by Dan Harr

When acclaimed saxophonists Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot hit the road together last summer in support of their CD, Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns, they looked at it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the four artists had such a blast on the tour that they are happily obliging fans’ requests for a return of the Summer Horns. The foursome, which just received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album, will be touring North America together next summer and will also appear on the Dave Koz and Friends at Sea cruise to Alaska, which will depart from Vancouver, BC on September 5, 2014. The North American tour itinerary will be announced shortly.

Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns (Concord Records) was produced by Paul Brown (Al Jarreau, George Benson, June Tabor). The album, released in June 2013, spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and is currently in the Top 5. The collection includes fresh takes on classic songs by Sly & the Family Stone, Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and other brassy juggernauts of the 1960′s and ’70s.

Summer Horns’ first single – a rendition of Lennon and McCartney’s “Got To Get You Into My Life” – spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz chart and was nominated for a Soul Train award. “I Got You (I Feel Good),” the follow-up single, was hailed by the San Jose Mercury News as a “funk-filled fun fest” and is already No. 1 on the Mediabase Smooth A/C chart.

“This was our chance to honor that era of great horn sections with a big tip of our hat and say ‘thank you’ to those who were responsible for it,” says Dave Koz, who now has nine GRAMMY nominations to his credit. “I hope people feel the reverence that we all have for this music and the great bands that made it.”

In addition to the four-member front line of saxophones, Summer Horns also includes guest appearances by trumpeter/flugelhornist Rick Braun, trombonist Brian Culbertson, and three seasoned vocalists: Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne and Jonathan Butler. Arrangers included Greg Adams, Tom Scott and Gordon Goodwin.

“Summer Horns…evokes the fun, lighthearted spirit of summertime. The four demonstrate an obvious camaraderie here; they work seamlessly as a unit, then trade off, their rapport enhanced by arrangements from some top-notch veterans,” said Jazz Times while noted, “Koz and friends join forces to create a truly one of a kind, all star section…Sure, it’s a tribute to summer and good times, but more importantly, Summer Horns is an album about the real power of friendship.” “Dave Koz has taken the time to get the grooves just right…nothing beats the blast and class of a full-horn section,” observed

Koz will perform on Fox’s “Good Day L.A.” on December 16. He’ll bring the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour, which features Oleta Adams, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui, to Cerritos Performing Arts Center in Cerritos, CA on December 20 and 21. Now celebrating its 16th anniversary, the tour will wrap up at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, CA on December 22.

Twitter: @davekozmusic


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