A Smooth Jazz Christmas

A Smooth Jazz Christmas

by Dave Koz



Since 1997, the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour has evolved from a handful of concerts by the beloved saxman and pianist David Benoit to a 30-plus-city national phenomenon also featuring fellow genre all-stars Peter White and Rick Braun and singer Brenda Russell. The original tour came in support of his popular 1997 seasonal offering December Makes Me Feel This Way, but the show has taken on an incredibly joyful creative life of its own, prompting Koz and his cohorts to create an exciting studio recording which captures the powerful emotion, warmth, and special familial spirit of these shows. Featuring unique ensemble arrangements of timeless classics, a handful of several Koz originals (including the brand new Koz/Benoit collaboration "Beneath the Moonlit Sky"), and musical surprises by the sleigh-load, A Smooth Jazz Christmas By Dave Koz & Friends is contemporary music's premier event for Christmas 2001. The experience begins the same way as the live performance, with a lengthy medley ("The Overture") introducing each artist one by one; in a complete blend of styles, the songs include "Let It Snow," "Winter Wonderland," "What Child Is This?," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Jingle Bells," and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," the latter segment featuring Brenda Russell. Russell also adds her lush vocal presence to "The Christmas Song," while the medley of "O Tannenbaum/Sleigh Ride" moves from a playful Vince Guaraldi-like groove to a feisty Latin explosion. The gang creates a gentle, moody atmosphere for "Silent Night," while "Beneath the Moonlit Sky" features a wild moodswing from smoky soprano sax/piano duet to guitar, trumpet, and sax jam. "The Little Drummer Boy" is an exciting showcase for Braun's trumpet over a marching drum beat, while "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" features a bluesy solo improvisation by Benoit. Koz sang on the original recording of the title track to December Makes Me Feel This Way, and gives the reins here to the incomparable voice of pop superstar Kenny Loggins. Russell found the intensely energetic '40s big-band gem "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," and it's since become a showstopper live; Koz and Braun create a potent horn section here as well. Cozy readings of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "White Christmas" are followed by a festive and folksy Koz original for Hanukah, "Eight Candles" (featuring Peter White on accordion), and a passionate new recording of Russell's classic "Get Here." Here as in the show, the encore/grand finale is "It Was the Night Before Christmas," featuring each member of the band reciting a verse of the famous poem over a bouncy, finger-snap-driven groove. One of the most diverse and original smooth jazz Christmas CDs ever.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2001
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0724353383725
catalogNumber: 33837

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Koz   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Hand Clapping
Kenny Loggins   Vocals
Brenda Russell   Vocals
Peter White   Acoustic Guitar,Accordion
David Benoit   Piano
Rick Braun   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Hand Clapping
Bridgette Bryant   Background Vocals
John Hendrickson   Hand Clapping
Brian Kilgore   Percussion
Nick Lane   Bass Trombone,Tenor Trombone
Julian Raymond   Hand Clapping
Bill Sharpe   Bass
Stephen Theard   Drums
Sandy Simmons   Background Vocals
Paula Salvatore   Hand Clapping
Esterlee Nicholson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Felix Mendelssohn   Composer
Brenda Russell   Arranger
Dave Koz   Arranger,Producer
Mel Tormé   Composer
Peter White   Arranger
Harry Simeone   Composer
Franz Gruber   Composer
David Benoit   Arranger,Musical Director
Rick Braun   Arranger
Katherine K. Davis   Composer
John Hendrickson   Engineer
Henry Onorati   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Robert Wells   Composer
Tommy Steele   Art Direction
Charles Wesley   Composer
Jeffery Fey   Art Direction
Roy Lott   Executive Producer
Joseph Mohr   Composer
Stephan Oberhoff   Producer,Engineer

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A Smooth Jazz Christmas 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My wife gave this CD to me as an early Christmas present, and I love it! I could feel the fun that Dave and his pals had in making this CD. I believe I've found a new 'favorite' Christmas CD. Thanks Dave!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this album so much more because I attended the live concert. Smooth! I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a soothing sound. Thanks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dave Koz's music is great. I've just seen him in concert, and he was GREAT!! "Smooth Jazz Christmas" is such a nice album to listen to esp. at night while you're driving..so peaceful..yet lively..