Listening to Kenny G (Music Box)

Kenny G. is the most popular, and mocked, instrumentalist of all time.

Kenny G. is both the kingpin of elevator jams and the punching bag of pop culture.

“South Park” and “SNL” mock him. But Kanye hires him to play cupid for Kim Kardsashian.

Personally, I don’t listen to his music.

But after watching this documentary on him, I’m in awe of what he does.

Trailer for “Listening to Kenny G”

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  • My Rating: 97/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 96/100 (Users); 97/100 (Critics)

Review of “Listening to Kenny G”

I loved Listening to Kenny G by Bill Simmons and the Music Box team at HBO (Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, Jagged, DMX: Don’t Try to Understand, Mr. Saturday Night).

Kenny G, the man, the myth, the sax legend, feels the sting of being underappreciated.

Imagine being invited to parties not for your sparkling personality, but for your sax skills.

“It’s 100% true,” Kenny confesses.

Despite his global fame, he muses, “I don’t know if I love music that much.” Yet, dedication isn’t lacking; he practices 2 hours daily.

Kenny shattered records by holding a note for an eye-watering 45 minutes and 46 seconds.

A testament to his breath control or sheer will? You decide. Grover Washington Jr. haunted his high school nights, shaping his smooth jazz dreams.

But jazz critic Will Layman cuts deep, likening Kenny’s music to “masturbation,” not “sex.”


His big break on the Johnny Carson Show wasn’t luck; it was audacity. Ditching a cover for his original “Songbird,” he caught Clive Davis’s eye, catapulting to stardom.

Kenny’s confidence shines, claiming excellence in everything he tries.

Not just in music, but on the golf course, he’s reputedly the best musician golfer.

Beyond music, Kenny’s an astute investor, hitting the jackpot as one of Starbucks’ first backers.

Songwriting for him starts with an earworm, seeking collaborators to bring it to life. College? Skipped music theory to hone his sax skills.

Kenny G’s “Going Home” resonates deeply in China, ending workdays nationwide.

Yet, its first live rendition saw the crowd exit mid-performance.

Ben Ratliff ponders if Kenny’s tunes enforce a “weapon of consent,” compelling compliance.

Chicago’s WNUA brands itself “Smooth Jazz,” with Kenny G leading the playlist.

But controversy isn’t far behind.

His virtual duet with Louis Armstrong’s hologram on “Wonderful World” enraged Pat Metheny, accusing Kenny of desecrating jazz legends’ graves.

Metheny doesn’t mince words, slamming Kenny’s music as possibly “the dumbest music” in human history.

A harsh critique for a man who simply loves his saxophone, invests wisely, and inadvertently became the soundtrack to countless lives worldwide.

Kenny G, an enigma wrapped in smooth jazz, polarizes yet persists, playing on in the hearts (and elevators) around the globe.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc