Personnel includes: Dave Koz (soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophones, background vocals, programming, EWI, keyboards); Zelma Davis, Charles Pettigrew (vocals); Edward James Olmos (spoken vocals); Jeff Lorber (piano, keyboards, percussion programming, synth bass); Brad Cole (piano, keyboards); Chester Thompson (organ); Claude Gaudette (keyboards, synth bass, programming); Jeff Koz (guitar, keyboards, programming); Teddy Castelucci, Oliver Leiber, Michael Thompson, Buzz Feiten, Carlos Rios (guitar), Alec Milstein, Pino Palladino (bass), Rayford Griffin, John Robinson, Ricky Lawson (drums) Paulinho Da Costa, Lenny Castro (percussion), Dennis Lambert (background vocals, programming); Jheryl Lockhart, Jean McClain, Katrina Perkins, Evelyn King, Franne Golde, Evan Rogers, Phillip Ingram, Terry Young, MonaLisa, Gigi Worth, Alex Brown, Yvonne Williams, Katrina Perkins, Leslie Smith, Jeff Pescetto, Jim Gilstrap (background vocals).
Additional guest artists: Steven "Doc" Kupka (baritone saxophone), Greg Phillinganes (piano).
Producers include: Dennis Lambert, Jeff Lorber, Dave Koz, Jeff Koz, Carl Sturken.
Engineers include: Doug Rider, Gabriel Veltri, Jeff Lorber.
Saxophonist Dave Koz has become one of the most successful and beloved instrumentalists of his time, and helped establish smooth jazz as a musical force to be reckoned with. His career catapulted with 1993's Lucky Man, one of Koz' slickest and most commercial releases (which is not a bad thing by any means) to date. The album has an undeniably crisp and clean feel, akin to the color schemes used in the artwork. The musical styles range from funky and peppy, as in the opening "Shakin' the Shack," "Silverlining," and the evergreen "You Make Me Smile," to tender and sweet, as in "Faces of the Heart," "Lucky Man," and "Tender Is the Night," which features hypnotic vocals courtesy of Phil Perry. A definite highlight is the unstoppable and downright electrifying "Saxman," which features an A list who's who of influential saxophonists jamming along with Koz. The album also utilizes hip-hop scratches and beats on his wonderfully soulful cover of "Don't Look Any Further" (which features former C+C Music Factory belter Zelma Davis) and a gospel choir on "Show Me the Way." Closing with his wonderful and touching rendition of "Misty," Lucky Man is a must for any fan of contemporary and smooth jazz, and ranks as an absolute highlight in Dave Koz' enduring catalog. ~ Jose F. Promis