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Kenny G's debut as a jazz DJ

Posted by Steve Greenlee  April 4, 2011 12:38 PM

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12262008_26sound.JPGKenny G, you may have heard, is now a jazz DJ. The smooth-jazz saxophonist whom everyone loves to hate started a new gig this morning as a disc jockey for KJAZZ 88.1 FM, a radio station out of Long Beach, Calif. We were curious to hear what the mildly talented multimillionaire would spin for his first show, so we checked out the set list.

No surprise: He played it safe. In a set heavy on contemporary jazz, Kenneth B. Gorelick took no chances.

He started with "Tutu," the heavily produced piece of schlock from Miles Davis's worst album (of the same name), and followed it with a lot of decent, palatable stuff that goes down easy and almost qualifies as jazz: "Fly Me to the Moon" by Diana Krall and "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Chris Botti.

Things perked up midway through the two-hour set with quality contemporary-jazz artists Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock and the Yellowjackets, and Kenny scored extra points by choosing a cut by 2011 best-new-artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding. KG ended the show with Dave Brubeck's cool-jazz anthem, "Take Five," and one of smooth jazz's shining moments, George Benson's "Breezin'."

(What? Nothing from the Dead Kenny G's?)

Our verdict: Nothing shocking in Kenny G's debut, and only one or two major stumbles (Special EFX, we're looking at you). Hey, it could have been worse. He could have played something by Kenny G.


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