To celebrate "The Golden Hour" — a collaboration with smooth-jazz saxophone stalwart Dave Koz — Wong and Koz will livestream a concert from the roof of a houseboat on the St. Croix River June 12, featuring Wong's funk-rock ensemble, Cory and the Wongnotes.
The new album, recorded in September with Wong's band at Creation Audio in Minneapolis, will be released June 11.
While smooth-jazz hero Koz, 58, has been recording for more than 30 years, Wong, 35, of Shoreview, started getting national recognition more recently, playing with the cult-loved band Vulfpeck and sitting in with the house band on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." He earned a Grammy nomination this winter for "Meditations," a duet album with "Late Show" bandleader Jon Batiste.
Koz and Wong is a seemingly unlikely pairing, as the guitarist noted last summer when Koz joined him onstage at Crooners in Fridley: "It's like Shaggy and Sting. Why are they doing stuff together?"
If the album is anything like that show, "The Golden Hour" should be a mix of finesse, funk and unstoppable passion.
Wong co-wrote 10 of the 11 tracks. There is only one vocal selection — "Your Side of Town (Art of Key Noise)" featuring Phoebe Katis, a U.K. singer who has appeared on previous Wong numbers.
Meanwhile, a video of the new Koz-Wong tune "Today" has been posted on Wong's YouTube channel.
After releasing a dozen projects in 2020, the prolific guitarist followed up in February with the album "Cory and the Wongnotes" and his own web series on YouTube. The group will kick off its first tour in November, with the finale Feb. 19 at First Avenue.
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