In a career that spans 20 years and a dozen albums, saxophonist Dave Koz has established himself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary jazz. Yet, as noteworthy as his body of recorded work, entertaining live performances and other past accomplishments might be, Koz finds himself in an era of dramatic and sweeping change where everything once taken for granted is suddenly up for grabs. For Koz – and for all of us in this first decade of the new century – it’s a new day, full of new challenges and opportunities, and new rules that are still being written.
Koz embraces this era of change – and even the uncertainty that comes with it – on Hello Tomorrow, his debut on Concord Records. Produced by Grammy-winners John Burk and Marcus Miller (who also appears on several tracks), the album features a diverse army of high-profile guests: Herb Alpert, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Sheila E., Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Parker, Jr., Lee Ritenour, Christian Scott and others. Each of the thirteen tracks – most of then written by Koz and his collaborators, others penned by friends and legends – focuses on being open to new beginnings, and trusting that the future is unfolding in all the right ways for all the right reasons.
“I’m excited to be with a new record label, Concord Records, after nearly 20 years,” says Koz, “but it’s been a big change for me personally, and there’s always some apprehension that comes with big changes. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that there are millions of people with a similar story. Circumstances have forced them to take a step in a different direction or reinvent themselves in some way. They’re reaching a certain point where they see a life ahead of them that they never expected. Many of us are at the beginning of a new era, and we’d be wise to embrace it.
Hello Tomorrow is the culmination of all of these past achievements and more. It’s a first step into a new creative environment, however uncharted the territory might be.
Hello Tomorrow pushes the reset button for an artist who’s been in the game for two decades, and positions him for the next chapter in a story that’s already multi-dimensional and compelling. “In many ways, I feel like this is the beginning of my career,” he says. “That may sound strange, because I’ve enjoyed a great deal of success up until now. But I feel like my best days are still ahead of me. I’ve made a Dave Koz record that fans of my earlier work will be able to connect to. It’s still me. It’s not too foreign, but it’s me in 2010, coming from a different perspective that’s reflective of the times we’re living in and the changes that continue to define this new era.”