VOICES Notes and news on Contemporary Jazz releases
21 JUN 10 JONATHAN WIDRAN
After an incredible quarter century with Arista Records -- which included a Grammy Award, American Music Award, Soul Train Award and sales of 75 million albums worldwide -- Kenny G follows his Latin-themed Concord Records debut Rhythm & Romance with Heart And Soul, a set that returns the sax icon to his R&B roots.
Co-produced by Kenny and longtime collaborator Walter Afanasieff, the new project continues the saxman's affinity for high octane superstar collaborations, starting with the first single "Fall Again" featuring R&B crooner Robin Thicke. This wasn't just a random high profile choice. The two have known each other since Robin was a teenager. Another soulful connection among the 14 tracks (whose vibe is perfectly captured by the title "G-Walkin'") is "No Place Like Home" with Babyface.
The release of Heart And Soul (which hits store shelves June 29) in the same month as Jeff Lorber Fusion's Now Is The Time is significant. Kenny, who in high school was a sideman with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, launched his adult career as a member of Lorber's original Fusion lineup.
While people love to quote sales stats -- like the fact that Kenny's Miracles sold over 13 million copies, making it the most successful Christmas recording to date -- another tidbit from the past continues to fascinate. In 1997, Kenny earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. Using circular breathing, he held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City.
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