Posts Tagged ‘ Dave Koz And Friends ’

Dave Koz and Friends – Summer Horns II From A To Z

Overcoming massive scheduling problems, saxophonist and entertainer Dave Koz has again managed to win some of the best musicians for his Summer Horns project. His new dream team consists of trumpet player Rick Braun, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot as well as trombonist and singer Aubrey Logan, a featured artist for Postmodern Jukebox.

Greg Adams, Tom Scott and Gordon Goodwin, who also arranged the previous album, are on this recordings again. Featured artists are singer Kenny Lattimore and Sheléa Frazier, Jonathan Butler and Gloria Estefan. The press release also mentions a rhythm arrangement by Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Summer Horns II From A To Z is based on the same principle as the previous album. Selected songs that have passed the test of time and yet remain in lasting memory. The common denominator of all songs is a horn arrangement that qualified the piece for inclusion on the album. Cross-genre, dynamic and with a certain pep.

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Dave Koz and Friends – Summer Horns II From A To Z

Five years ago, after Dave Koz and Friends released Summer Horns—the GRAMMY-nominated album that paid tribute to classic songs featuring killer horn sections—all that the musicians could think about was how much fun they’d just had. They toured behind the album during the summer of 2013, then vowed to spend the following summer doing it all over again.

“The second tour was even better than the first,” says Koz, the world-class saxophonist who piloted the release, which rocketed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. “We had a total blast and the fans really gravitated toward it.”

There was no question in Koz’s mind that a sequel was in the stars, but getting everyone’s schedules to align was never going to be easy, each participant being a headliner with bookings well into the future. It took a few years but finally, says Koz, through “divine intervention,” a window of time opened up so that everyone could be in the same place at the same time.

Summer Horns II From A To Z, scheduled for release on June 22, 2018 via Concord Records, is the result, a stunning set of 11 more timeless tunes re-imagined by Koz (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes), joined by alto saxophonist Gerald Albright and tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot—both returnees from the earlier session—with new additions Rick Braun (trumpet) and Aubrey Logan (trombone and vocals). A crew of ace rhythm players collaborates with the Summer Horns lineup along with a who’s who of arrangers: Tom Scott (who’s worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin to Steely Dan), Greg Adams (best known for Tower of Power, but also Santana and Elton John) and GRAMMY-winning arranger Gordon Goodwin. Braun, himself a legend of contemporary jazz, produced the album, with co-production by Koz. Continue reading

Dave Koz and Friends – Summer Horns

There’s the instrumentalist, and there’s the instrumental ensemble. Dave Koz and Friends, a saxophone quartet featuring Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot, present Summer Horns (Concord Music Group, 2013). The album is a fun-filled presentation of rock and soul hits interpreted for light jazz.

Koz plays the entire saxophone family as well as flute. Abair plays alto on all tracks. Elliott plays tenor on all tracks. And Albright splits time between tenor and alto. The foursome is accompanied by a variable lineup of rhythm players and other musicians.

“Always There” is a cool take on the Ronnie Laws classic. No credit is given for the bass line, which is a shame because it’s one of the many strong points of this arrangement. The four saxes are joined by Greg Adams on flugelhorn and Lee Thornberg on flugelhorn and trombone. Paul Brown assists on rhythm guitar. Ricky Lawson, who handles drum duties for all but a few tracks, is barely noticeable here. Part of that is by design as the saxophone quartet carries the tune from start to finish.

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Dave Koz and Friends – Summer Horns

The union of several star musicians to a formation is an effective way to get more attention and impact. Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot already have experience with this procedure, so Dave Koz will have to do little gentle persuasion. With Summer Horns the quartet has had already some successes. What could be better than to perpetuate this success with a recording.

With Greg Adams, Tom Scott and Gordon Goodwin as arrangers and Paul Brown as producer and the support by guest-musicians Rick Braun, Brian Culbertson and the vocalists Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne and Jonathan Butler success is inevitable. The group has chosen popular songs of the past that have the selective use of horns together.

The album starts with the Ronnie Laws composition Always There from his album Pressure Sensitive (1975). With the wide use of four saxophones one naturally achieves a powerful impression. Paul McCartney wrote the song Got To Get You Into My Life for the Beatles album Revolver. The song became known by the rendition on EWF’s The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1. A showpiece for any horn section!

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Dave Koz And Friends – Summer Horns

SummerHornsEight-time GRAMMY® nominee Dave Koz remembers a time when the summers lasted forever, and the most popular rock, R&B, soul and funk bands of the day were propelled by high-octane, richly arranged horn sections. Indeed, from the late 1960s through the ‘70s, bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and other brassy juggernauts of the era ruled the airwaves and opened his young ears to the saxophone’s limitless possibilities as a solo instrument as well as a collaborative voice with the trumpet and trombone.

Four decades later, Koz has assembled three of his most talented and trusted colleagues – Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair – to revisit this golden age with new arrangements of classic songs from this period in the history of popular music. Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns, produced by Paul Brown (Al Jarreau, George Benson, June Tabor, Boney James), is a collaborative effort that throws the spotlight on four high-profile saxophonists, and augments the team with several other equally talented musicians and vocalists. Summer Horns, set for release on June 11, 2013, on Concord Records, turns up the heat just in time for the summer tour season.

“The first album I ever bought was Back To Oakland, the 1974 recording by Tower of Power,” says Koz. “I’ve always been fascinated with that sound. There are few things in music that are as exciting as the energy that comes from a really tight horn section. Over the years, that sound has graced some of the greatest records of all time by bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Earth Wind & Fire, and so many others. That’s what Gerald, Richard, Mindi and I are recreating on this recording.” Continue reading

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