Dave Koz and Friends
If anyone knows how to put together a stellar lineup of talent, it would be Dave Koz. Just look at his sold-out cruises! Well, he has done it once again with his newest festive offering - Gifts of the Season.
Let's start with Melissa Manchester, making a guest appearance on "All I Want For Christmas" (which is allegedly the most downloaded Christmas song of all time). Her vocal is nothing short of brilliant. Much softer and more heartfelt than Mariah's, and Dave's signature sax style only augments the mood. I've never actually really liked this song and now I love it.
Then there's Dave's good buddy, Jonathan Butler, showing up on "This Christmas". Another new standard, all smooth and slick for the season.
Chris Walker provides gorgeous vocals on "Mary Did You Know", another new classic.
And then there's Dave. His style is so unique, it is easily recognizable in the sea of smooth sax players. Take that sweet sound and add it to festive favourites like "It's Beginning To look A Lot Like Christmas" (super fun), "White Christmas" (super dreamy) and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (featuring Matt Cusson) and you've got a very special addition to your holiday playlist.
Years ago at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, Dave's live sax literally stopped me in my tracks. It is like the perfect voice, finding the perfect notes on a perfect song. This is what you'll hear on the final track, "A Prayer For Peace". You stop, you listen, you are mesmerized and you have chills. Absolutely perfect.
This is most definitely my favourite new Christmas record this year. Gifts of the Season is a true musical gift from Dave Koz (and his friends) to all of us. I am grateful.
Vickie van Dyke