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In a career that spans more than three decades, saxophonist Dave Koz has racked up an astoundingly impressive array of honors and achievements: nine GRAMMY® nominations, nine No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, numerous world tours, playing for multiple presidents, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and more. A platinum-selling artist, Koz is also known as a humanitarian, entrepreneur, radio host, instrumental music advocate and restaurateur.
Now, Dave Koz has released one of the most exciting recordings of his long career. Five years after recording their initial tribute to the great horn sections of soul, jazz and pop, Dave Koz and Friends’ Summer Horns II From A To Z reprises the all-star, crowd-pleasing format of that smash hit outing. The album features Koz on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes—along with alto saxophonist Gerald Albright, tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot, Rick Braun (trumpet) and Aubrey Logan (trombone and vocals), plus guest vocalists Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Sheléa—putting their own spin on classics by Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. Plus a guest spot from Gloria Estefan on an inspired recreation of her classic "Conga."
Summer Horns II From A To Z takes the original concept further by changing up the lineup and tossing in some unexpected surprises, including a medley that miraculously blends a Duke Ellington swing classic with a more contemporary hit by hip-hop star Jay-Z. The album includes arrangements by Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Tom Scott (Michael Jackson, Steely Dan) and Gordon Goodwin. "We looked at this as a completely new project because it was different personnel," says Koz. "We said, if we want to do another version of Summer Horns, we can absolutely change the concept and get a little more adventurous-the music deserves it."
Since the beginning of his career, Dave Koz has been all about shaking things up, dodging expectations and traditions. Summer Horns II From A To Z follows another milestone anniversary recording, 2017’s Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas, which celebrated the saxophonist’s annual holiday tours and reunited him with pianist David Benoit, Braun and acoustic guitarist Peter White. Also on hand were a cadre of talented vocalists and the Portugal-based West European Symphony Orchestra.
The lineup on Summer Horns II From A To Z and the 2017 Christmas project marked just the latest in a long list of artists with whom Koz has collaborated over the years, including Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Luther Vandross, Shelby Lynne, Kenny Loggins, U2, Michael McDonald, Rod Stewart and The Foo Fighters.
Koz has also recently begun digging into the hidden corners of his catalog, treating his fans to a series he calls "Lost Koz": previously unreleased gems recorded over the years that, for one reason or another, never made it to his albums. "The music business has changed so much over the years," Koz says. "There’s really nothing holding you back from doing whatever you want to do."