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Heart and Soul

Kenny G

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Album Review

Kenny G took a detour on 2008’s Rhythm & Romance, crafting a full-fledged Latin dance album, but he returns to basics on its 2010 sequel, Heart & Soul, his first collection of new pop-oriented material since 2002’s Paradise. Like that album, Heart & Soul is largely a collaboration with Kenny’s longtime producer Walter Afanasieff, and that’s not the only familiar name here, either: Babyface sits in for a song, just like he did on 1996’s The Moment. There are plenty of familiar sounds and grooves peppered throughout Heart & Soul — his soprano sax always stays in its sweet spot, the synthesized funk rhythms keep things tight while the glaze of electric pianos keep things smooth, the melodies of the songs threaten to turn into covers but never go all the way — but familiarity is the point of this album. It’s not meant to challenge, it’s meant to soothe, and it performs that task admirably.

Biography

Born: 05 June 1956 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Kenny G has long been the musician many jazz listeners love to hate. A phenomenally successful instrumentalist whose recordings make the pop charts, Kenny G's sound has been a staple on adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio stations since the mid-'80s, making him a household name. Kenny G is a fine player with an attractive sound (influenced a bit by Grover Washington, Jr.) who often caresses melodies, putting a lot of emotion into his solos. Because he does not improvise much (sticking mostly...
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Heart and Soul, Kenny G
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