The sound of Kenny G’s saxophone is as iconic as his signature curls; indeed, both are instantly recognizable. His latest release, New Standards, the title of his 19th studio album and the first since 2015’s Brazilian Nights, could well be used to describe his four-decade body of work, a vision of jazz that helped launch both a musical genre and radio format. After director Penny Lane’s critically acclaimed HBO Documentary Listening to Kenny G – which humorously reconsiders the purist critical backlash to his music – and a demand performance on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning Jesus is King album, it’s now cool to not only be Kenny G, but to be a fan of his as well.
Spawning the “smooth jazz” phenomenon, Kenny G provided music for people who weren’t into traditional jazz, pop or R&B. Somewhere in the middle, these people found something they were looking for and liked. Nay, loved. His 1992 release Breathless remains the best-selling instrumental album of all time. Certified Diamond and 12-times-Platinum, the album has sold over 10 million copies around the world. New Standards continues the musical path that has seen Kenny G reach unbelievable heights. It looks back to the classic ‘50s and ‘60s jazz ballads for inspiration, updating them with new studio technology.