Dave Koz - Collaborations (2015)

Dave Koz
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Gimmicks, Frills, baubles and bling: for every quality artist on the musical landscape these days, there seems to be at least five more disposable performers that litter today's musical landscape with momentary sparks but no long-lasting brilliance. For someone to have amassed a couple of decades, however, takes an even-handed distribution of quality, preparation  and yes, that burning charisma, skill sets that are highlighted, via some help from famous friends, on Dave Koz' latest set, Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection.

Gimmicks, Frills, baubles and bling: for every quality artist on the musical landscape these days, there seems to be at least five more disposable performers that litter today's musical landscape with momentary sparks but no long-lasting brilliance. For someone to have amassed a couple of decades, however, takes an even-handed distribution of quality, preparation  and yes, that burning charisma, skill sets that are highlighted, via some help from famous friends, on Dave Koz' latest set, Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection.

Putting his own composing and next-level saxiness aside, Dave has performed with an enviable 'who's who' of instrumentalist peers and revered recording artists over the last two decades, with many of those recorded moments being assembled here from previous CDs: his sax underscores the wistful longing in a 'lonesome stranger' ode featuring Barry Manilow, "Apartment 2G: I Hear Her Playing Music," yets wraps the melancholy melodies comfortingly in the Toby Keith and Marcus Miller track, "Cryin' For Me," without layering it on too thick. "[Your Love Keeps Lifting Me} Higher & Higher" has been covered countlessly and in the wrong hands can come across like a cliche, but present tour mates Rick Braun and Kenny Lattimore sauce it up splendidly, just as the familiar "Linus And Lucy" theme is buoyant with percussive pizazz thanks to the addition of David Benoit. 

Dave Koz' Collaborations is nothing if not chock-full of genre-blending verve and variety: Stevie Nick's sultry rasp becomes a supple chant on "Let Me Count The Ways" and Rod Stewart's take on the classic jazz standard, "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" as Koz' notes swirl over and around the bridge, is positively enchanting. Every important genre is represented here, from adult-contemporary R&B ("Can't Let You Go ]The Sha La Song]," alongside the late Luther Vandross), upbeat contemporary swing-influenced jazz (Brian Culbertson appears on "Think Big") and even a Beatles' classic combining the voices of Eric Benet, Heather Headley, Maysa, Jonathan Butler, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Gloria Estefan, BeBe Winans AND Stevie Wonder ("All You Need Is Love."). But Collaborations isn't only about who Dave Koz has worked with----rather, the collection demonstrates his adaptability and how essential the saxaphonist is as a soloist or with other superstars. So while other acts will fade and flame out, Dave Koz is one that will keep on illuminating, no matter how many others around him shine. Highly Recommended.

By Melody Charles 

 
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Song of the Month - Bryan Andrew Wilson - "Only You'

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