Trumpeter Chris Botti exudes a certain Rat Pack cool.
He has the swagger too.
With each album, the jazz musician develops a stronger connection to the smooth style of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Now he has a more solid tie.
On his CD "Italia", released last fall, the musician created a duet using Dean Martin's
"I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face." He also recorded the new version at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, in the same room, with the same head gear that Martin used in 1957. (The crooner, known as "forever cool" died in 1995).
The opportunity "just fell into our laps," says Botti, 45. "The Martin estate approached us when they heard we were recording."
Botti, known for his sultry smooth jazz, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Chastain Park Amphitheater with jazz vocalist Paula Cole.
"My last four records were primarily recorded [at Capitol Studios]," Botti adds. "You have a great sense of history there. When you walk down those hallways, there's all these pictures of other artists who recorded there. Sinatra. Bing Crosby. Judy Garland."
Smooth Jazz radio stations, such as WJZZ-FM (107.5) in Atlanta, frequently play Botti's tune "Venice" but that's just one of many highlights on "Italia." The album, which Botti says was inspired by the beauty and romance of Italy, features Cole performing "The Very Thought of You." Classical singer Andrea Bocelli sings the title track and London's Orchestra of St. John's choir performs "Ave Maria." The trumpeter's collaborations emulate the Frank Sinatra mantra – "A Man and his Music."
His show is one of three jazz concerts around town this weekend. Here's a look at the other events.
• It takes vocal chops to pay tribute to Natalie Cole by singing one of her most popular songs. That's Rachelle Ferrell. With Cole in the audience during the 1999 "Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards," Ferrell added her own jazz licks to the Cole classic "I've Got Love on My Mind" and received a standing ovation.
Think classic Ella Fitzgerald, sassy Sarah Vaughan and the originality of Erykah Badu. Ferrell gives you that and more.
• The 411: 8 p.m. Friday. $36.50. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022, 404-249-6400, www.livenation.com
BRIAN CULBERTSON & THE FUNK EXPERIENCE
• Culbertson was heavily influenced by funk (his latest album is called "Bringing Back the Funk") even before his recent collaborations with funk musicians of the '70s such as William "Bootsy" Collins and Earth Wind & Fire's Maurice White. (Atlanta percussionist and former EWF band member Sonny Emory performs on Culbertson's CD.)
• The 411: This concert with Lalah Hathaway and Rahsaan Patterson was originally set for Saturday, but it's been rescheduled for Sept. 19. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-658-7159, 404-817-8700, www.atlantaciviccenter.com Tickets from the canceled show will be honored at the Sept. 19 concert.