The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast; Episode #24: Chris Botti

Episode #24 — Chris Botti

Trumpet Podcast Logo Chris Botti
Welcome to the show notes for Episode #24 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features Chris Botti, Grammy award winning trumpet artist.

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About Chris Botti

Italia / Photo Credit: Fabrizio Ferri
Italia / Photo Credit: Fabrizio Ferri, courtesy Chris Botti

Chris Botti’s music career started early in his own home. His mother, a concert pianist, encouraged him at the age of 9 to start playing the trumpet. At 12, he heard Miles Davis play ‘My Funny Valentine’ which solidified his dedication to the trumpet and his musical vision.

After growing up in Corvallis, Oregon, Chris attended Indiana University where he studied with trumpet teacher William Adam and jazz educator David Baker. During two summer breaks, he received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts which allowed him to study with trumpeter Woody Shaw and saxophonist George Coleman.

At the end of his college career Chris decided to leave, going on tours with Frank Sinatra and Buddy Rich. He moved to New York in 1985 and starting playing with artists which included Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Natalie Cole, and others. During this time, he made many creative connections that only furthered his musical career and vision.

Chris Botti Live at Blue Note 2013
Chris Botti Live at Blue Note 2013, courtesy of Chris Botti

After ten years playing and touring with various acts, Chris made his solo debut 1995 with First Wish. He has since released nine more studio albums and two live albums, involving many collaborations with classical, jazz, and pop musicians including Yo-yo Ma, John Mayer, and Andrea Bocelli. He continues to be an innovative and in demand musician, touring and working around the world.

Chris Botti Trumpet Links

A Note on Chris Botti’s Trumpet Grip

We’ve received many requests about the change in hand position Chris was talking about in the podcast. Here are some pictures that help show the change in hand position.

In discussing the left hand, Chris said he used to use a pistol grip with fingers above and below the the 3rd slide.

This is the old grip that Chris Botti used for many years before switching.
This is the old grip that Chris Botti used for many years before switching.
This is the new grip that Chris uses with all his fingers placed above the 3rd slide.
This is the new grip that Chris uses with all his fingers placed above the 3rd slide.

Chris briefly mentions that now he thinks about where to place the thumb on the right hand. Here’s the placement he demonstrated while he was talking:

Here is one possible placement that Chris demonstrated during his interview. The right thumb is placed between the first and second valve casing.
Here is one possible placement that Chris demonstrated during his interview. The right thumb is placed between the first and second valve casing.
Here is the second iteration of Chris's demonstration of right-hand thumb placement.
Here is the second iteration of Chris’s demonstration of right-hand thumb placement.

Larry Hall & Jerry Hey Trumpet Routine

We will post the details of Larry Hall & Jerry Hey‘s 7-8 hour intensive routine from Indiana University — check back soon!

Trumpet Podcast Credits

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  • Michael Fenton

    What hand positions to holding the trumpet was Chris taking about?

    • http://www.bobreeves.com Bob Reeves Brass

      Hi Michael, Good question! We’ll post some photos later today to give you a better idea of what Chris was talking about. His old left-hand position was a pistol grip with the pinky and ring finger below the 3rd slide. After watching Wynton’s grip, he shifted his wrist so that all the fingers fit above the 3rd slide. This resulted in a change of pressure of his mouthpiece rim on his lips.
      He then talked about figuring out where the thumb on the right hand goes and he demonstrated resting closest next to the valve cluster and then under the leadpipe in between the first and second valves.

  • kube

    Great podcast! It was a pleasure to listen to.
    However, I do have a question about the “new” grip Chris was talking about.
    I’ve indeed seen some other players use that same grip (e.g. Wynton, Rashawn Ross, Andrea Giuffredi etc.). I sometimes use it myself, mainly when marching. But when holding your trumpet like that, how in the world do they move the 3rd slide to correct tuning on some notes? I can only do so by moving my whole hand, which causes instability. Anyone can give me tips on how you do it?
    Thanks
    Kurt

    • http://www.bobreeves.com Bob Reeves Brass

      Interesting questions, Chris. Maybe someone will chime in. We’re going to see Chris this weekend in concert. If we get the opportunity we’ll ask him about how he moves that 3rd slide.

  • Dustin

    Hi there, when do you expect to be posting Larry Hall and Jerry Hey’s intensive routine?

    • BobReevesBrass

      Hi Dustin! Sorry for the delay! We should be posting the routine next week.

  • Dennis

    Any word on posting the Hall/Hey practice routine?

    • http://www.bobreeves.com Bob Reeves Brass

      Yes, thanks for asking Dennis. Larry and Jerry are putting the final edits together and we hope to post it in June. Sorry for the delay. They were very particular about making sure the routine was accurate…and there was a lot of stuff they practiced!

  • Dennie Kirtley

    I just listened the whole Chris Botti interview. I was already sold on his sound, his stage presence and his incredible musicianship and the interview succeeded solidly in fleshing out the man behind the horn. The things that stand out in my mind from listening: Chris comes across as so genuine, and his gusto for performing and interacting with great musicians is a passion. He is having the time of his life and his attitude is infectious. He’s balanced. And most of all, he seems grateful for where he’s at and he wants to give back. At the end I still wanted to hear more of what he had to say.

    • http://www.bobreeves.com Bob Reeves Brass

      Wonderful words, Dennie. Thank you for sharing your observations!