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Old 03-22-2010, 08:13 PM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The Windy City
Posts: 288
Default Re: Metheny, Kenny G, and other Jazz greats

Kenny G and his music can be a very touchy subject in the jazz community. I don't care for his music, but I don't hate the guy. However, the guy is not a jazz musician. The only reason he is categorized as a jazz musician is because he plays a saxophone. If he was playing the same music that he's playing now, except playing it on a guitar I don't think that anybody would be categorizing him as a jazz musician. His music isn't jazz it's instrumental pop. A lot of jazz musicians can't stand him because his music has come to represent what jazz is in a lot of people's eyes, and his music isn't even jazz - it was just marketed as jazz.

A lot of people get turned off at the mention of jazz because they immediately think of that "boring Kenny G crap", as someone put it to me not too long ago when I mentioned I played jazz. They don't know who Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Lester Young, or Charles Mingus are. I think that's where the conflict comes in. If his music was never categorized as jazz then there wouldn't be this conflict. Jazz is such a wide spectrum from Louis Armstrong to Count Basie to Charlie Parker to Miles Davis to Django Reinhardt to John Coltrane to Ornette Coleman to Tito Puente, and on and on. But what do the vast majority of the public think of when they hear the word jazz? That 'smooth jazz' that hey hear on the radio.

A lot of people are very passionate about their music, and they do get defensive when just anyone thinks they can go and call themselves a musician of that genre. So when you have some other kind of music put under your genre strictly for commercial purposes, you're probably going to get a bit irritated.
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