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A contender for the instrumental pop saxophone throne, Dave Koz came out of nowhere after his self-titled 1990 release made it onto the Billboard contemporary jazz charts and stayed there several weeks. He has more fire and intensity in his work than Kenny G, and often sounds like a reworked David Sanborn. Koz also played on Arsenio Hall's show, which increased his popularity among the urban contemporary, light jazz, and pop audiences. Koz plays instrumental pop covers and some upbeat tunes, and generally sticks to the fusion production formula: background vocalists, synthesizers, and drum machines, a minimum amount of solo space, and so on. His sessions have been regularly released since his first appearance on the scene. Highlights include 1993's peppy Lucky Man, 1999's collaboration-heavy Dance, 2001's holiday treat A Smooth Jazz Christmas, and 2007's film music-themed At the Movies. Koz left EMI to sign with Concord in 2010 for the release of Hello Tomorrow, produced by John Burk and Marcus Miller. A pair of live albums, Live at Soho and Live at the Blue Note Tokyo, followed in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Koz emerged in June 2013 with the studio album Summer Horns. Billed to Dave Koz & Friends, it was recorded in collaboration with saxophonists Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, and Richard Elliot, and featured guest appearances by Michael McDonald, Brian Culbertson, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, and Jeffrey Osborne. In 2015, Koz's career-spanning compilation of duets and more, Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection, topped Billboard's jazz albums chart. ~ Ron Wynn