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kottke.org posts about Kenny G

Kenny G and How Smooth Jazz Took Over the 90s

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 05, 2018

Jazz crossed over into pop music territory in the 70s, with jazz artists like Grover Washington Jr. and George Benson gaining airplay on the radio but losing the respect of “straight-ahead” jazz critics & peers. One reviewer wrote of a popular album by Benson:

Hearing George Benson on this album is like watching Marlon Brando in the Three Stooges movie. Such is the relationship between the artist and the “art”.

In this third installment of Earworm’s series on jazz, Estelle Caswell charts the rise of smooth jazz from its beginnings in the 70s right on through to Kenny G and the format’s eventual crash in the 2000s. There’s also a Spotify playlist of smooth jazz standards in case you’re in the mood to hear more.

Also, how perfect is it that the term “smooth jazz” was coined by a participant during a focus group convened by a market research firm? That’s so smooth jazz.

Pat Metheny on Kenny G

posted by Aaron Cohen   May 20, 2010

Pat Metheny really hates Kenny G. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t like either of those fellows, why would I care about this?” And then you’ll click through and you’ll see why I think you should care. It’s a 15 paragraph character destruction that, since it’s now on the web, must be considered one of the top flames of all time. If you didn’t think it was possible to gut someone with words, click through. If I were to pull out a quote for you, it’d be from the 9th paragraph, but it uses some words I’m not sure I’m allowed to use. Actually, I probably am allowed, but they’re very mean and I don’t want to damage Jason’s chances of selling ads to Kenny G one day.

*UW readers might recognize this from a couple years ago, but it’s one of my favorite parts of the internet, so I figured I’d share it here.