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  1. #26

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    I noticed the following regularity:
    Kenny G plays simple songs and Pat Metheny plays difficult songs that seem simple.
    Maybe here is the key to all this fuss...?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie65
    If you study the roots and history of Jazz, we will realize that it started as one thing, but it evolved and changes into many different genres of the same thing, "Jazz". You have Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Big Band, Swing, Avant Garde, Smooth Jazz, Free Jazz, Fusion, Latin Jazz, Straight Ahead, and the list goes on with Bossa Jazz, Blues Jazz etc.. Kenny G is an educated, experienced musician who happened to have chosen Smooth Jazz as his performing style. It is what I call "Jazz for the Masses". I'm a big fan of Pat's music, but I think it was a serious lack of judgement on his part to have made those comments. Are we going to say the same about George Benson? who's music was prime in the Smooth Jazz radio stations during most of the 80's and 90's ? How about Wes? who recorded some albums of mostly elevator music using standards. How about Chuck Loeb, Ronny Jordan, Norman Brown, Larry Carlton etc, all great jazz guitarists who've chosen Smooth Jazz as their performing styles. Is everyone entitled to their opinion? absolutely, but if we are just picking the people we don't like, it strikes me as a bit hypocritical. Pat is a Jazz Icon and an incredible composer, not my opinion, but a hard fact and I will continue to listen to his music and maybe even transcribing some of it, we all make mistakes; even the Icons...



    Cheers,
    Arnie..
    OMG, now we are comparing George Benson to KG?

  4. #28

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    This got lots of buzz at the time. Even Richard Thompson jumped on the bandwagon.



    I thought then, and I think now, it's a tempest in a teapot. Kenny's overdub of himself with Louie was in bad taste for sure, but it didn't hurt anyone really, and Louie's legacy remains indelible and untouched by that affront. That fact that so many people bought his music says something about his ability to touch a non-musician audience and it sometimes feels that perhaps there's some twinge of jealousy about that from much more sophisticated, artistically deeper musicians such as Pat and Richard. I recall when Keith Jarrett wrote a diatribe against the new age pianist George Winston. It missed the point because Winston called his style "folk piano" and in no way aimed to compete with what Keith did. Kenny was seemingly a great deal more clueless about his sources than George - who always credited them - but I believed he did the Louie overdub with a culturally tone-deaf ear but without malice. All the counter attacks still seem like an overreaction and though I've barely heard his music by choice, I might check out the documentary to better understand him and his music.

  5. #29

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    Branford Marsalis once stated in an interview with Jazziz magazine: "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".

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Joe
    Who, but a few musicologists remember Natalie Cole's duet w her father?
    That album sold close to 7 million copies. And when you say "Natalie Cole", the duet with her dad is the only thing that comes to mind.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandChannel
    That album sold close to 7 million copies. And when you say "Natalie Cole", the duet with her dad is the only thing that comes to mind.
    I always caution people from assuming the views of others. I tend to agree with what you're implying here: that Natalie Cole fans, as well as Nat King Cole fans who are aware of Natalie, know about this duet. I.e. it is one of the highlights of her career. But again, I don't wish to break my own rule! (ha ha).

    I did see Natalie Cole when she opened for George Benson at the Hollywood Bowl, over 25 years ago.

    A key part of her show was repeating this duet.

  8. #32

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    Note that highly skilled and creative people can make mistakes.

  9. #33

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    Someone on another forum in a different part of the universe wrote recently,

    Smooth jazz was invented by people trying to capitalize off of the success of the music that Metheny created. To write him off as smooth jazz is a mistake. It would be equivalent to calling George Benson smooth jazz.

    You reap what you sow.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandChannel
    That album sold close to 7 million copies. And when you say "Natalie Cole", the duet with her dad is the only thing that comes to mind.
    i could be wrong. It was certainly popular at the time. Just seems to me to have had no notable afterlife in the public consciousness. It came, hit big, and then?

    but sure, maybe it’s just round here that it’s as if it never were

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Someone on another forum in a different part of the universe wrote recently,

    Smooth jazz was invented by people trying to capitalize off of the success of the music that Metheny created. To write him off as smooth jazz is a mistake. It would be equivalent to calling George Benson smooth jazz.

