Feb. 4, 2013
Despite an illustrious career full of great melodies, unforgettable hooks and rhythms, outrageous fan devotion and enthusiasm around the world, and his electrifying stage presence, saxman extraordinaire Dave Koz – an eight-time Grammy nominee — had never released a live album…until now.
His latest recording, a live project recorded at The Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, is aptly titled Dave Koz — Live at The Blue Note Tokyo, and if you are one of his fans, you already know what kind of show that must have been.
Blazing with energy, Koz, bringing with him some great backup musicians we jazzers have come to know well (Randy Jacobs on guitar, Brian Simpson as music director and on keys, and bassist Andre Berry), sets it off in this heated set which includes tracks from his Saxophonic, The Dance, Hello Tomorrow, and Lucky Man (a golden oldie) releases.
Most of these live gems here are as well-phrased and magnetic as the recordings. Jacobs’ guitar adds a new rock-like flair to a few of the tunes where I may have preferred more dialed-back riffs, but it works. It fits. Only Koz could find it in his presentation to make such arrangements work, especially for hard-core Koz fans who fell in love with the originals and their original arrangement. The man’s concerts are simply not to be missed…period.
This is Koz at his usual live best. He is truly one of the standard bearers when it comes to pouring his all into a tune and his performances. If you sit back, close your eyes and listen, you’ll agree that this live recording is proof positive that, no matter where you hear or see him, the vibe and the brilliance of his stage presence can reach you – even in your living room. – Ronald Jackson