Smooth Jazz Magazine

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Smooth Jazz New CD Review: Dave Koz “The Golden Hour” Cory Wong

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By: Giget C. Johnson



A Man’s Man Album – The reference to cars . . . fast cars, getaway car, junkyard dunebuggy . . . perhaps a change of life album for men. Fasten your seatbelt.

At first impression, it is VERY BRASSY and a little too upbeat, perhaps not the smooth jazz we expect from Dave Koz upon first hearing it.  But keep listening.  It’s an album that grows on you.  I mean . . . it is a spectacular album, if you get out of your own way and just “lay back, kick it and enjoy the ride.” 


Track 1. Today – A brassy but easy-listening opening song. Signature Sound of Dave Koz is laid in the track.  You know it’s him.  It starts off smooth but before long the brass kicks in.  Then it calms back down as it closes to finger snapping.

Track 2.  Getaway Car – Upbeat tempo.  Funky beat & full of brass.  Almost a “James Bond” intro.  Reminiscent of days of old.  As if you may actually be on the run, it sounds a little dangerous.  If you’ve ever been to a Dave Koz concert, it’s that one song that he plays to bring the crowd to the edge of their seats & ultimately cause a rise to their feet.  There is a lot going on in this song.  It’s probably a really fun song to perform.  But it is loud.  Almost too energetic.  Like a workout that kicks your butt, you’ll be glad when it’s over.


Track 3.  Feed the Id – A show opener.  Slower than Getaway Car but still very lively, just not excessively so.  It has some calming parts. It also serves us a funky beat. A variety show of the talent involved.  The guitar will have your head bobbing with your eyes closed, as you feel the rhythm. You might end up out of your seat on your feet playing an air instrument on this one.  It is lit! On fire!  


Track 4.  The Golden Hour – The album’s title track is refined.  It is perfectly titled.  It’ll cause you to sway back and forth. It is reminiscent of the part of life when you think you have it all together and can kick back and relax, when life is almost on auto-pilot. 


Track 5.  Junkyard Dunebuggy –   Guitar-laced.  Many men must have a fast car at some point – when the “gotta have a fast car” hits – that’s what this album is. Midlife Crisis – Ego kicks in – “I’m still badass! This is for me!” The Change of Life – What else can I do? I’m gonna try something new!


Track 6.  Little Rascals – Slower than the other songs. A restaurant song.  Perfect for enjoying a meal over a family buffet. You have driven many miles and finally must stop for sustenance in a little unknown town, but there’s food, albeit buffet style and you must fix your own plate. 


Track 7.  Family Reunion – Perfect music for pulling up to the local park to meet family and friends.   A happy go lucky song. A family of musicians would bring their instruments with each getting their time to shine on this song. 


Track 8. Engine 71 – All engines are revved up. This track could be the Finale. But it isn’t because after this we’re brought back down from the highest of energies on this album.  Perhaps this is done to prevent heart attack on the side of the road. 


Track 9.  Your Side of Town – Fun loving.  As if you’re falling for someone, this song

is a much-needed reprieve from the high energy of the other songs. A reminder that at the end of the day, when the man is done playing with his toys, he is coming back home. Hanging up his ego with his keys, he flips the switch and the gentleman reappears.  Ladies, he didn’t forget about us. 


Track 10. Together Again – A Remix.  It is a song made for dancing and guess what? He ain’t dancing with his buddies on this one.  It is Dave Koz as we’ve come to know him.  This song is a gift on a macho-man album.  A reminder that although “this is a man’s world, it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl,” as James Brown would sing.


Track 11. Gratitude – The album winds its way to an end. Just like the end of each day, a moment is taken to give thanks.  Slower thoughts.  Deeper breaths. An acknowledgement that there is so much to be grateful for. 


Just like ladies have a “Girls Trip,” “Ladies’ Night Out,” “Spa Day,” men should have their own guilty pleasure, as expressed in this album. 


“Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles,” “Bourbon, Cigars, High End Tequila,” “Fancy Sneakers, Nice Brims, Expensive Belts,” “Diamond Ring, Gold Necklace, Rolex Watch” Whatever suits your fancy.


Good Music serves as the soundtrack to a good time. This really is an album made “For Men By Men.” You are so very deserving of it.  We  are grateful for each of you. 

This album was released just in time for Father’s Day and a perfect gift it is for the music lover!