A Night of Jazz

As passionate as I am about the music of Neil Young, I'm equally passionate about Jazz. Last night my wife and I spent the evening at the Santa Barbara Bowl, an outdoor venue with hard metal bench seats, but a great opportunity to hear the best in the business.

This was I think my third time at a Diana Krall concert. She took us through her standards of Nat King Cole, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin pieces, all done with perfection. She shared some humorous comments about her recent birthing of twin boys. All in all, a typical Diana Krall night. Great music from one of the best in the business.

The night began with a powerful hour of music by trumpeter Chris Botti and his band. In some ways the contrast between Botti's high energy, driving jazz and Diana's laid back ballads can't be more different, and yet it made for a great night. I first heard Chris a couple of years back when he came to town with Dave Koz's Christmas tour. Then he was part of a smooth jazz all star line up, but tonight I got to watch him cut loose. And not only does he have the chops to play this stuff, but he has put together a band composed of people that are each in their own right great jazz players. This simply amazing group includes: pianist Peter Martin, the bassist James Genus (plays with the Saturday Night Live Band), drummer Billy Kilson, and guitarist Mark Whitfield and his fire engine red guitar, offers an opportunity for Botti to do pure jazz jamming.

Of course when he shared his Oregonian origins that only clinched the deal. He hails from that jazz capital of the world -- Corvallis, Oregon. Corvallis, for those who don't know it, is the home of Oregon State University (home of Marcus Borg). Chris shared that the first time he heard Miles Davis he knew he was going to play jazz in New York City.

He announced that he has a new album due out on September 25th -- entitled Italia. That should be interesting!

So, if you have a chance to hear Christ Botti play, do so, because it will be a real treat! Of course Diana isn't bad either!!


Anonymous said…
So glad you enjoyed the performance. A small informational correction with respect to Mr. Botti's band (who are outstanding, aren't they?) - guitarist Whitfield's first name is Mark, not Michael. I've seen them a number of times on the East Coast in the past year and they never fail to impress.
Thanks for the correction -- which I've finally made in the post. It is Mark Whitfield!

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