Originally Posted by oops
There's no way I'd ever put Kenny G and Metheny in the same category. Metheny has been on the leading edge of Jazz for 30 years, he's defined a sound and is definitely a legend of the jazz scene. Seriously, he's played with Ornette Coleman, Scofield, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Herbie, Charlie Haden, Jim Hall, Roy Haynes, Dave Holland, the list goes on and on and on and on and on.
He's all over it.
I love the start of this interview: http://www.jazzoasis.com/methenyonkennyg.htm
He critiques Kenny G on a technical level, then goes on to talk about the afore-mentioned youtube clip. His biggest issue with Kenny is his overdubbing of Louis Armstrong's tune.
Polly, sure there's worse music out there, but there's certain lines you shouldn't cross to make a buck (and I'm sure you'll agree there was nothing 'artistic' behind Kenny G's Wonderful World, it was purely financially motivated).
Thing is, Pat M has also played smooth jazz. Average listeners would consider them to be in roughly the same genre. Take away the background and listen - the music has a jazzy timbre, jazzy chords, it's smooth and it's easy to listen to. Think of all the music in all the different genres - from death metal to electropop to prog to blues etc and it's clear that the music of Kenny and Pat has many more similarities than differences. The closest neighbours often have the most bitter disputes.
I never heard his Satchmo overdub but that simply sounds like fun to me. I don't think a lack of reverence for an artist necessarily implies disrespect, just as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. No doubt KG was aware of its commercial value, but a cut of royalties go to Stachmo's estate (or has copyright run out?) so who loses? I imagine it would spark curiosity about the original version in a new generation of listeners.
I don't own any Kenny G music but I really have no issue with him; I prefer his work to lots of other music. I really don't understand all the degree of animosity. Sure, the music is daggy but he ain't the first, won't be the last and definitely not the worst :)