Chris Botti is often my soundtrack. Well, when I'm not dancing in the streets to Cee Lo or Bruno Mars. When I need time to think, or when I'm taking photos, I put one or another of Botti's groovy tracks in my ears. He's young but he's got some serious soul. When I need a good cry I go right to his "How Love Should Be" with Paula Cole on vocals. Oh. My. God. I'm down on my knees. The only Botti I've played more, by only about twice, is his "My One and Only Love." I have everything he has recorded. And tonight I met him for the first time.
I come from the school of "I don't need to meet famous people whose talent I admire." In fact, I'm usually too shy to meet them. I like to watch them perform. For years in television I met all kinds of famous people. Too often, especially with my idols, they didn't add up. Not their fault. I wanted them to be something I wanted them to be, but they are only who they are. I learned that lesson and respect it. I want to adore their talent, not necessarily their person.
However, tonight, before his Kennedy Center show, I was a guest at a party for Chris Botti and I met him and that was just fine. I mentioned I was actually a real fan, and he got it. I said, "I take your music out into the wilderness," and he got it. So that was enough. His show was splendid. He's got quiet fire. There's a bit of MOR in him, but its so restrained as if to be a mere faint vapor. I'd love to hear him in a small club in New Orleans, and I told him so, and he got it. He said he would be at the Blue Note in NYC on December 15th. Its a date. Then the host moved me away so Botti could meet some actual rich people. Fair enough. I had my itty bitty moment. CHRIS BOTTI WITH NEALE PERL, TOP GUN AT THE WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS SOCIETY
The show was excellent, of course. I'm never very good at sitting in a big room with people listening to music. I want to be alone or dancing. But it was a lovely, special performance, and appeared to be sold out. There's no doubt young Mr. Botti wowed Washington.
Now its time to play "My Funny Valentine" a few times. Happy Valentine's Day to you.