World Premiere: Dave Koz and Friends take on Maze classic

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.”

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 reimagined 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.

And one of the fantastic cuts on the album is a hot new take on an old favorite. "Before I Let Go" was a hit for Frankie Beverly and Maze, and Dave Koz and company give it a much jazzier, big band sound that works great. We're proud to present the World Premiere of "Before I Let Go." Dave tells us: "The hardest (and ironically most fun) part of making this album was picking the repertoire to record, given the thousands of songs that would be appropriate to include! So, we had weekly conference calls with all the artists, and each of us would rally hard for our most favorite songs. Gerald Albright was ready to fall on his sword to include this song…it was THAT important to him! And when a guy like Gerald asks you a favor, you tend to want to do it. :) The truth is, I absolutely adore this song. Such a classic from Frankie Beverly and Maze, with such killer hooks. It fit perfectly on this project, and of course, Gerald (who plays the lead) sounds like he’s indeed a VERY happy man on that horn!"

Check it out and welcome back Dave Koz and Friends to our Summer jam!

World Premiere!
Dave Koz and Friends - "Before I Let Go"

 

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