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Smooth Jazz Reviews on JazzNet247 Radio Europe

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.

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Jazz Reviews on JazzNet247 Radio Europe

Artist : Dave Koz

Venue : Wolf Creek

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

Atlanta’s own award winning Wolf Creek Amphitheater EXPANDED THEIR VOLTAGE Saturday night by a simple flip of a switch to display the NOW NEW hottest ticket on the smooth jazz scene: The Dave Koz ‘Summer Horns II From A to Z’ (released June 22) Tour SIZZLES SUMMER-TIME HOT! Dave Koz & Friends and Pieces of a Dream activate a HEATED summer smooth jazz festival season for us with this hot scorching tour!  Koz & Friends ignite the stage with a KILLER HORN SECTION sparked with UNBELIEVABLE SURPRISES and Pieces of Dream ENLIVENS the GROUP with NEW WONDERS!

With smooth jazz listeners in place at this beautiful outdoor venue: gorgeous green lawns, close-up front seating and the already filled-up-ever-popular VIP section, the evening show warms us up at 7 p.m. with the legendary popular 1976 Philadelphia grown, jazz fusion, funk & R&B band, Pieces of a Dream led by original members, keyboardist Mr. James Lloyd and head percussionist, Mr. Curtis Harmon. Currently, this well-known group celebrates its 2017 release, “Right Back At You”! The band plays a variety of old school favorites and classic hits that include their familiar 1984 “Mt. Airy Grove”, and the 1960’s classic “Come Together” made popular by the Beetles.

And, if I may add a bit of trivia, the popular “Fo-Fi-Fo” which derives from Moses Malone’s delivery on a 1976 promise to achieve an NBA championship for Philadelphia! Surprises for this evening include the unbelievable performances by both Mr. David Dyson, bass guitarist and Mr. Tony Watson, saxophonist. These two are ‘perfect picks’ as they really know how to please the audience! 

Another surprise of the night includes the announcement of Atlanta’s own Mr. Chris Harris as the new lead guitarist for the band!  We are so very proud of Chris!  Lloyd pleases the crowd as he moves through the audience strapped with his portable keyboard; he finishes out his bands show with a tribute to Prince’s “Purple Rain”! What a crowd pleaser!

At approximately 8:58 p.m., Wolf Creek Amphitheater’s KILOWATTS OVERLOAD when Grammy Nominated Platinum-Selling American Saxophonist, Dave Koz and his horn-playing friends emerge to the stage!  We can’t believe our eyes! Right Before us, glistening in ALL white, we now have Gerald Albright, Richard Elliott, Rick Braun, Aubrey Logan and Koz himself!  They ALL emerge fresh, clean, white, pure, professional, super READY FOR SUMMER with this eruptive sound!

We are all immediately thrilled with what we see and NOW know what’s coming our way! The horn section ALL stand together!  A unified force! A KILLER HORN SECTION! One to be reckoned with! They play about a two-minute medley of songs to deliver their strength, power and precision to the audience!  We absolutely love it!  The performance commences with songs from the new CD along with a solo from each artist showcasing their individual talent!  It becomes a smooth jazz listener’s dream come true!

The section turns up the heat with Earth Wind & Fire’s ever popular classic, “Gettaway”.  Written by Beloyd Taylor and Peter Cor Belenky, it starts out loud!, fast! and funky! with a feel-good R&B sound. With this tune, we 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”.  Here they all blow so measured and dedicatedly to giving this song much more than justice!

Dave’s new delightful and beautiful shining-star discovery, Ms. Aubrey Logan graces us stage front with her vocal talent, musicianship & acrobatic skills (YES! I said acrobatic!)  She’s adorable! Loveable! Lively, yet strong and she blows so ‘lady-like’! She sings for us that ever so popular vintage classic, “Route 66”.  She is the perfect addition to the show this year with her vocal and brass playing talents! Dave nailed this one! She kicks up her right leg time and again with enthusiasm and stretches her arms out toward the audience.  She displays her vocal range beautifully! At the end of this song she raises her right hand and quickly turns five one-handed cart wheels! One after the other! The audience loves it! And Dave yells out! “Now that’s something you don’t normally get at a smooth jazz concert!” 

Additionally, new guitarist sensation, Mr. Adam Hawley joins Koz and friends on stage flawlessly! Hawley is super-hot, seeing “Double Vision”, his brand new 2018 release that is doing well!  I no longer see him as ‘Sideman’!  He is too hot for that title!  He brings a shining polished flavor to the group with top-notch execution! Dave must be pleased!
Each of the section members have shear fun with Stevie Wonder’s 1971 pop release, “If You Really Love Me”. The members collaborate so well.  You can see the bond!  You can see the family! They’ve all worked so hard for two years and now share something so special! After all the conference calls and pre-tour collaboration! You can see it! The love they’ve generated together is now shedding toward us! And we are loving it! 

With each blow of the saxophones: alto (Albright), tenor (Elliott), and soprano (Koz), coupled with the trombone (Logan) and Braun’s coronet we are quickly becoming smooth jazz spoiled! That 1976 hit, “Keep That Same Old Feeling” by the Crusaders comes forth with such elegance and grace, and reminds us all of those times back in that day!  We get nothing but good feelings from this as each member comes stage front and blow with class, precision and at times, uniformity! 
 
Albright plays his new re-make we all love so well, “Bermuda Nights”, (originally his 1989 release) off his current new CD release ‘30’.  This is pure Gerald Albright Gold!  Always giving us his very best! Braun serenades his wife with an upbeat tune! His stance is statuesque!
This show review would not be complete if I did not mention the REAL SHOW STEALERS of this night! 

And the winners are!
  Mr. Richard Elliott and Ms. Aubrey Logan!  Elliot really takes his time with the infamous Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”. On tenor sax, Elliott takes his time with this.  It’s elegant, precise, yet strong.  Logan vocally blows the song singing, “What about us?” and thrills us! This is sung by the beautiful Ashling Cole on the album, yet Logan nailed it!  This evening we all felt the JOLT and it was indeed a feel good heatwave we’ll never forget! ^

Review by Sheila E. Ross
Blog Page - Facebook.com/sheilaross.noah

Similar Artists -
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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