G plays pop instrumental music, or smooth jazz.
Some of my friends seem confused about what jazz
is: One told me that Kenny G plays a saxophone,
and saxophones are jazz. Saxophones are played
by musicians, and the sound that comes out can
be anything from marching band to symphonic,
to KTV sing-along, and--of course--jazz.
It all depends on who is doing the blowing. In
fact, it is impossible to define jazz. Even Duke
Ellington, when asked this question, said, "Just
tap your feet, and you'll feel it."
You say you don't like jazz and don't listen to
it? Well, my friend, you are surrounded by jazz
but may not be aware of it. Listen to the soundtracks
of movies and TV shows--especially love scenes--and
also cartoons. (The Peanuts soundtrack is played
by a jazz trio.)
Next time you're in Starbucks, pause and listen
to the music. Starbucks has one of the best playlists
for jazz I've ever heard.
How can you start listening to jazz? The first
and easiest thing to do is to listen to ICRT FM
100.7 on Sunday nights, from 9 pm to 11 pm, when
I play a wide variety of jazz. I'm positive you'll
find something that will really turn you on.
My friend Daniel plays jazz late every night on
the classical music station, 99.7.
The very best way to enjoy jazz, or any music,
is to go to one of the clubs in town and get the
The biggest and hippest club for live music is
Brown Sugar. One of the oldest jazz clubs (and
one completely devoted to jazz) is Blue Note. They
have some of the younger musicians on weekends.
One of the newest and best is the Stage, in the
basement of the Neo19 building. Different jazz
groups perform throughout the week, with a great
sound system and wonderful lighting. On Sunday
night I heard a terrific quintet. The Stage has
my highest recommendation.
On Sunday afternoons, there are jazz/blues/r&b
sessions at the Shannon. There is also a jam session
at The Pig on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm. Latin
sounds are heard during the week and another hip
club, Club 75. The addresses of all these venues
can be found on pages 43 and 44 of this magazine.
So, open your ears to new sounds. I know you'll
find a style of jazz you'll enjoy for the rest
of you life.