Originally Posted by keep it simple
Imagine, if you will, that all jazz lite material was wiped from the face of the earth. Only the purest, most progressive, most competent material remains. A younger listener with no previous exposure to such material is likely to find it, as a minimum, perplexing, and at the other end of the scale, dismissed as rubbish. Why, because to those with simplistic taste, either by age or preference, there's no hook, no discernible melody.
The likes of Kenny G offer something that is easy to access. It might not be great, but it does at least offer an introduction to a different sound than the electro puke computer processed garbage that rules the airwaves. Real instruments played by musicians and a "flavour" of jazz is surely preferable to the younger generation regarding jazz as untouchable technically motivated stuff played only by those permitted into the inner circle.
I think that jazz, as many other minority interest genres such as classical, can only exist by evolution & that can only happen with new blood. New people and new ideas are essential to progression and keeping the genre fresh & challenging. Gateway music has a vital part to play in that IMO.
That feels like the situation to me. Keeping the sound out there. But it's a double-edged sword. What if people get used to the sound and decide that jazz = elevator music? Caught between a rock and a hard place.
Nu jazz and some of the more organic hip hop would strike me as better gateway music because it's usually less soppy and sometimes downright cooking.
Kenny's a bit TOO accessible. He ought to get some enthusiastic musos behind him and slip a bit more pepper into his albums. An old friend used to play David Sanborn's Hideaway
album on a loop - ideal to get very relaxed with at his beach house. Similar genre but there's more starch in the shirt. The sooky tracks were a bit less sooky than Kenny's and I remember a great little funk number, Anything You Like
, and another track with a lovely, sleazy, oozy feel whose name escapes me.
If Kenny's going to open the gate he ideally should make the effort to have some goodies on his albums with a bit of oomph - it doesn't have to be like RTF or Herbie - just a bit of edge. In fact, he might even revitalise his waning popularity by releasing something more lively.
Go on, Kenny! Get out there and show 'em that ya got it!