May 24, 2010

Metheny. G. It's On

Kenny G bashing has sort of become a neglected field in recent years, but Pat Metheny revives it with this interview:

Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track "What a Wonderful World". With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can't use at all - as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.

This type of musical necrophilia - the technique of overdubbing on the preexisting tracks of already dead performers - was weird... when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician.

I hadn't even thought of Kenny G in about 15 years, but that was worth the wait. I also love the first comment to the song on YouTube:
"what the fuck is this shite? kenny g is a musical terrorist."

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 24, 2010 07:52 PM

You had graduated by then, but every one of my Echo columns my senior year had a Kenny G reference.

The one valuable thing he does is his celebrity softball team, which is actually very good.

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