Dave Koz Embraces Change on New CD

By: Frank Mills

Six-time Grammy nominee Dave Koz is back with a new CD and a new partnership.

After nearly two decades with Capitol, the gifted saxophonist inked a deal with Concord Records, and his first effort for the label is the recently released Hello Tomorrow.

Koz fans will not be disappointed. “It’s been a big change for me personally,” Koz says. “Many of us are at the beginning of a new era, and I’ve found it’s liberating to embrace change.”

The idea of necessary reinvention is a theme throughout the record, and Koz has called Hello Tomorrow a “musical survival guide” for the unfamiliar times society is currently facing. Featuring the talents of such legendary and diverse artists as Herb Alpert, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Sheila E., Dana Glover, Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Parker Jr., Christian Scott, and more, the album speaks to the challenges of our times and boldly asserts that the future will unfold in all the right ways—so long as we embrace life’s reset button.

It opens with a bang. “Put the Top Town,” which Koz debuted on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, features jazz-funk guitar from Lee Ritenour and percussion from Sheila E., and provides a groove that sets the smooth mood for the musical greatness to come.

Another standout, the Koz co-composition "When Will I Know For Sure," ups the musical ante by adding urban jazz great Boney James' tenor sax to Koz’s tenor. The combined talents provide a subtler, more introspective track that manages to be both mysterious and serene.

On a cover of Burt Bacharach & Hal David’s 1968 classic “This Guy’s in Love with You,” Koz pays tribute to jazz great Herb Alpert by not only providing a lush alto sax but crooning a soothing vocal as well. (On the original, Alpert played trumpet and sang—a rarity for the musician.) “It’s one thing to play a song on your horn,” the artist says, “but it’s another thing altogether to open your mouth and sing it.” The result is a beautifully melancholy update of the moody classic. And just when you think it can’t get any better, Koz brings in Alpert himself, who blows the same powerful notes he contributed to the original.

Dave Koz seems happy and confident embracing change, and fans will, too. Hello Tomorrow is smooth jazz at its best: a musical opus designed to awaken, inspire, and enlighten you on your path.

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