Italia Review
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Italia is a bold, heady listen, so good it’ll make your eyes close and your head spin with bliss. And Chris Botti is surely destined to become one of the most legendary white boys to ever lay hands on a trumpet. In fact, to call this an exquisite piece of work wouldn’t do it justice. It is completely and utterly sublime.

It opens with a beautiful rendition of “Deborah’s Theme” from Once Upon a Time in America. Botti co-wrote the music to the title track, a delightfully steamy number featuring the magnificent vocals of Andrea Bocelli. “Venice” is gorgeous and romantic with a perfect synergy of instrumentals. This song ends far too soon. “The Very Thought of You” is a beautiful duet between Botti’s trumpet and Paula Cole’s angelic vocals. Speaking of incredible vocals, Botti is joined by Dean Martin in the classic “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” In Botti’s interpretation of “The Way You Look Tonight,” he says more without the vocals than many versions that I’ve heard with. And even though it makes me feel like I’m in church, “Ave Maria” is, nonetheless, spectacular. The majestic “Nessun Dorma” makes for a perfect finale.

This disc is guaranteed to take your breath away. And if you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite piasan, this is definitely it.

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