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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2006 10:48    Post subject: The Essential Kenny G Reply with quote

Artist: Kenny G
Title: The Essential Kenny G
Genre: Jazz
Label: Arista/Legacy

I miss listening to Kenny G. I got into his music during the 80s while listening to
Gravity, Duotones, and Silhouette. I never claimed to be a jazz
purist and never will be, thus my acceptance of Kenny's music was not a problem. He was
the artist everyone loved to hate because of his tremendous success and crossover ability.
That kind of attitude is the result of sour grapes and envy. In my case, it was
unfortunate that my interest in Kenny G tailed off then gradually faded away entirely.

It takes a great two-disc set like The Essential Kenny G to stoke those old fires
again. It worked well; I cannot stop listening to this set. If you stop and think about it
for a minute, his approach and crossover success is similar to that of Herb Alpert back in
the 60's. The press certainly did not tank Alpert; in fact, he was the critic's darling
for some time and enjoyed many years of top selling albums. So what makes Kenny G any
different really? Well like they say, you cannot argue with success and this 31-track set
certainly sets the record straight.

Kenny's infamous soprano sax is instantly recognizable and it has become a smooth jazz and
pop staple up and down the radio dial for many years now. While the instrumentals he
recorded may be some of the most memorable for listener's such as myself, that go back to
the early days of his career, the vocal tracks hold their own as well. "We've Saved the
Best for Last" comes to mind as one of the very best, its music for lovers and a tune that
never grows old no matter how many times you hear it. And no wonder it rings true after
all these years, the immortal Motown man Smokey Robinson sings the lead on the track.
Kenny never took anything for granted before going into the studio; he surrounded himself
with the best talent available. Enlisting artists like Chaka Khan to come in and sing
"Beautiful," George Benson to lay down the intro guitar licks for "Summertime," Peabo
Bryson and Michael Bolton for "By the Time This Night Is Over," or getting Bolton in to
sing "Missing You Now," was the ultimate icing on the cake to cement his place in music
history. All of his wonderful instrumental voyages and the vocal tracks made for an
unbeatable combination and it pushed Kenny into the stratosphere were few have gone.

May the all gloomy Gus types and the critics be damned; those that spurned this talented
man should have another look at what they once criticized. Kenny G had that groove thing
in sync for a very long time, and his talent is well packaged and presented on this
two-disc set. The liner notes feature comments by the artist on each track, making it a
more personalized listening experience for those that have appreciated his work. I do not
think I have to say this is necessity for lovers of smooth jazz.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

March 9, 2006

CD 1

01. Songbird (5:02)
02. Sade (4:1icon_cool.gif
03. Slip of the Tongue (4:50)
04. Don't Make Me Wait for Love (4:01)
05. Silhouette (5:27)
06. Against Doctor's Orders (4:43)
07. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (4:07)
08. Brazil Afanasieff (4:36)
09. Theme from Dying Young (3:5icon_cool.gif
10. We've Saved the Best for Last (4:1icon_cool.gif
11. Forever in Love (4:57)
12. Midnight Motion [live] (8:21)
13. By the Time This Night Is Over (4:22)
14. Loving You (3:17)
15. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (3:54)
16. Sentimental (6:34)

CD 2

17. What a Wonderful World (2:59)
18. Morning (5:14)
19. Sister Rose (6:12)
20. Even If My Heart Would Break (4:5icon_cool.gif
21. The Moment (6:00)
22. Summetime (6:43)
23. Missing You Now (4:34)
24. Pick Up the Pieces (4:15)
25. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic) (4:21)
26. Beautiful (3:43)
27. Havana (7:23)
28. Going Home (5:30)
29. The Way You Move (4:0icon_cool.gif
30. Deck the Halls/The Twelve Days of Christmas (Medley) (2:59)
31. Auld Lang Syne (The Millenium Mix) (7:52)

Kenny G Website

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