Jazz On Jazz Violence
Did you ever think you liked Pat Metheny?
Yeah, me neither. But via kottke, I read this blog post and ... well, I sort of love the guy.
Here's just a brief sample, where Metheny simply eviscerates Kenny G, for deciding to play over Louis Armstrong.
It's just quite possible the biggest smackdown outside of Celebrity Death Match, and even though I am really not a fan of jazz much at all outside of some Miles and some Coltrane here and there, I think I might join a Pat Metheny Fan Club page on Facebook, just because of this.
Read (bold is mine, just to make sure you don't miss anything):
Not long ago, Kenny G put out a recording where he overdubbed himself on top of a 30+ year old Louis Armstrong record, the track "What a Wonderful World". With this single move, Kenny G became one of the few people on earth I can say that I really can't use at all - as a man, for his incredible arrogance to even consider such a thing, and as a musician, for presuming to share the stage with the single most important figure in our music.
But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture - something that we all should be totally embarrassed about - and afraid of. We ignore this, "let it slide", at our own peril.
I mean ... I say GODDAMN. Now, in full disclosure, I will say that the mere mention of Kenny G's name always brings a smile to my face - but only because I have two friends (who shall remain nameless) who while under the influence of some particularly strong hallucinogenics ended up listening to a Kenny G song on repeat about 45 times in a row back in the late 1980s. That being said, he still sucks, and Pat Metheny just called him on it.