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Dave Koz: Off the Beaten Path

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Popular saxophonist Dave Koz has attempted to veer "off the beaten path" with this release; in other words, to create something that goes beyond the current "smooth jazz" formula which so many contemporary saxophonists have embraced. For this, he is to be commended. Overall, it's a successful effort. He keeps one foot solidly planted on contemporary ground, but tests some interesting new waters with his other foot.

Some tunes add folk instruments, such as mandolin, accordion, fiddle, dobro, and nylon-string guitar to the mix, at the same time adding to the earthy feel with Hammond B-3 organ. Koz does a competent vocal on the romantic ballad "That's the Way I Feel About You." The album closer, the beautiful, contemplative "Remembrance," was performed entirely by Koz on piano and saxophones and composed on the island of Bali. My favorite track is "Wake Up Call," which kicks butt with a five-piece horn section of Greg Adams, Chuck Findley, Nick Lane, Gary Herbig, and Dave Koz.

Dave Koz succeeds in providing us with something beyond the current standard fare.

Title: Off the Beaten Path | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Capitol Records

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