Kenny G Biography
Kenneth Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), better known by his stage name Kenny G, is an American saxophonist whose fourth album Duotones brought him to fame in 1986. Kenny's main instrument is the soprano saxophone, but he also plays the alto and tenor sax on occasion.
In 1981 Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist. He has released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller (which marked the only time he appeared on a rock and roll album) and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by the likes of Grover Washington, Jr., his own albums are usually classified as smooth jazz.
As of 2003, Kenny G was named the 25th-highest selling artist in America by the RIAA, with 48 million albums sold in the USA . In 1994, Kenny G won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for Forever in Love. He also has a substantial worldwide following.
While Kenny G's entry into the smooth jazz market remains popular with the American buying public, he has come under fire from music critics and jazz devotées, leading him to be described as "the musician many jazz listeners love to hate" . As one example, social networking site Facebook as of October 2006 contained five groups against Kenny G, and one in support, with membership in the negative groups running ten times higher.
Guitarist Pat Metheny's criticisms of Kenny G are especially well documented, as first printed on Metheny's own Web site forum in 2000, and archived on Jazz Oasis.com . Drawing Metheny's extreme ire was Kenny G's overdubbing of a song by legendary jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, which Metheny described as follows - "By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about".
English guitarist Richard Thompson seconded Metheny's thoughts by writing the song "I Agree With Pat Metheny, Kenny's Talent's Are Too Teeny". Among the song's pointed lyrics are:
In the 1993 movie Waynes World 2, mention is made of Kenny G. Garth Algar then imagines himself in a theatre audience, having his teeth drilled by a dentist as an unseen performer plays a saxophone solo. It is, however, mentioned in the closing credits that the saxophone solo was not played by Kenny G.
Kenny G was featured in a 2000 episode of the animated South Park, called the World Wide Recorder Concert.
On Reel Big Fish's 2006 live DVD, You're All In This Together, Singer-guitarist Aaron Barrett criticises trumpeter John Christianson for playing a "Kenny G" solo during "Where Have You Been", and is ordered to play a more "Rock N' Roll" solo.
In Friends " The one where they're going to party" Ross says "And so what if I like to go home, throw on some Kenny G, and take a bath!" To which Joey replies "we're twenty nine we're not women!"