“I called this album Saxophonic because I really let the instrument dictate where the songs would go,” says Dave Koz, the smooth-jazz saxophonist and philosopher. We, too, think it’s good that instruments dictate where songs go. Therefore, we are hereby claiming ourselves disciples of the Koz. Take us to your fortress of solitude and sooth us with your musings and soulful sounds, oh gentle reedist.
Saxophonic is the Koz’s latest proper leader date for Capitol, following his gold-certified 1999 CD The Dance, plus the guest-laden theme albums A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001) and Golden Slumbers (2002). Where has the Koz been these last four years? Reading books? Practicing his horn? Composing fat-bottomed jams? YES, SIR! Saxophonic hits the streets on October 7, and according to the press release, here’s what you can expect from it:
•curious experimental excursions into hip-hop instrumentalism
That’s a virtual cornucopia of musical knowledge.
And just to show you how advanced the Koz is, Saxophonic is not just “some album”; it’s a song cycle broken into three musical “Acts.” Sit back, Jack, and listen to this philosophizin’: Act 1 features funky tunes like the first single, “Honey-Dipped,” plus “Love Changes Everything,” “All I See Is You” and “Just to Be Next To You.” Act 2 finds the Koz and his accompanists thinking on and with their instruments for “Let It Free,” “Undeniable,” “Saxophonic” and “Definition of Beautiful.” Saxophonic‘s denouement is Act 3, featuring electronica and hip-hop-tinged tracks like “Sound of the Underground,” “Only Tomorrow Knows,” “I Believe” and “A View From Above.”
“The Acts really represent moods,” Koz says, rubbing his philosopher’s stone and straightening his long white robe. “Act 1 is about discovery and the early stages of a relationship. Act 2 is like the adventure. Act 3 is a bit more of what a relationship is really about, once you’ve had your fun and you’ve moved beyond the honeymoon. We really put a good amount of thought into making this record a cohesive listening experience, as opposed to ‘I just like song 7’.”
My. Mind. Blown.
Joining the Koz on all that musical thinking are Jeff Koz, Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, and Saxophonic features guitarist Marc Antoine, trumpeter Chris Botti, vocalists Javier and Brian McKnight, with guest appearances by Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson and Norman Brown. That’s like a Socratic circle of smooth!
The almighty Koz will bring his circle of sonic intelligentsia on the road this fall, with special guests Lorber, Antoine and Botti. Here’s where the Koz and his disciples will be dropping knowledge:
9/28 • Anchorage, AK • Center for Performing Arts
10/02 • El Paso, TX • Abraham Chavez Theatre
10/03 • Phoenix, AZ • Celebrity Theatre
10/04 • Temecula, CA • Thornton Winery
10/05 • Temecula, CA • Thornton Winery
10/08 • Santa Rosa, CA • Luther Burbank Center
10/10 • Las Vegas, NV • Sunset Station
10/11 • Los Angeles, CA • Greek Theatre
10/12 • Santa Barbara, CA • Santa Barbara Bowl
10/15 • Denver, CO • Paramount Theatre
10/16 • Kansas City, KS • Uptown Theatre
10/17 • St Louis, MO • Touhill P.A.C. – University of MO
10/19 • Indianapolis, IN • Murat Center
10/23 • Philadelphia, PA • Tower Theatre
10/24 • Westbury, NY • Westbury Music Fair
10/26 • Uncasville, CT • Wolf Den
11/05 • Richmond, VA • Landmark Theater
11/06 • Norfolk, VA • Chrysler Theatre
Not had enough Koz yet? Me neither. Follow me over to www.davekoz.com for more wisdom.Originally Published