Kenny G is a very talented musician with a unique tone that you recognize after one note...he influenced trillions of sax players...I'm a fan!
also, a classic overachiever/type A/ competitive/etc, and obviously when they throw the Starbucks angle (!) in, he’s pretty good at investing too.
It reminds me of when there was much horror when Michael Bolton re-recorded and had a huge hit with 'When a Man Loves a Woman' and yet Otis Redding's widow said it was amazing and she loved it and was so glad he recorded it.
Who do we protect when we become so protective?
I haven't listened to KennyG or Bolton in years, but the whole documentary thing struck me at how strongly we feel about stuff that... you know... switch shoes and the whole thing changes.
Your opinion would carry much more weight if you were aware that Otis had nothing to do with "When a Man Loves a Woman", a classic song performed by Percy Sledge.
In Kenny G's Wikipedia entry, Branford Marsalis is quoted as follows, "When all these jazz guys get in a tizzy over Kenny G, they need to leave Kenny alone. He's not stealing jazz. The audience he has wouldn't be caught dead at a real jazz concert or club. It's not like some guy says, 'You know, I used to listen to Miles, Trane and Ornette. And then I heard Kenny G, and I never put on another Miles record.' It's a completely different audience."
When I was 17, somebody gave me a Rod McKuen book and record; I liked them for a while. I also really liked Roger Whitaker and Bobby Goldsboro. I moved on. Now I like sappy songs by Jesse Winchester.
getbent - excellent post!
So many thoughts.
1st, Kenny Loggins' 1st solo album, "Celebrate Me Home" is, IMO, one of the most underrated albums of all time. Great lyrics with a wonderful variety of music with elements of rock, pop and jazz. IIRC, the late Hugh McCracken was the soloist on Lucky Lady;one of the first solos I ever transcribed. He even covered, "You don't know me" and it was fantastic.
A lot of musicians start off playing rock, blues &/or country before the sounds of jazz start to tickle their ears.
The first time I heard Lionel Hampton I really liked it. Then I bought a Bird Parker album; I thought it was noise. At the time, I was into stuff by Carlton, R Ford, Lee Rittenour, Holdsworth, Spyrogyra, Jeff Lorber, Al Dimeola, Crusaders, etc. Then after years of immersion into this music I heard Bird (again), Coltrane, Bill Evans and, suddenly, I got it. It clicked. I began to fall in love with mainstream jazz.
This is not to dismiss or diminish the other stuff. It was just different in a way that appealed to me; similar to the way that Jeff Lorber's music did earlier.
I revisited Lorber's "Soft Space" a while back and it still appeals to me. I still like it as I still like Carlton, Ford, and a lot of the older fusion cats! That being said I never liked Kenny G's solo stuff but did like his work with Lorber. I have defended K.G. in his right to make a living.
It was either George Benson or Herbie Hancock who defended himself when accused of "selling out." Basically, the argument went like this: "What's so important about my music that I can't create some music that will sell and allow me to provide for my family?" I agree with this reasoning. This is why I defend K.G... but I still don't like his music.
Led Zeppelin never got accused of selling out but I read something years ago about them strategizing on how to create an album that could appeal to LP buyers but contain songs that were short enough and catchy enough to sell! In other words, they were selling out explicitly.
FWIW, there's some really good "smooth jazz" and some that I think is awful. Norman Brown is a fabulous guitarist and a nice guy to boot!
If some people like Kenny G, Najee, etc.. good for them. Who am I to judge what they like when it comes to music? It's an individual taste issue.
Thanks for this thread. A lot of great posts!!!
Branford nailed it.
I love me some Jesse Winchester, too.
His Sweet Lovin’ Daddy is my favorite.
His Gentleman Of Leisure album is a masterpiece, IMO.
Smooth jazz…….Wes Montgomery went down the commercial path with Creed Taylor in the mid sixties and was accused of selling out. He sold a lot of records and inspired the direction George Benson took later. Haters gonna hate.