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The story about there being more suicides around the holidays turns out to be a myth, but like all urban legends, it caught on among the populace (or at least among lazy journalists) because it sounds like it should be true; as trumpeter Chris Botti writes in a sleeve note to his seasonal collection, December, "At no other time of the year is there a wider array of emotions than the month of December." This is a clue that Botti, in acceding to his record company's request that he undertake a Christmas album, was not interested in simply celebrating the season in his interpretations of holiday standards. There have been other such contemplative Christmas records: George Winston's album, also called December, is calm rather than celebratory, and Barbra Streisand's Christmas Memories, released in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, is another collection that takes in the season's complexities. Add Botti's album to that list. The approach, of course, fits in with the trumpeter's overall musical style. Often heard through a mute, his playing usually has an intimate, low-key character, and that is true here, too. Critics have compared him to Miles Davis, and to that one easily may add Chet Baker, especially because like Baker, Botti has chosen to sing here, applying an adequate tenor to Richard Marx's "Perfect Day" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (the latter one of the more troubled of lyrics to become a Christmas standard). It isn't all doom and gloom, of course; there's a playful reading of "Winter Wonderland," for instance. But this is still an album to be put on in the shank of the evening when the Christmas festivities have subsided, not at the height of the celebrations. [December was re-released in 2006 with a slightly different track list.]

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/10/2006
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0887254263722
catalogNumber: 542637
Rank: 25066


  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

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chris Botti   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Brian Bromberg   Bass
Billy Childs   Piano,fender rhodes
Peter Erskine   Percussion,Drums
Steve Kujala   Flute
Bob Sheppard   Alto Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Haslip   Bass
Richard Bullock   Bassoon
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Joel Derouin   Violin
Brandon Fields   Tenor Saxophone
Shane Fontayne   Guitar
James Harrah   Guitar
Gina Kronstadt   Violin,Concert Master
John Lubbock   Choir Conductor
Don Markese   Clarinet
Christian McBride   Bass
Yvonne S. Moriarty   Flugelhorn
Bruce Otto   Trombone
Robert Shulgold   Flute
Kurt Snyder   Flugelhorn
Randy Waldman   Piano
John Wittenberg   Violin
Susan Chatman   Violin
Anthony Wilson   Guitar
Andrew Picken   Viola
Mary Anne Steinberger   Cello
Andrew Radford   Bassoon
Jon Ossman   Bass
Nicholas Lane   Trombone
Cj Vanston   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Hammond B3
David Carpenter   Bass
Richard Mitchell   Flute
John Van Houton   Tuba
Justin Hagerman   Flugelhorn
St. Jon's Choir London Session Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Brian O'Connor   Flugelhorn

Technical Credits

Franz Schubert   Composer
Leonard Cohen   Composer
Billy Childs   Arranger,String Arrangements
Gil Goldstein   Arranger
Jeremy Lubbock   Arranger,Composer
Mel Tormé   Composer
Buck Ram   Composer
Harry Simeone   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
Chris Botti   Arranger
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Bobby Colomby   Producer,Management
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Katherine K. Davis   Composer
Shane Fontayne   Arranger
Kim Gannon   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
Nathaniel Kunkel   Engineer
Hugh Martin   Composer
Henry Onorati   Composer
Richard Rudolph   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Jule Styne   Composer
Robert Wells   Composer
Dick Smith   Composer
Marc Silag   Management
Mary Maurer   Art Direction
Ralph Blane   Composer
Joe Brown   Engineer
Charlie Paakkari   Engineer
Christopher J. Roberts   Engineer
Cj Vanston   String Arrangements
Haydn Bendell   Engineer

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