After attending Indiana University, and studying with the highly regarded jazz educator David Baker, the great trumpet teacher Bill Adam, jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw and jazz saxophonist George Coleman, he moved to New York in the mid-‘80s.
His early career was spent crafting his skills in settings reaching from the Buddy Rich Big Band and Frank Sinatra to Natalie Cole and Joni Mitchell.
“But, sadly, I’ve forgotten most of it.” That he still feels a firm connection with his Italian roots, however, was fully manifest in the title song he composed, with David Foster, for the album, Italia.
An afternoon of free improvising at Hancock’s house resulted in Tango Suite. A similar afternoon of creative compatibility – this time between Botti and pianist/composer/producer David Foster, with lyrics by Tiziano Ferro – produced “Per Te.” Sung by the incomparable tenor of Andrea Bocelli, it already sounds like a classic.
Country star Vince Gill, doing Randy Newman’s “Losing You,” was another of the album’s featured artists, his conversational, story-telling style adding more of the variety that Botti and Colomby were slowly accumulating for the album.
” When Knopfler, who rarely sings songs by other writers, agreed to do the tune, the first important piece of the album was in place.
Others quickly followed, some from unlikely sources.
At the suggestion of arranger Mendoza, Colomby brought Brazilian guitarist Leonardo Amuedo to the studio, a further vital element was added.