Master Composers: Kenny G brings his powerful sax to Brazilian jazz for an impressive debut album

Known mostly for his superior soprano sounds on the saxophone, Kenny G’s first foray into Brazilian jazz called on him doing mostly tenor and alto numbers.  He cited in one YouTube interview his three biggest inspirations were Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, and Paul Desmond (who was famous for helping orchestrate Dave Brubeck’s 1962 smooth jazz classic, “Take Five”).

Image courtesy of getmusicasia.com

Image courtesy of getmusicasia.com

Born as Kenneth Bruce Gorelick on June 5, 1956 in Seattle, he is the best selling instrumental artist in this time.

After dabbling for nearly nine years with different jazz bands, Kenny G went solo in 1982 by signing on with Arista Records.

Fast forward through the 17 albums, including the most successful holiday album ever with Miracles:  The Holiday Album back in 1994, but his first foray into Brazilian jazz was definitely an eye opener when this album was released to the public on January 27, 2015.

Taking the classic “Corcovado” tune on Track 2 and “The Girl from Impanema” on Track 9 is like getting the popcorn maker to work properly and putting up your feet to watch a cool movie.  Also worth a listen are Tracks 3 and 4, the fast paced “Bossa Real” and the slower, more methodical pace of the title track.

Throughout the ten tracks, each song is Kenny G at his purest and his best.  It definitely is one hot album, but longtime fans may be taken aback by how he had to abandon his signature notes in favor of doing something different.

There is also a deluxe version with four live tracks featuring the songs of, “Loving You” (different lyrics than what Fabiana Passoni gave us), “G Bop”, “Forever In Love”, and “Heart and Soul.”

Definitely a worthy addition to anyone’s smooth jazz collection.  Both versions are available online wherever CD’s are sold.

Next week, I will continue my brief foray into some of 2015’s best works by veteran jazz artists with Nicola Conte.  We may know him simply as the Italian man famous for “Bossa Per Due”, but he has really turned his game up several notches back in the spring and really opened up my eyes and ears to some very pleasant sounds.

But not to be outdone, the week of November 15 will feature Eliane Elias and her latest work.  Enjoy your weekend, as it appears Extended Indian Summer is finally going to come to an end for most of the northern United States.  At least, it was nice to go outside and see absolutely no bugs for a chance in spite of the simple fact that all outdoor yard work had to end a full hour before your network news hits the air.

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