First posted on Mark Is Moderately Grouchy:
My ears, my nerves, my heart…needed some soothing. It’d been a tough work week. Last night, in search of some musical salve, I stopped in at my local CD shop.
When I’m in this nervous and somewhat vulnerable a state, the task of picking just the right music becomes much tougher than usual. So as to avoid the stress of selecting a genre (or to at least put it off for a few minutes), I headed over to the miscellaneous bargain box situated to the left of the checkout. Man, there was some weird stuff in there. “Cheeses of Nazareth”? I dunno. Looked kinda wild to me.
Not being much of a jazz fan (I do like that Yanny though), I eyed the few jazz CDs in the bin with suspicion. Most of ‘em had edgy-lookin’ ‘modern’ cover art. Plus, I’d never even heard of any of the players (‘mystery’ musicians make me nervous.) But then I noticed a CD by this guy named Kenny G. Quite the pleasant looking fella, I figured he wasn’t one of them irritating, squonky-type people. OK, I rolled the dice. Classics In The Key of G went into my bag…just in time to head home to watch the latest episode of Trump (or whatever it’s called.)
Well, well…it turns out that I made an excellent choice. All those nice & smooth interpretations of jazz and popular songs. Just what the doctor ordered for my frayed nerves. I particularly enjoyed Mr. G’s “duet” with Louis Armstrong. “What A Wonderful World” is so moving when they play it at wedding receptions. Good thing I didn’t get all teary-eyed on the drive home from the store!
I was so impressed with my new musical treasure that, after the drive in to work this morning, I decided to expand my (minimal) jazz knowledge and do some web searching on this Mr. Kenny G. Whoa! There were an awful mess of links to go through. Pretty thought-provoking stuff.
I suppose people are entitled to their likes and dislikes, but a few of the sites I visited were just plain rude. One in particular had some very harsh words for Mr. G. What really took me by surprise was that this person had a problem, a big problem, with Mr. G’s rendition of “What A Wonderful World.” I don’t get it. What’s not to like? Just listen to this:
- …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…
Greatest jazz musician? This song plus “Hello Dolly” and he’s the ‘greatest’?. And noodling, fucked-up playing? That seems uncalled for. He’s wasn’t done though:
- 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.
It turns out that these harsh words came from some guy named Pat Metheny. Never heard of him. If I met him though, I’d like to ask: was the potty mouth really that necessary?
I did some more Googling and found out that Mr. Metheny is one of them ‘modern jazz’ people. I’m not too internet savvy so I got one of my kids to download a Pat Metheny tune for me. The one I listened to was called “Untidy Habits” from a CD called The Sign 4. Whoa!! Mr. Metheny gave Mr. G all of that grief when his own music is this bad?! It sounds like the chipper room at the pulp mill that my high school buddy Tyler used to work at.
Some people have a lot of nerve!
But really, I should have expected this. I found some pictures of Mr. Metheny on the internet and he looks like quite the out-there character. I mean…look at the hair! At least Mr. G. keeps his hairdo all nice and combed and respectable-looking. Mr. Metheny looks like he washes his with whatever bar of soap he finds in his hotel bathroom. Untidy Habits indeed!
I suppose I shouldn’t be making fun of Mr. Metheny’s hair. That’s lowering myself do to his level, what with all of that unseemly cussing and stuff.
I’ll just be happy with my shiny new copy of Classics In The Key of G.
It is a wonderful world. Some people are just too nasty to appreciate it.