    You reap what you sow.
    Since I don't know how to interpret "write him off" I can't say if that is a mistake or not. If it means not listening to them because they have made smooth jazz recordings, that would be a mistake.

    But clearly Benson appeals to the same audience that enjoy smooth jazz. I assume Benson gets more airplay on smooth jazz stations than straight ahead ones. I saw Benson only once shortly after Breezin came out (that one with Natalie Cole). It was a smooth jazz concert. I.e. He mentioned his background, played Take Five for about 5 minutes and the rest wasn't what I wished to hear. The concert was at the Hollywood Bowl and was sold out so I understand why. I.e. this isn't a knock on Benson.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    OMG, now we are comparing George Benson to KG?

    Nobody's comparing KG to GB, but they made it huge (outside of the jazz world) playing the same type of Jazz; "Smooth Jazz"...By the way, Kenny G is not the only one that has been criticized for this, Wes Montgomery was called a "Sell Out" when he recorded "California Dreaming" in 1966.



    Arnie...

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie65
    Nobody's comparing KG to GB, but they made it huge (outside of the jazz world) playing the same type of Jazz; "Smooth Jazz"...By the way, Kenny G is not the only one that has been criticized for this, Wes Montgomery was called a "Sell Out" when he recorded "California Dreaming" in 1966.



    Arnie...
    I talked to Howard Roberts about this after one of his straight ahead jazz shows at Donte's in West Hollywood. It appears he understood why one would say he "sold out" and he was OK with that as long as it wasn't meant as a put-down. Most of the other jazz musicians he knew wish they could have "sold out"; I.e. few record producers were asking them to make such recordings.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    OMG, now we are comparing George Benson to KG?
    Did you ever go to a George Benson concert? The one I went to a short while after Breezin was smooth jazz. The only straight ahead song he played was Take Five and that was only for about 4 minutes (and mostly it was,,,see I can still do this). It mostly felt flat since that wasn't what this large audience at the Hollywood Bowl wanted; They wanted smooth jazz and that is what George gave them.

    Benson has sold more smooth jazz albums than he has those early straight ahead albums. (but even his CTI stuff had many songs that had a pre-smooth-jazz vibe).

    This is NOT a knock on Benson (one of the finest bebop guitarist). Benson is richer than 99% of other jazz musicians for a reason.

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    This is NOT a knock on Benson (one of the finest bebop guitarist). Benson is richer than 99% of other jazz musicians for a reason.
    I'd argue that he made more money with his voice than he did with his guitar. And he made a whole lot of money with that guitar!

  16. #40

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    PM was on Kenny G's case long before the Louis Armstrong thing. Me thinketh he doth protest too much...

  17. #41

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    PM is a great guitar player but I find him hard to listen to. It's just not my thing.
    I find Kenny G equally hard to listen to.
    Different strokes for different folks!

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by arnie65
    If we study the roots and history of Jazz, we will realize that it started as one thing, but it evolved and changes into many different genres of the same thing, "Jazz". You have Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Big Band, Swing, Avant Garde, Smooth Jazz, Free Jazz, Fusion, Latin Jazz, Straight Ahead, and the list goes on with Bossa Jazz, Blues Jazz etc.. Kenny G is an educated, experienced musician who happened to have chosen Smooth Jazz as his performing style. It is what I call "Jazz for the Masses". I'm a big fan of Pat's music, but I think it was a serious lack of judgement on his part to have made those comments. Are we going to say the same about George Benson? who's music was prime in the Smooth Jazz radio stations during most of the 80's and 90's ? How about Wes? who recorded some albums of mostly elevator music using popular songs. How about Chuck Loeb, Ronny Jordan, Norman Brown, Larry Carlton etc, all great jazz guitarists who've chosen Smooth Jazz as their performing styles. Is everyone entitled to their opinion? absolutely, but if we are just picking the people we don't like, it strikes me as a bit hypocritical. Pat is a Jazz Icon and an incredible composer, not my opinion, but a hard fact and I will continue to listen to his music and maybe even transcribing some of it, we all make mistakes; even the Icons...



