A NEW DAY
A new day. Since our world turned into a state of upheaval in the early days of 2020, it's something we've all hoped and longed for. And while the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel seems dim, it's a hope most of us will not relinquish from our grasp. The newest project from saxophone veteran Dave Koz was both conceived and produced under what has felt like a cloud of the pandemic, and with it, a musical relief from what is all going on around us. Released 30 years and a day after his breakthrough self-titled release, (and first album of original material in 10 years), A New Day brings the togetherness we all desire with a variety of talent both musical and vocal assisting Koz on this venture. The initial single, 'Side By Side', brings two beloved veterans side saxing, as special guest David Sanborn and Koz combine on this sophisticated and spirited groove with exhilarating notes and a distinct swagger. Though the leaves are changing and the days and nights cooler, 'Summertime in NYC' is an instant mood elevator with a funky RnB vibe, and the additional choral backing of Brian McKnight. It's definitely not a song you will want to wait to add to your summer playlist 8 months from now.
'A New Day' demonstrates the multifaceted creativity of Koz in terms of composition and style, being able to offer up something spectacular that our music taste craves. 'Still Got It' is a high energy party anthem of fast moving sax notes with some soul vocalese. While Koz has entertained and delighted followers with some of the finest stylish and hip compositions, he has also comforted and soothed fans with easy, gentle flowing melodies, and they aren't lost nor buried on A New Day. 'All The Love In The World' is simply uplifting and inspiring, and the title song from the album is absolutely gorgeous with its gentle lead-in and anthemic feel.
While all quarantined during the making of A New Day, special guests are out in full force on the album. In addition to Sanborn, Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind & Fire, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Mann, and Antwaun Stanley of the funk band Vulpeck make stellar contributions to the project, and bring to light the pandemic theory of 'together, yet apart'. In the six weeks prior to the October 9th release, Koz teased fans with a featured video song each week aligned with a colour, brilliantly building a rainbow bridge throughout the countdown to the album's debut.
It goes without saying that the charismatic Koz is the embodiment of positivity that is felt, seen, and heard in just about every venture of his life and career, and those infectious traits reflect on A New Day. When will we turn a corner in this ongoing dire global situation? It's a question no one can answer, but the power of positive music and message that an album like this provides will become an invaluable coping mechanism and source of enjoyment until that new day arrives.
Reviewed by Stu Berketo