Friday, February 06, 2009

That Smooth Jazz Crap

An old classic that deserves to be read again: guitarist Pat Metheny demolishing Kenny G and his music.

12 comments:

tabula rasa said...

lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up

:-)

km said...

TR: thought you would enjoy it :)

Space Bar said...

tr: came back here having copied the exact same phrases to quote in admiration. shoulda known you'd have done it already!

i just love the way h e's been all reasonable at the beginning and then comes up with this.

km said...

space bar: "wimped out" or "lame-ass" don't sound reasonable?

Space Bar said...

oh totally. and less willing to give g any benefit of the doubt.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

Kenny G is crap, but to me this (which I've read before) sounds a bit like a stuffy conservatory professor complaining about Mingus introducing one of his pieces with a Bach keyboard prelude. Bach is hallowed ground to that professor, Louis Armstrong (and Mingus) are hallowed ground to us, maybe Kenny G is hallowed ground to some kid out there. My point of view is that Louis's stuff is out there, as is Bach's. For Louis you need permission from his estate to use his music, which Kenny G presumably obtained. For Bach no such permission is required. Whatever you do to them cannot "defile" the original, any more than this "defiles" the Mona Lisa. (If you scribbled a moustache and beard on the original Mona Lisa in the Louvre, it would be another matter, and the word "defile" would not be adequate. But I can't think of a musical analogy to that.)

Tabula Rasa said...

rahul:
i think it's more than a copied riff or even cover, which is why pm got so worked up.

spacey:
:-)

km said...

Rahul: The "A" word ("authentic") keeps popping up in some context or the other around here, doesn't it? :)

I should have said this in my post, but didn't - I don't necessarily subscribe to all that PM has said. I am really here for the vitriol ;)

Holy cows do not belong in art. So I quite agree with your comment about the "stuffy conservatory prof".

To TR's point, there is no denying that almost all passionate music fans get pissed off when they hear bad covers/interpretations of their favorites and classics. Which is how PM must have felt upon hearing Kenny G's version of "What a wonderful world".

Rahul Siddharthan said...

km - I didn't use the A word, actually :)

I agree with TR that the reason for PM's getting worked up is Kenny overdubbing himself on Louis -- a cover wouldn't have mattered so much, but an overdub is a cheap way to play "with" someone whom you could never have hoped to share a stage with in real life.

But is Metheny sure of that? Louis was not a snob and may have been quite willing to play with well-known musicians whose music he did not like. He did not like bebop, and thought they were playing "wrong chords", but performed with Dizzy all the same. Not that I expect Kenny G's wrong notes to be vindicated by posterity, but I don't think Louis would have been as judgmental as PM.

Anonymous said...

Louis with Johnny Cash.Enjoy!

Rahul Siddharthan said...

anon: Wonderful! Thanks.

km said...

Anon: Considering that I am a big JC fan and a big Satchmo fan, I am shocked that I had never googled for that video before. Thanks for the link! Blue Yodel #9 is a great song.