Left – Chris Botti. Photo – Fabrizio Ferri
If you were lucky enough to see Chris Botti live in concert in 2010 at the National theatre then 2011 at the Melbourne Jazz Festival was déjà vu in the best way possible.
Simply electrifying Botti, his five piece band and two guests (including the stunning vocalist Lisa Fischer and violinist Caroline Campbell) kept the audience clicking, clapping and tapping.
Botti, a majestic trumpet player has honed his craft well and his performance from the first long note to the final rendition of Herbie Hancock’s My Funny Valentine was superb. With the talents of Billy Childs (ten time Grammy award nominee and four time winner as well as the prestigious Gugenheimer award) on the piano, Billy Kilson (the envy of Sting and longest serving member of the band) on the drums and Mark Whitfield who’s fantastic finger work on the fret board was accompanied by endless silent jokes that brought much humour to the performance.
A new addition to the band was Cuban player Carlitos Del Fuerto on the bass and guitar whose passion mingled sweat, fancy finger work and immense head banging. Definitely one of the highlights was Flamingo Sketches, an opportunity for all members to indulge in some ‘improv’ though the fact that their performance is almost identical around the world is credit to the fact that for most of the year Botti and his band are on the road.
Other memorable moments included Fischer’s rendition of Italia and Leonard Cohen’s beautiful Halleluiah. The Recital Centre is an ideal place for a band like Botti’s with its grand space, excellent lighting and while the heat may have been intense for the performers it was certainly a very cool night of jazz for the audience.
CHRIS BOTTI AUSTRALIAN TOUR – JUNE 2011
Venue: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre
Dates: Sunday 5th & Monday 6 June
Bookings: 03 9699 3333 | www.melbournejazz.com
Part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Venue: Canberra Theatre
Dates: Wednesday 8th June
Bookings: 02 6275 2700 | www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au
Venue: The Tivoli
Dates: Friday 10th June
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au
Venue: City Recital Hall Angel Place
Dates: Saturday 11th June
Bookings: 02 8256 2222 | 1300 797 118 | www.cityrecitalhall.com