The latest contender for the instrumental pop saxophone throne, Dave Koz came out of nowhere after his self-titled 1990 release made it onto the Billboard contemporary jazz charts and stayed there several weeks. He has more fire and intensity in his work than Kenny G, and often sounds like a reworked David Sanborn. Koz also played on Arsenio Hall’s show, which increased his popularity among the urban contemporary, light jazz, and pop audiences. Koz plays instrumental pop covers and some upbeat tunes, and generally sticks to the fusion production formula: background vocalists, synthesizers, and drum machines, a minimum amount of solo space, and so on.
His sessions are available on CD and have been regularly released since his first appearance on the scene. Highlights include 1993’s peppy Lucky Man, 1999’s collaboration-heavy Dance, 2001’s holiday treat A Smooth Jazz Christmas, and 2007’s film music-themed At the Movies. Koz left EMI to sign with Concord in 2010 for the release of Hello Tomorrow, produced by John Burk and Marcus Miller.
He released his very first live album this fall with “Live at the Blue Note Toyko,” which includes a handful of his hits such as “You Make Me Smile,” “Faces Of The Heart” and “Put The Top Down.”
“I love doing different projects all at the same time,” says the California native. “The music business used to be a real horizontal business in which you tried to grab the most amounts of people you possibly could across a horizontal place. These days, it feels as if the whole point is to figure out how many different ways can you touch the people you already have. And in the process, find a way to expand the number of fans from there. I’ve been doing this for many years, so every time I can touch and say thank you to my loyal supporters, I take advantage of it.
Live At The Blue Note Tokyo is available in all stores.