. 1 is available now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital download. You can watch Botti discuss the contents of the album with Blue Note president Don Was in the “First Look” video below.
Botti will be touring extensively across the U.S. this Fall include the return of his beloved Annual Holiday Residency at Blue Note New York, the storied Greenwich Village jazz club, where he’ll be performing two shows a night from December 11 to January 7. Visit the artist’s official website for further information on all his forthcoming dates.
Vol. 1 is a beautiful ballads collection that presents stunning new renditions of favorite standards including “Old Folks,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” and “Blue In Green,” as well as a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and the vocal feature “Paris” with John Splithoff. The album was produced by David Foster and features performances by violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and others.
“I turned 60 in 2022, at a time that seemed like a restart for so many things in the world,” Botti reflects. “I wanted to strip away all the orchestral arrangements and focus more on my playing, the playing of my band, and these jazz classics that we always love playing on stage.”
While Botti could boast of the major names with whom he’s shared stages, this project allows him to share his enthusiasm for the jazz greats past and present that excite him from Miles Davis to Keith Jarrett to Pat Metheny to Brad Mehldau. He points to landmark albums like Davis’ Kind of Blue, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, or Metheny’s duo outing with Charlie Haden Beyond the Missouri Sky as models for the kind of sophisticated mood music he set out to make.
Not that Vol. 1 is a complete volte face – longtime fans will immediately recognize Botti’s glowing tone and regal melodicism, as well as his flair for investing the narrative of a song with high drama and vibrant emotion. “There’s a cinematic quality that I like to hear in music, and that I’ve found that audiences really love,” he says. “The essence of that remains on this album. It’s paramount to me that there is incredible beauty and elegance to all of the performances.”