Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dave Koz Live At The Blue Note Tokyo Concord 2012

Live At Blue Note Tokyo I first heard the name and saw my first Dave Koz performance on the old Emril Live show on what is now the Food Network. You would have to be tone deaf with literally no musical soul or soul on any level to realize you were looking at a star in the making. After 25 years of recording, Koz maintains a tour schedule that would rival that of any artist across any genre working today. Unlike so many saxophone players working the smoother side of the contemporary instrumental street, it is the commitment to diversity as well as his fans that places Koz in a class by himself. After all this mileage, Dave Koz releases his first ever live release Live At The Blue Note In Tokyo on 02/12/13.

The tunes are without question classic Koz and the surrounding ensemble while some are solo artists in their own right, all are first call musicians making for what was a magical time in Tokyo back in September of 2011. The amazing aspect of Dave Koz is that this eight-time Grammy nominee has never released a live recording until now. A break down of the tunes is a somewhat redundant look at the Koz career. From memorable ballads to a more funk infused jam, Koz can touch your heart and set your hair on fire all at the same time. The hits included "You Make Me Smile" and "Put The Top Down" but it really doesn't matter as Koz could play the phone back and still have legions of satisfied fans with this release perhaps ranking at the top of the list.

Live At The Blue Note has been nominated for a Grammy in the category of best pop instrumental album. Another reason this particular release works on about ten different levels is that genre boundaries that other artists strictly adhere to are politely tossed aside in the name of entertainment. Proving my point, this release is the follow up to Grammy nominated Hello  Tomorrow which was named Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2010 by iTunes and walked away with Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 2011 Soul Train Awards.

While live releases and greatest hits packages are sometimes the signal that an artist may be nearing the end of their creative life, Koz remains one of perhaps the three best in his field and with no signs of slowing down. Independently released in September of 2012, Live At The Blue Note has been well worth the wait. A righteous record that is spot on every step of the way.

Sonic perfection on a shiny silver disc. A winner!

Tracks: What You Leave Behind; Together Again; Put The Top Down; Let It Free; Anything's Possible; Love Is On The Way; All I See Is You; HoneyDipped; Faces Of The Heart; Silverlining; You Make Me Smile.

Personnel: Dave Koz: saxophone; Brian Simpson: keyboards; Randy Jacobs: guitar; Jay Williams: drums; Andre Berry: bass; Tio Banks: keyboards.