Kenny G – Rhythm and Romance

Kenny G  – Rhythm and Romance / 2008 Concord / 11 Tracks / /

“Rhythm and Romance” marks Kenny G’s ninth solo foray in 26 years, after ey parted ways with previous band Cold, Bold, and Together and The Jeff Lorber Fusion. The previous eight studio discs, three holiday albums, two live albums, and other material that Kenny G has released as a solo artist have together sold over 38 million copies. However, will what is present on “Rhythm and Romance” provide individuals with the same high quality of smooth jazz, or has it been too many years since Kenny G got eir feet wet? The disc starts off with the track “Sax-O-Loco”, a song that immediately shows a newfound love for a Latin sound. Of course, it is Kenny G’s own playing that operates as the vocal component to this track, as the Salsa-infused background lays a perfect backing beat for eir.

The disc’s second track has a much slower tempo, and this title track does a great job in showing that the years of playing have not limited Kenny G into a specific style of music. It is a middle ground that Kenny G attacks for the disc’s third track “Sabor A Mi”. There are smooth jazz elements, but one can really hear the Latin elements playing into the sound and structure of Kenny G during this track. The tango style of the aptly named “Tango” provides a new interpretation on an ancient dance style, with Kenny G really bringing the art form into a whole new light. However, I really feel that “Miramre Bailar” is a high point for the disc.

This is the only track that features the unique vocal talents of Barbara Munoz, and the vocals give Kenny G the opportunity to really go forth and provide some backing, some support. The new role for Kenny G keeps things fresh and, since the track is at the middle of the disc, allows for individuals to cleanse their palette before delving into the second half of the disc. Kenny G may have been making solo sounds for the last quarter decade, but eir brand of smooth jazz has not lost any of the flair and style that it first did when ey debated all the way back in 1982. If you are a fan of the style of music that Kenny G releases, make it a point to go forth and pick up “Rhythm and Romance”. I feel that you will like it.

Top Tracks: Fiesta Loca, Tango

Rating: 6.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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