Like most actively working and performing artists, Dave Koz isn’t one to look backward too much. But he allowed himself a bit of career nostalgia last year when he assembled a “Greatest Hits” package.
“I pushed it off at first,” says the saxophonist, who in addition to his playing also hosts a syndicated smooth jazz radio show heard locally on WVMV-FM (98.7). “The record company said, ‘Let’s make a ‘Greatest Hits,’ and I said greatest hits is when your career is done. I’m not doing it!’
“But in the end, it seemed like a very good idea for (the album). I had just finished my contract with (Capitol Records) and signed a new deal with (Concord Records), and they let me do two brand new pieces of music, so it felt more like a bridge into something new than the end of something.”
Koz, 46, is, in fact, working on his next album of new material. But he also was recently tapped by country star Toby Keith to record something for his next album — a track called “Cryin’ For You” that Keith wrote as a tribute to their mutual friend Wayman Tisdale, the basketball star turned jazz bassist who passed away in May from cancer.
“At (Tisdale’s) memorial, Toby said, ‘I wrote this song but I’ll never be able to get through it,’ so he played something else,” Koz remembers. “But after the memorial they called and said Toby was going to record the song and put it on his CD and would I play on it? I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ When was the last time you heard saxophone on a country record, y’know?
“I was so excited, and it’s such a beautiful piece of music and such a great tribute to the way we all feel about Wayman. I’m honored I could be a part of it.”
Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson and Peabo Bryson perform at 8 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 6) at SoundBoard in the MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $52.50 and $58.50. Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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