Chris Botti: December

Full size album art
Label: COLUMBIA
Catalog: 82876753812
Format: CD

Chris Botti

1. The Christmas Song 2. Ave Maria 3. Winter Wonderland 4. The First Noel 5. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! 6. Hallelujah 7. I Really Don't Want Much For Christmas 8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 10. Silent Night 11. Little Drummer Boy 12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem 13. I'll Be Home For Christmas

With his GQ looks and warm, seductive brass tone, trumpet player Chris Botti has what it takes to command attention. This lovely recording will appeal to deeper jazz fans as much as to easy-listening and fusion aficionados. From brooding and bubbling arrangements of holiday standards to the original, radio-perfect ballad "Perfect Day" (featuring the talented horn man on vocals), Botti and his various ensembles deliver 13 tracks of comfort and joy, plus a taste of fleeting, seasonal melancholy that recalls Chet Baker. The more somber moods are brightened, however, by such merry fare as the Brazilian arrangement of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and the swinging "Winter Wonderland." You probably won't hear a more romantic (or ironic) version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and when was the last time a Leonard Cohen tune ("Hallelujah") appeared on any Christmas disc? December is tasty throughout and highly recommended. --Martin Keller

Price: $18.98