    Cheers,
    Arnie..
    No, Kenny G does not play jazz, smooth or otherwise.

    He is not a master improviser, although most of those other folks that you mention were/are.

    Wes and Benson were jazz masters who were practical enough to do the CTI thing. Benson arguably fit better due to his R&B background and generation. Wes was more of a force fit but still sounded great. Tequila!

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    that is maybe my English. On rape I did not mean *sexual* rape, just a violent action, when someone forces over himselt on an other person. KG did that "literally" literally :-). Again it is possible I used the rape word incorrectly, although I still have a feeling that rape could mean other type of forced action than sexual.

    Anyway, I think arguing about: was it a disgusting violent and arrogant action or was not it, makes way more sense than arguing about how great is PM or not, or arguing about how great is KG or not.
    Did you watch the interview? The Louis Armstrong Foundation LOVED it, and the proceeds from the song go to the Foundation. Good deeds, indeed.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandChannel
    I'd argue that he made more money with his voice than he did with his guitar. And he made a whole lot of money with that guitar!
    That’s what he has said, yep.

    What popular singer isn’t richer than his/her sidemen?

    Most “music lovers” don’t want to work very hard. They want to be told a story while driving down the road.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    Did you watch the interview? The Louis Armstrong Foundation LOVED it, and the proceeds from the song go to the Foundation. Good deeds, indeed.
    Well this is indeed useful information. I wonder if Metheny knew this when he lost it.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Did you ever go to a George Benson concert? The one I went to a short while after Breezin was smooth jazz. The only straight ahead song he played was Take Five and that was only for about 4 minutes (and mostly it was,,,see I can still do this). It mostly felt flat since that wasn't what this large audience at the Hollywood Bowl wanted; They wanted smooth jazz and that is what George gave them. (btw if you start talking about genres, please be correct, GB made *soul* records, not smoth jazz records, actually probably in the top 5 soul singer, and the best soul guitarist)

    Benson has sold more smooth jazz albums than he has those early straight ahead albums. (but even his CTI stuff had many songs that had a pre-smooth-jazz vibe).

    This is NOT a knock on Benson (one of the finest bebop guitarist). Benson is richer than 99% of other jazz musicians for a reason.
    I was not talking about *genres* I do not care about genres and think Jimmy Page is one of the greatest rock musician. Also think GB is one of the greatest, and when he plays soul (for example Masquerade) that is equal musical and artistic value as all my other heroes, including Wes, or Kenny Burrell. Freddie Hubbard, etc.

    My starting point with this thread was that makes more sense arguing about KGs act was right or not, and PM act was right or not, instead of their music.

    However when GBs music was also involved... If anyone thinks that GB and KG has anything to do with each other, just because GB plays soul... and I also do not understand why should I participate on a GB concert to understand and evaluate GB? I was not in a single Wes concert, still can admire him. Same goes to GB, and not because his bebop recordings
    Last edited by Gabor; 09-14-2021 at 01:14 AM.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    Did you watch the interview? The Louis Armstrong Foundation LOVED it, and the proceeds from the song go to the Foundation. Good deeds, indeed.
    Just for the record, I do not doubt the foundation does many good things (education). However by its nature their main goal is make more money. Of course they LOVED it.

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by entresz
    PM is a great guitar player but I find him hard to listen to. It's just not my thing.
    I find Kenny G equally hard to listen to.
    Different strokes for different folks!
    I had to listen to KG in one hotel as background music over and over.
    I enjoyed listening to PM music on my headphones while going out in the city.

  25. #49

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    Musicians are often under pressure from managers who want to sell as many records as possible. They appear
    various musical productions aimed at the audience.

  26. #50

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    As a sax player, I used to be critical of Kenny G. Then I saw this video on YouTube:


    Kenny G is not afraid to laugh at himself a little. Several interviews I have seen reflect that he is very humble, gracious, articulate and an all around nice guy. If I ever had the opportunity, I would gladly sit down and have a beer with with him. I would even love to jam with him a little. After all, in all reality, who the heck am I?

    I don't listen to him a lot but I respect what he has done. He is not trying to be anything but what he is.