He is the best selling instrumentalist in the world, with an astonishing 70 million records sold during an illustrious career that spans two decades. An international superstar who has earned countless prestigious awards, Kenny G has distinguished himself as a master craftsman through thirteen best-selling albums. Now add one more to that list of multiple-platinum chart-topping records: PARADISE, Kenny's first album in three years finds the multi-talented music man once again effortlessly bridging the genres of pop, jazz and R&B with his distinctive and instantly recognizable style.
The co-writer of nine of the ten tracks he produced with Grammy Award-winning producer and longtime associate Walter Afanasieff, Kenny infuses each cut with the kind of heartfelt quality that has endeared him to audiences the world over. An eleventh track co-produced by Kenny, "All The Way" was written and produced by multi-platinum artist Brian McKnight who is the featured vocalist on the standout, hitbound ballad. R&B chanteuse Chanté Moore lends her own vocal magic to "One More Time," the lead single from PARADISE which became the most-added track on Adult Contemporary, NAC and Urban AC radio formats when released in August 2002.
The album's title cut, "Paradise" has the kind of soulful melancholy that has become Kenny's musical trademark through his remarkable twenty-year career as an Arista recording artist. Echoing his 1986 classic "Songbird," the wistful "Malibu Dreams" is a smooth, mood-evoking piece that captures the very essence of Kenny's artistry; and the album's closing cut, "Peace" is - as the title indeed suggests - calm and serene, affording Kenny the opportunity once more to demonstrate his skill as the premier saxophonist of his generation.
From the languid beauty of "Ocean Breeze" to festive rhythmic flavor of "Brazil," Kenny demonstrates why his music has had such an enduring appeal. The simply almost-classical sound of "Falling In The Moonlight" contrasts with "Midnight Magic," a so-funky jam with a decidedly 'old school' feel that features key musicians such as guitarist Phil Upchurch, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, pianist Randy Waldman and drummer Donnell Spencer. Keeping the groove moving, Kenny offers "Seaside Jam," another perky slice of R&B-flavored smooth jazz; while the intoxicating "Spanish Nights" conjures up visions of enchanted candle-lit evenings.
It is Kenny G's innate ability to create and set different moods with his music that has made him such an enduring force and earned him Grammy, American Music, Soul Train, World Music and NAACP Image Awards as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He began nurturing his natural gift while playing sax in the high school band in his hometown of Seattle, Washington. At the age of seventeen, Kenny G (for Gorelick) performed his first professional gig as a member of Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. An accounting student at the University of Washington by day, Kenny's night job consisted of performing with artists who were appearing in Seattle including Johnny Mathis, The Spinners, Liberace and others. He was a member of a local funk group (Cold, Bold & Together) before joining Jeff Lorber's jazz fusion band in 1979.
It was while Lorber was recording for Arista that Kenny came to the attention of then-label president Clive Davis. In 1982, Arista issued the self-titled KENNY G set which focused on the musician's multi-faceted skills: Kenny played synthesizer, flute, both tenor and soprano sax, minimoog and provided horn arrangements for the album which featured a handful of his own compositions.
The 1984 and 1985 platinum albums, respectively G-FORCE and GRAVITY helped build a foundation for Kenny among R&B and jazz audiences but it was 1986's five-milion-selling DUOTONES that provided Kenny with his breakthrough into mainstream acceptance. Buoyed by two R&B hit singles, a revival of Junior Walker's "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)" and "Don't Make Me Wait For Love" (featuring Lenny Williams), DUOTONES began its ascent on the charts; but it was the emotive "Songbird," a Top 5 pop smash that catapulted Kenny's career into a new realm of international success.
1988's SILHOUETTE added four million sales to Kenny's ever-growing collection of best-selling albums, as did KENNY G LIVE recorded in 1989 in his hometown of Seattle. Surpassing all his previous accomplishments as a recording artist, the 1992 album BREATHLESS sold an astonishing twelve million copies domestically with an additional three million sales internationally and included guest appearances by Peabo Bryson (on the hit single "By The Time This Night Is Over") and Aaron Neville (on "Even If My Heart Would Break"). BREATHLESS has the distinction of being the best-selling instrumental album of all time and was followed in 1994 by MIRACLES: THE HOLIDAY ALBUM which also set a record as the best-selling Christmas album in history with over thirteen million copies sold.
Subsequent hit albums have included 1996's THE MOMENT (seven million sold), GREATEST HITS (1997), FAITH: A HOLIDAY ALBUM (1999) and CLASSICS IN THE KEY OF G, the 1999 release in which Kenny paid tribute to his own musical heroes by imprinting his musical signature on such tunes as George Gershwin's "Summertime" (featuring George Benson), "What A Wonderful World" (a 'virtual' duet, thanks to modern technology, with the late legendary Louis Armstrong), Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood," Thelonius Monk's "Round Midnight," the Burt Bacharach-Hal David classic "The Look of Love" and a pair of compositions from the pen of Brazil's Antonio Carlos Jobim, "Desafinado" and "The Girl From Ipanema" (featuring Bebel Gilberto, daughter of Astrid and Joao Gilberto, the song's original recording artists).
In addition to his own distinguished catalog of work, Kenny has graced the recordings and shared the stage with a veritable 'who's who' in contemporary music including artists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra and Dionne Warwick among others. In 1991, Kenny performed the score and theme for the Julia Roberts film, "Dying Young" and in 1998, he recorded his own version of "My Heart Will Go On," the theme from the movie "Titanic."
In addition to recording, Kenny's pastimes include playing golf (he was co-champion of the 2001 AT&T Pebble Beach Celebrity Pro-Am), piloting his own seaplane, as well as composing and recording in his own state-of-the-art studio ("Studio G") where most of the basic tracks for PARADISE were cut.
With a national tour planned for 2003 and another holiday album ("Wishes") in the offing; with the chart-climbing single "One More Time" and the Brian McKnight-featured crossover cut "All The Way" among the standouts on PARADISE, a superb new album filled with timeless music, Kenny G can look forward to yet another rewarding chapter in what continues to be a star-studded, accomplishment-filled career.
--- from the official Kenny G. website