Since his self-titled 1990 smash debut, Dave Koz has been one of smooth jazz's greatest musicians. The saxman scored big on the radio and in retail even when he turned away from his established R&B/pop sound on 1996's Off the Beaten Path, which was done with more acoustic instruments. The Dance brings him back to the hard-hitting R&B funk sounds of that first album and its follow-up, 1993's Lucky Man. Aside from reuniting him with some of the producers who worked on his debut – Jeff Lorber, Carl Sturken, Evan Rogers, and his brother Jeff Koz – The Dance is a true testament to the art of collaboration…
The 2015 Dave Koz compilation, Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection, brings together duets and other collaborative recordings culled from the smooth jazz saxophonist's over-two-decades-long album history. Included are pairings with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Herb Alpert, and Luther Vandross. Also included are several brand new recordings including a take on the Jackie Wilson soul classic "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher," featuring vocalist Kenny Lattimore and trumpeter Rick Braun. Also included is Koz's version of the Academy Award-winning song "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen, as well as the song "Good Foot," with longtime associate and keyboardist Jeff Lorber…
With four highly successful holiday albums and 17 consecutive years of the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour, Dave Koz returns to celebrate the holiday season with the release of The 25th of December. Dave is joined by a who's who of acclaimed musicians to bring the heart and soul back into the Christmas season.
Bring together the music scene's hottest sax player and one of soul's sterling vocalists. Then capture these two show-stoppers on one stage. That's Dave Koz and Phil Perry. Live at the Strand. This intimate show captures Phil's voice and Dave's sax altering solo spots and sharing the stage. Full of personal charm and musical thrills, a delightful blend of cool jazz, warm soul and hot R&B.
Summer Horns is the first studio album from Dave Koz since 2010's Hello Tomorrow. That said, it's not solely billed to him. The "and Friends" on the bill refers to three other contemporary jazz saxophonists: Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, and Richard Elliot. Produced by Paul Brown, this is a big up-front horn section record, full of jazz, funk, and R&B covers, alternately by Greg Adams, Tom Scott, Gordon Goodwin, and Albright. The four-sax line is augmented by brass in various places, too. While Brown's production sound stays within the genre of contemporary jazz – it's both clean and bright – the feel is all groove.
Something of a smooth jazz oriented answer to the label's 2003 straight-ahead compilation Jazz After Dark, this highly engaging two-disc set features oft-played radio hits that have helped define the genre's generally easy grooves and colorful melodies. For diehard fans, smooth jazz has always been as about much about lifestyle as music, and these tracks will no doubt remind them just why they became devotees. All the early classics (circa mid-'70s to mid-'80s) are here, from Kenny G.'s "Songbird" and Dave Grusin's "Mountain Dance" to George Benson's "Breezin'" and Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Just the Two of Us." These are supplemented by later hits like Boney James & Rick Braun's "Grazin' in the Grass" and Dave Koz's "You Make Me Smile." But it's not simply an objective survey of smoothness at its best. The collection also seems designed to promote artists in the Concord Jazz stable – David Benoit and Russ Freeman, the Rippingtons, the Braxton Brothers, Gato Barbieri, Eric Marienthal, and Cassandra Reed, among others.
Here is yet another live album by the Dave Matthews Band. This one is from his Central Park Concert in 2003. This one is three CDs, loaded with hits and near-misses, from one of the most successful stage bands in the business. The Matthews Band is tight, full of enough funk and sass to keep it interesting, and yet is able to convey real emotion to tens of thousands of people, as evidenced by their many live recordings. What sets this one apart is its presentation of one concert in its entirety, and its willingness to leave rough edges in. While the sound is pristine, and the performance reflects the band's well-rehearsed acumen, there are those spontaneous moments on this set that get left off of most band's live recordings – including Matthews' previous ones.