Saturday, November 25, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Welcome in the Holiday with the New Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas -- Features Brand New Recordings of Classic Christmas Songs! (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Grammy-Nominated Saxophonist Dave Koz Releases New Christmas Album, Announces Christmas Tour And Teams Up With Salvation Army To Donate Proceeds To Provide Service To LGBTQ Hurricane Survivors

Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas also features guest vocalists Selina Albright, Javier Colon, Kenny Lattimore, Gabriel Orengo and Jeffrey Osborne

Do you love smooth jazz?  How about Christmas music?  If you answered, "Yes" to both, then you will love the new holiday CD from Dave Koz.  Released back in the September, Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas, features brand new recordings of classic Christmas songs...think "Silent Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem."  I am listening to this CD while I am blogging, and really love it.  My favorite song is "Joy to the Wonderful World," with "Hallelujah" a close second.

I have been a fan of Dave Koz for years, and make a point to pick up his CDs when he releases. I hope one day that I can take one of his jazz cruises.  But, in the meantime, I am enjoying my little collection of Dave Koz CD's, with this new holiday CD being my favorite.

Here are the holiday tracks you will find on this recent CD release:

1.  Winter Wonderland
2.  Joy to the Wonderful World
3.  Christmas Time is Here
4.  Feliz Navidad
5.  Hark! The Heralad Angels We Have Heard on High (Medley)
6.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
7. O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)
8.  Silent Night
9.  Hallelujah
10.  O Little Town of Bethehem
11. The Home Medley: I'll Be Home for Christmas/Celebrate Me Home

Aren't these a wonderful selection of holiday songs?  These are classic tunes we are all used to and sing along to at the holidays, but they will feel brand new when you hear Dave Koz and his friends but a new spin on them.  I had this CD playing while we were eating Thanksgiving dinner the other night, and I kept having guests who we were listening to, and saying how great the music was.  Some had no idea who Dave Koz was, but they all agreed at the end of the night that they were fans of Dave Koz and smooth jazz.  This is one CD I will not get tired of playing over and over again this holiday season, and for years to come.  And, I am also planning to pick up a few extra copies to give as gifts this holiday season.

If you are a fan of Dave Koz, or love holiday music with a new spin, they you will want to check out the new Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas CD, available now in stores and online, and streaming.

More about this recent holiday CD release:

"After twenty years of sold out Christmas tours and five celebrated holiday albums within as many years, saxophonist Dave Koz has done his share – and then some – to help to make the season bright. This year he has reassembled his original holiday lineup – pianist David Benoit, trumpeter Rick Braun and acoustic guitarist Peter White – for the making of Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas, an album that features brand new recordings of classic Christmas songs.

The September 29, 2017, release of Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas on Concord Records sets the stage for Koz and this same lineup to go back on the road in late November for the 2017 holiday season.

"If you had asked me twenty years ago, I would never in a million years believed that we'd be doing Christmas tours two decades later," says Koz"But here we are, still doing it, and it's going as strong as ever! So with twenty years under our belts, it seemed like a great reason to celebrate, and that's why we decided to include the original cast of our Christmas tour. It's our chance to go back to the very beginning and celebrate the relationships that this whole journey was built on."

Additionally, in the spirit of coming together and giving to those in need, Dave Koz has teamed up with The Salvation Army to help hurricane survivors within the specific LGBTQ communities by donating proceeds from the aforementioned. The Salvation Army's mission is to serve people in need without discrimination and will use the gift to provide practical emergency relief and long-term recovery to hurricane survivors in partnership with and by referral from LGBTQ advocacy and service organizations in the disaster-affected areas. "The survivors of these tragic hurricanes and those within the LGBTQ community, will be suffering for months perhaps years later and I hope that my contribution will help them to rebuild some part of their lives," said Dave Koz.

"We're very grateful that Dave Koz will support survivors of the recent hurricanes through The Salvation Army. We want to thank him for his kindness and his generosity to people who will need our help to rebuild and restart their lives. Millions of people will be affected by the hurricanes and we'll be there to serve all who come to us with need. The Salvation Army is in communities all over the affected areas helping people for the long term and his gift helps us do that," said Chaz Watson Territorial Executive Director of Development for Salvation Army.

In addition to the brilliant instrumental synergy of Koz, Benoit, Braun and White, Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas also includes a stellar lineup of guest vocalists: Selina AlbrightJavier ColonKenny LattimoreGabriel Orengo and Jeffrey Osborne. In addition, several of the tracks are enhanced by the West European Symphony Orchestra. This confluence of instrumental, vocal and orchestral talent creates the peaceful, familial, home-centered vibe that everyone seeks at holiday time.

"This is the kind of record that really sets a mood and stays with that mood," says Koz"The feeling and the image I get when I listen to it, is that quiet time after dinner when the kids are asleep, the fireplace is crackling, you're enjoying an eggnog and you're gazing at the tree with all the lights and trimmings. This music is perfect for that moment. It's just a very chill, very beautiful collection of songs for that very peaceful time during the season."

The album talks about the world in general, but especially at Christmastime. "People are different at this time of year," says Koz"Christmastime brings out the best in everyone and we all look at the world with childlike joy and tend to appreciate things more. We often hear people say – why can't it be like Christmas all year 'round."

Album highlights include; Orengo brings his expressive vocals to the Jose Feliciano classic "Feliz Navidad." Koz calls the arrangement "a completely novel way of interpreting the song. Gabriel does this sort of Bruno Mars type of vocal delivery that's so expressive and so in the moment." Selina Albright'sheartfelt vocals bring a retro sensibility to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," but at the same time, "she has all the dexterity of a modern pop singer," says Koz"She takes it to another level, but never overdoes it. Her version sounds so true to what the song is all about." "O Tannenbaum," one of Koz's all-time favorites, creates an opportunity for plenty of interplay between himself and his three bandmates. "At the end of the track, there's a musical conversation that came about organically."

Indeed, home for Koz and his bandmates is any place where they feel a positive connection. It may be in your town, or even in your living room. "Oftentimes," he says, "because we've been going back to some of the same venues over the course of twenty years for the Christmas tour, these places feel like our home – even if it's just for two hours in one night in December. Likewise, the songs on Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas are all very important to those of us who recorded them. We've poured a lot of love and care into each song, and hope fans are filled with warmth, kindness and Christmas Spirit."


Koz Winter Wonderland Bundle

Dave Koz's Christmas store features exclusive items to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Christmas album, including signed CDs, socks and a 7" picture vinyl where fans can get a personal Happy Holidays intro from Dave. More here:

Dave Koz on the web to see tour dates and Dave Koz News: 


Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :