This week I had the pleasure of attending the "Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Show" at the Community Theatre in Morristown, New Jersey. This is the third time, I believe, Dave has performed his Christmas show at the Community Theatre and his show just keeps getting better and better. Dave is always the professional, always prepared and always surrounded by outstanding musicians. This is no accident, Dave is a real perfectionist and once his show starts, it never stops rocking. If there is a better sax player in the country today than Dave Koz, then I am yet to hear him. His performance was just outstanding and what a pleasure to hear some of the old chestnut Christmas songs played in fresh new and innovative arrangements. If you have never had a chance to see Dave in person, you should try to see him on one of his tour dates. You can find out where he will be on his web site: davekoz.com
Dave had some outstanding musical friends supporting him starting with the great pianist and composer David Benoit. David can do it all, Classical, Jazz and Pop and he plays with Dave like they are musical twins. No matter what they play, they fit together like fingers in a glove.
Personally, I was unprepared for Rick Braun and his work with the trumpet. He has done a lot of great work, but I have never had the pleasure of hearing him perform, and he was great. This concert was billed as Smooth Jazz but it was more like one big Jazz session for me.
The guitarist was Peter White and again his interpretation of the songs he presented was just about perfect. Peter has a great feel for songs and lyrics. He proves again that the great instrumentalists can play a melody with such understanding and emotion that even though there are no lyrics involved, the audience can feel the meaning of the music.
Brenda Russell a very talented singer-songwriter handled the vocals and fit the personality of the other members of the group perfectly. Brenda provided her own unique approach to several songs and was aided and surrounded by the great cast of musical characters.
The show was sold, out and it was clear that many members of the audience were long-time fans of Dave Koz and with good reason. Just a great show from beginning to end!