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Chris Botti - December Review

by Sherrill Fulghum

Born in Portland, Oregon trumpet player Chris Botti now makes his home in New York City. Chris released his first solo album in 1995. Since then he has released a number his own works and along the way has performed with Paul Simon, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Marc Cohen, Brand New Day, Andrea Boccelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, and Lee Ritenour.

Chris Botti began playing trumpet at the age of 10. These days he plays a Martin Committee trumpet made in 1939 with a mouthpiece by Bach made in 1926.

On "December" Botti lends his jazz influenced pop sound to a collection of 13 traditional and favourite Christmas tunes.

In 2002 Chris Botti also released an album of Christmas music titled "December". The new album contains many of the same songs with two exceptions. "Perfect Day" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" have been replaced by "I Really Don't Want Much for Christmas" - a song of peace and love sung by R&B artist Eric Benet - and Schubert's "Ave Maria" - a piece in which Botti presents a beautiful rendition accompanied by a harp and choir. Botti's playing lends a fresh sound to an old standard "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme.

"December" is a nice change from the standard "Star X sings Christmas Carols".

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