CHRIS BOTTI A Thousand Kisses Deep (Sony) Rating: NNN
The temptation to list this under Pop is strong. Botti goes through two Bacharach numbers, and the title track is a reworking of the great Leonard Cohen tune. This smooth jazz horn-blower has mastered the laid-back, easy-going tone of Chet Baker, playing with such restraint that each note hangs almost indefinitely before floating off like a bubble blown by a smiling kid. Programmed drums, Fender Rhodes and synth bass give a real spaced-out acid jazz vibe to the album, and sticking to 4/4 time keeps toes tapping and hips shaking. Chantal Kreviazuk drops in for a sublime rendering of The Look Of Love. Botti toured with Sting, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, and now the sky's his only limit. He's hip enough to have Beck's Smokey Harmel and Joey Waronker play on a few tracks but confident enough not to call attention to it.