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Dave Koz Draws Inspiration from Native California for New CD, 'At The Movies'

For saxophonist Dave Koz, going to the movies is almost like a religious experience. In fact, as VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Koz is such a big fan of old movies he dedicated an entire album to classic Hollywood themes.

Dave Koz says he's happiest "in a darkened theater with a tub of popcorn, a soda, a great movie and a friend." Who can blame him, especially if one of those "great movies" happens to be The Pink Panther?

Had it not been for Peter Sellers' comic turn as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther, Henry Mancini's score might have stolen the show. So impressive was Mancini's theme song, that Dave Koz included his own rendition on his new album At The Movies.

Mancini also scored Breakfast At Tiffany's, represented on the album by a Dave Koz and Barry Manilow collaboration, "Moon River."

Growing up just minutes away from Hollywood, Dave Koz was first encouraged to study piano. Later, he tried playing drums, but an offer to join his older brother's band if he learned how to play the saxophone eventually won him over.

After earning a degree in Mass Communications at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles), Koz devoted himself to music fulltime. He worked with pop stars Bobby Caldwell and Richard Marx before landing a spot in the house band for The Arsenio Hall Show on late-night television. Since the release of his 1990 debut album, Koz has become one of the leaders of the "smooth jazz" movement.

With At The Movies, Koz gives the "smooth jazz" treatment to such time-honored themes as "The Shadow Of Your Smile," featuring Johnny Mathis and Chris Botti; "Somewhere" from West Side Story, featuring Anita Baker; "The Summer Knows" from The Summer Of '42; and the title song from The Way We Were.

Two selections begin with original dialogue, including Ingrid Bergman's famous scene with Dooley Wilson from Casablanca.