Although the most popular contemporary jazz tends to fall into the "lite" category, trumpeter Chris Botti avoids painting himself into this corner by sticking with an approach more reminiscent of Chet Baker. For his 2004 album, WHEN I FALL IN LOVE, Botti takes it a step further by employing the London Session Orchestra to provide him with lush accompaniment on a program predominantly made up of standards. The Oregon native adds further layers to the album's sound by calling on singer Paula Cole, whose burnished vocals provide a fine foil on a brush-stroked version of Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do?" and "How Love Should Be," with its subtle mix of piano and strings.
Along with exquisite takes on Rodgers & Hart ("My Romance") and the Gershwins ("Someone to Watch Over Me"), Botti also shows a knack for the cinematic nuance of Ennio Morricone ("Cinema Paradiso") and the pop-jazz of Sade ("No Ordinary Love"). The handsome horn player even ropes old employer Sting and bandmates Dominic Miller and Vinnie Colaiuta into lending their talents on the samba-flavored "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" (composed by Sting and Miller). With its dusky mood, WHEN I FALL IN LOVE serves as the perfect soundtrack for a late-night cocktail party or a romantic evening by the fireplace.