Trumpeter Chris Botti returned to the stage at the beautiful Palladium in Carmel this past weekend. This time around he had a different band than he brought the last time he was here. With Valentines just around the corner, much of the 15 song performance was focused on well-known romantic standards and ballads such as Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me", "When I Fall in Love", "You Don't Know What Love Is" which was made popular and recorded by many legendary jazz vocalist, including Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. A crowd favorite was Harold Arlen's classic "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", a second Gershwin tune "Embraceable You" and "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning", popularized by the great Frank Sinatra on his album of the same name, released in 1955.
Most of these tunes were originally pop tunes of their day but were adapted and recorded by many of the great jazz musicians over the years. "Blue in Green", a tune that was written by the great pianist Bill Evans and performed by Evans and Miles Davis on the landmark "Kind of Blue" album was beautiful as well. The performance concluded with a fun rendition of "What a Wonderful World" sung by the drummer Lee Pearson, mimicking the great Louis Armstrong's recording in 1967. Botti's band included drummer Lee Pearson, bassist Reggie Hamilton, guitarist Leonardo Amuendo and Holger Marjamaa on piano. Saxophonist Andy Snitzer was brought on stage for a number of tunes.
Caroline Campbell, a wonderful violinist was a nice touch as well. In addition, the opera Tenor Rafael Moras was brought on to performed a couple tunes much to the delight of the sold out Palladium.