Music » Critics' Picks

Chris Botti

8 p.m. Friday, September 18. The Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard.

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Having worked his way up from session musician to featured sideman for Paul Simon and Sting and now to bandleader, trumpeter Chris Botti spent nearly a decade playing electrified pop-jazz before changing directions with his 2004 CD, When I Fall in Love. Reversing the stereotypical sell-out scenario, Botti became an even bigger success unplugged by enlisting jazz musicians using acoustic instruments to perform lush, orchestral standards and romantic ballads. His last studio recording, Italia, which added more overt classical and pop influences, and the live set Chris Botti in Boston were ambitious attempts to reach even larger audiences. Always a capable melodist with an inviting tone, Botti maintains continued jazz credibility by employing top-flight players such as drummer Billy Kilson and bassist Robert Hurst.

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