Dave Koz
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Every once in a while a Cd comes out with a lot of buzz around it. This happens in pop and rock music all the time but less so among contemporary jazz players. Dave Koz’s new release, At the Movies is no exception. There will be much to talk about with the release of this much different offering from Mr. Koz. Yes, much of Dave Koz’s music could be pigeon holed as “smooth jazz”, but At the Movies offers a refreshing deviation from the well-worn format.

At the Movies is exactly as the name applies. Dave Koz and producer Phil Ramone offer up 12 regular and two bonus tracks on the advance copy I just received. (1/26/07) From Over the Rainbow to Schindler’s List, Koz’s saxophone sound is soulful and melodic as he tells each story on a popular movie theme.

If it weren’t enough to feature Koz’s award winning saxophone playing, Phil Ramone put together a star-studded cast of duets with Koz. Barry Manilow, India Arie, and Vanessa Williams, Johnny Mathis, Anita Baker, Donna Summer and trumpeter Chris Botti all lend balance to Koz’s sweeping saxophone. The “stunning collection features a full orchestra” – something not heard enough behind pop instrumentalists today. The recording also boasts some clever studio tricks that blend the older movie audio with new tracks. Over the Rainbow, admittedly overdone by artists, still sounds fresh here.

Whether a fan of Koz’s playing earlier releases or not, this one is worth checking out. He can be heard in a different light and even different style on soprano sax. As Time Goes By represents Dave Koz playing in an older, somewhat lazy fashion, unlike what I’ve heard from him before.

Just when you think you know a player, they surprise you with a little more depth to their sound, character or knowledge. Dave Koz exhibits a little of each here – enjoy.

Reviewed by Skip – SaxShed.com