Sandy Brown Jazz

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Jazz As Art

Chris Botti

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

From the album December


When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before.

Christmas has come and gone, but winter is still here. At the time of writing, weather (sic) we shall have snow remains to be seen. The season has brought us many good jazz tunes - take pianist Jason Rebello and saxophonist Iain Ballamy who, since 2012, have got together to record a set of Christmas music on Soundcloud each year - try their version of John Rutter's Candlelight Carol (click here). One track I really like goes back to 2012 when trumpeter Sue Richardson released her debut album Emergence - click here to listen to the lovely Winter from the album.

But the track I have chosen for this month's Jazz As Art feature is Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! from the album December by another trumpeter, Chris Botti. The band is Chris Botti (trumpet); Billy Childs (piano); David Carpenter (bass); Peter Erskine (drums, percussion).

American trumpeter Chris Botti was born in Oregon, his mother a classically trained pianist and piano teacher. Chris started playing Chris Botti by Leann Muellertrumpet when he was nine but was hooked at twelve after hearing Miles Davis’ My Funny Valentine. He played at Carnegie Hall with the All American High School Jazz band, and at seventeen went to Mount Hood Community College at Gresham so that he could play at clubs in Portland and the college had Larry McVey ‘whose band had come to be a proving ground and regular stop for Stan Kenton and Mel Tormé when they were looking for new players.

After graduating from high school, Chris went on to Indiana University School of Music and during his senior year played for short touring stints with Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. In 1985, he moved to New York City. In 1990, he began a decade long touring and recording relationship with Paul Simon and performed/recorded with Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Scritti Politti, Roger Daltrey and others. While on tour with Simon, he met saxophonist Michael Brecker, which led to Chris co-producing a track on the Brecker Brothers' Out Of The Loop album - Evocations. The album won a 1995 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.


Chris Botti
Photograph by Leann Meueller


Chris established a reputation in 2001 with his recording of  Night Sessions reflecting his ability to fuse jazz and popular music together (video with Sting). Chris went on to record with Verve and Columbia and by 2009 had released 12 solo albums. His first few releases are often classified as ‘smooth jazz’, although critic Alex Henderson argues that Botti's music was a cut above much of the genre; reviewing his 1999 album, Slowing Down the World, Henderson writes "it would be a major mistake to lump it in with... outright elevator muzak ... Botti is capable of a lot more.” He was also nominated in 2008 for his album Italia and received three nominations in 2010 for the live album Chris Botti In Boston. In 2013, he won the Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category  for the album  Impressions. Four of his albums have reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard jazz albums chart.

Chris Botti has a formidable list of gigs lined up for 2020 (click here) and he will be in London on 30th May playing at the Festival Hall – click here -  (tickets are already on sale).


Play the tune, scroll down through the paintings and see what you think.

(I think this only really works if you spend time with each painting or scroll through them a few times)





Vickie Wade


Vickie Wade Snow Play








Aniko Hencz


Aniko Hencz Clouds On The Horizon








Karla Nolan


Karla Nolan Let It Snow








Evgeny Balakshina


Evgeny Balakshina On The Carnival








Pieter Bruegel the Elder


Bruegel Hunters In The Snow







Carol Bernier


Carol Bernier Ice Storm








Diane Steinbach


Diane Steinbach Old Man Winter








Henry Sandham


Henry Sandham Ice Skating









Margaret Tarrant


Margaret Tarrant The Frost King








Nathalie Bergeron Duval


Nathalie Bergeron Duval City Under Snow








Yuriy Pryadko


Yuriy Pryadko painting







Joseph Farquharson


Joseph Farquharson The Shortening Winters Day









David Barnes


David Barnes Snow On The Welsh Hills







Lauren Adams


Lauren Adams Breaking Ice









Banksy painting




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Other pages you might find of interest :

More Jazz As Art
Video Juke Box
Tracks Unwrapped
Name The Tune

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