Re: Pat Metheny on Kenny G and other Jazz greats
With all kidding aside, I really don't think that some are getting to the subtlety of Metheny's contention. It's not about smooth jazz vs. real jazz, or I like that vs. you don't like that.
Metheny has no problem with Bob James, Joe Sample, Russ Freeman or Larry Carlton. I myself have always enjoyed certain artists, Grover Washington, David Benoit, George Benson, Al Jarreau, even Wes Montgomery and Steely Dan who were played on the same AOR stations that played smooth jazz back in the day. It was crossover music, and Metheny has always been on of its pioneers.
For Metheny it is about how the tradition is defined and who is defining the tradition and how. That is not a question that is easy to answer but when you have an artist of the caliber of Pat Metheny is stating an opinion, it has a bit more merit than you average Joe. If you don't agree with Metheny, I would ask the question what is it that you really don't agree with and do you really understand what he is saying.
The first thing that any professional musician must grapple with is the reality that music that makes money has a functional purpose, background music in offices and elevators, theater music, or mindless entertainment. The greats have always found a balance between making music of substance and making music that pays the rent. Pat Metheny is an artist who has done that quite well over his 40 year career and is one of the few jazz artists who can actually fill a mid size hall. I think the fact that posters would disrespect him says more than anything else to my 'big ears.'
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"