The Curious Case of Kenneth Gorelick...

GoodwillHunter

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One of my Jazz teachers was in a highschool jazz band with Kenny. He said when everyone would go out partying Kenny would stay home and practice. He said his goal was to be a “rock star on the sax”
 

Mike Eskimo

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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.
 

BigDaddyLH

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I decided to take "The Kenny G" test. Went onto YouTube and looked for a video with beaucoup views. This has almost 85 million.



Read the first comment.

My first wife and I would lay in bed for hours listening to Kenny G. When she was diagnosed with cancer and could not sleep I would put our CDs of Kenny G in our disc player and hold her until she would fall asleep. I lost her Dec 2nd 2009. It still hurts to this day it still seems like it was yesterday.​

Oh man, I can't be critical after that comment.

I'll just say I felt like I was on hold with my bank for 4:37.
 

getbent

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also, a classic overachiever/type A/ competitive/etc, and obviously when they throw the Starbucks angle (!) in, he’s pretty good at investing too.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday and he was telling me about an issue he has at work, he said, 'I guess people are saying I'm a forbidding personality' do you think I'm forbidding?'

I said, 'when we were young, being strong, having 'big dick energy' (which is to say quiet confidence) and busting your tail to rise were all 'good' qualities that were looked for. In today's world, all of those things are considered 'toxic' 'bullying' and 'unhelpful' so, you have to adjust or get canceled.

Then he asked how to adjust and I said, 'speak softly, wear a mask so no one can see expressions, NEVER raise your voice and influence through positive suggestion vs. rebuke or warning.

If you think you are gonna slip, excuse yourself or them, and go take a minute to suppress your old self.

Kenny G hustled and worked and pushed and is relentless in his pursuit of who he became. If he is a little puzzled that he gets criticism, I think he gets over it. I don't think his goal is to hang out with jazz people outside his circle... and I don't think his goal was to play jazz. He knew and the record people knew, jazz does not sell. He is a businessman who sells chill, calm feelings. Angry people who think they can adjust 'fair' in this world and people who want revolutions are not gonna dig the G.
 

Mike Eskimo

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The pie scene was very illustrative and really, you could hardly find a guy who is more self-aware .
 

Mr. St. Paul

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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.
 

Rufus

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Were people equally as outraged when Aretha Franklin re-recorded Otis's song "Respect"...and had a MUCH bigger hit with it than he did?
 

brookdalebill

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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.


Amen!
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.
 

Mowgli

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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!!!
 

getbent

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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!!!


Agree on Celebrate me Home. In college, these girls had that record and I went crazy for it. The lady luck solo is Hiram Bullock! Crazy! the mando and bouziki and stuff is tedesco.

I remember around the same time that some guys that we jammed with stopped playing Rocky Mtn Way with us and one went to classical guitar (and made a living doing it) and the other became a jazz guy. Our senior year, there was a yearly pageant, talent show... the classical guy (who was the best musician at our school) played a tune and very polite, very formal applause after. He went on early in the show. The jazz guy played with a dude (the jazz guy was the grandson of a famous dancer) who did Al Jarreau. The band was a crack band (in part hired for the event) and not just college kids. His tune was cool and professional. Pretty good clapping and some cheers, but a little staid.

A few more hummer and strummers (I backed a couple of them) and some cheers and lots of clapping.

then to end the show, the set up crew band. Which was all of us who put up the chairs, set the mics etc.... playing a faux punk song that we made up. It was a spectacle. I dressed as a freaked out Buddy Holly and played a chuck berry solo, duckwalked, jumped off the stage (100' cable... home made) and made a fool outta myself, but SOLD it.... all in.

Place went crazy and we won the 'talent show'.

We just had fun and were joyous and worked to entertain the crowd.

The friends I shared with the classical guys gave me a TON of crap for playing 'crap' while Ken 'made art'. I just shrugged, sorry man, I know you are 'better' than I am.

The jazz guy told me 5 minutes before we went on, 'I'm an idiot, I'd way rather be doing what you guys are doing' and I offered him a spot 'hey, grab your stuff you can play with us' 'nah, Sid (the singer) would be mad'

My wife and daughters like some music that I do not like at all.... but, I don't think the artists suck or anything. I just think it ain't ma thing.

Now, if I hear singers who can't sing in tune or their guitars are out or they are super sloppy... I will rag on it. (and I accept the ragging when it is me.)
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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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.

Some musicians sell out by going pop but get to keep making music full time. Some, like me, sell out much worse and go to law school, trying to ease our troubled souls by playing music for chump change in breweries and local festivals on weekends once or twice a month. I'm in no position to criticize Kenny G or any other actual musician for selling out.

I don't have to like the music to respect it when someone finds a way to make real money playing a funny little saxophone for thousands of hyperventilating dentil hygienists.
 

aeyeq

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I watched the KG doc and it gave me a bit more respect for him. Still not really a fan.

Pat Metheny on the other hand, I have many of his recordings and heard him live several times in a few different groups. Brilliant, and a guitar player.

The video KG made superimposing his horn over Louis Armstrong was what sent PM into rant mode. That was a massive pile of cheese.

Plenty of room for everything hopefully.
 




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