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About the Reviewer - Sheila E Ross

As a smooth jazz journalist, I sincerely support the smooth jazz genre, as I adore the sound and recognize the diligence and hard work artists and musicians place into their craft.

  sheila e ross

As an educator, I enjoy working with youth as an English teacher of eight years and see daily the strong embrace students have for music as well.

For this reason, I expose them further to the artistry.  Some students share sincere interests in musical careers so we dive deeper into the life and times of both current and late artists. Like literature, music is personal and shared from the human condition, so there is much to acquire.

To Learn More about Sheila Click here
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Jazz Reviews on JazzNet247 Radio Europe

Artist : Dave Koz

Album :
Summer Horns II - A to Z

Year : 2018

Label : Concord

dave koz

Personnel : Dave Koz : Saxophone | Gerald Albright : Saxophone | Richard Elliot : Saxophone | Aubrey Logan : Trombone and Vocals | Rick Braun : Trumpet | Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Sheléa : Vocals

The smooth jazz sound, so familiar to us all, has once again exploded to a classical ‘big band’ sound and loudly echoes funky R&B, Latin, and American pop/vintage classics through the thoughtful and careful selection of Mr. Dave Koz and Friends!  “Summer Horns II From A to Z” scheduled for release June 22, 2018 features Koz and his KILLER HORN SECTION friends:  Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Richard Elliott, and Aubrey Logan.  Featured vocalist for the project include Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and the beautiful Shelea.  This explosive well thought out project reigns as sequel to ‘Summer Horns,’ the first 2013 Grammy nominated project developed by Koz and friends. Today, to say this group welcomes the beginning of this June summer tour/presentation of this project is an understatement for sure!

Koz ignites the explosion with the perfect popular Earth Wind & Fire classic “Gettaway”. Written by Beloyd Taylor and Peter Cor Belenky, it starts out fast and funky with a feel-good R&B sound that features this killer horn section!  Immediately the horns set the eruptive tone for what’s to come!  Here, listeners get a two for one (two classics rolled into one!) with the integration of KC & the Sunshine Band’s, “That the Way I Like It”.

The CD furthers its blast with Enrique Garcia’s 1985 “Conga” made popular by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound machine. This popular Latin vibe, fun, feel-good tune sincerely features the killer Horn section as they blow with authenticity to bring back this popular Miami Sound Machine Sound.  Lead vocalist, Ms. Aubrey Logan both sings and blows the trombone on Tom Scott’s horn section arrangement.  Here, she is excited and celebrates a surprise vocal background accompaniment gift sent in to her from Estefan for this piece!

“Take the ATrain,” made famous by Duke Ellington and originally written by Billy Strayhorn in 1939, a vintage classic feels so good.  Here, the horns rear you back in time.  The play is soft, sensitive and restores that 1940’s classic sound for us with shear precision.  Interestingly, the horn arranger, Mr. Gordon Goodwin and rhythm arrangers, both Goodwin and Braun intertwine the hip-hop icon Jay-Z’ s “Roc Boys” with this song. The results work! And can you tell...? This is how the CD gets part of its title: A to Z. For sure, Jay-Z’s’s “Roc Boys” and the killer horn section develop a feel good heart-throbbing tune for us!

I could not wrap up this review without mentioning Koz’s work with Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”.  Tom Scott’s horn arrangement work and Chris “Big Dog” Davis rhythm arrangement work caringly illustrates Jackson’s humanist views for that time.  Lead tenor sax solo by Richard Elliot blows this one so sensuously, polished by lead vocalist Ashling Cole! She blows strong here! Jackson would be so proud!  She is strong, deliberate and powerful as she closes out the tune, “What about yesterday?” “What about disease?” “What about us?”  With all this explosiveness, talent and success, do you think Koz will grace us with a third Summer Horns?  ^

Review by Sheila E. Ross
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David Sanborn, Jeff Kashiwa, Kirk Whalum, Grover Washington Jr. Wilton Felder, Kenny G, Everette Harp, Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Najee, Richard Elliot, Paula Atherton, Boney James, Marion Meadows
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