[JPL] RE: Kenny G on KKJZ w/content

onthebeach at aol.com onthebeach at aol.com
Sun Apr 3 17:42:47 EDT 2011


Kenny G has always acknowledged Grover Washington Jr as a major influence.  i think he wanted to be Grover. irrespective of how one feels about him, 
one of the reasons Kenny G has enjoyed such success is:


1) as jae pointed out, his structure is simple and easy enough for the masses;  and those long notes are real crowd-pleasers
2) he's consciously trying to reach people; 
3) he had strong management, (dennis turner, former co-manager of george benson, among others)who worked really hard to lift him up to a point where his record label had to really kick in
4) in Arista he had Don Ienner & Clive Davis get behind him, after management raised him up ( a series of TV appearances )


His first couple of albums were 80% vocal, 20% instrumental.  Arista was a Word of Mouth Marketing client, and i compiled a 4 song instrumental EP that started Kenny's rise among contemporary jazz shows (this was before the Smooth Jazz format formally existed).  Dennis Turner did a great job tenaciously booking Kenny onto TV, with sales spikes following every appearance.  Once Donny Ienner
(as good a promotion man as there is) was on board, the rest as they say, was history.


Think Ferrante & Teicher (dont know who they are? Google them to discover a little about pop instrumental history).  I believe Kenny always has thought of himself as a pop or RnB artist.


As for KKJZ?  Lawrence Tanter ( the "mind behind" Los Angeles' legendary KJLH (kindness, joy, love and happiness) was the co-creator (along with a Washington, DC programmer) of the very successful "Quiet Storm" Urban format.  Quiet Storm was a Godsend to contemporary jazz artists and did a lot to elevate the likes of Benson, Jarreau, Franks, Metheny, Crusaders, Grover et al.
It was also a precursor to the Smooth Jazz format.  In its later years, the Smooth Jazz format increasingly took on elements that made it sound more like a "whitewashed" version of the vintage Quiet Storm format.  Lawrence, "LT" to his buds is one of the most musical, passionate, knowledgeable programmers of the past 50 years.


Starting in 1978 , i began to solicit contemporary jazz artists to mainstream jazz radio.  I suggested there was a new, young audience they could garner and attract by incorporating this style into their mix.  Many stations embraced it, and many others did not.  In the markets where it wasnt embraced, openings were created for Quiet Storm stations.  They leveraged Grover, Crusaders, Ronnie Laws
Benson, Jarreau and many others...and then they OWNED them.


Today's programmers would benefit greatly from keeping a watchful eye on LT's moves.  KJLH was an amazing radio station, and LT has programmed others (including an Urban outlet in LA that gave The Wave its only serious competition).  Had Mr. Tanner ever had the benefit previously of a GREAT signal, his influence would be substantially greater.


And for you sports fans, LT is and has been the in-house "Voice of the Lakers" doing live play-by-play for all Lakers games for 20+ years.  [Yes, ive always been envious!]  Speaking of which,
We're working on another 3Peat hoops fans! Gooo LAAAAAAAKKKERS!


ricky schultz
jazzconsultant.com
"how can we help you?"





-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Mallison <tomthejazzman at embarqmail.com>
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Sent: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 11:38 am
Subject: Re: [JPL] RE: Kenny G on KKJZ w/content


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I agree with Jae.  One thing to play and different to program. 
In the past such programs have utilized celebrity names like Ramsey Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Bony James and David Sanborn to mention a few.  Most of these programs were where the artist came in or sent in voice tracks to match up with music they selected or a producer selected for them.  These were not really a host sitting in the studio and flipping disks or albums.  I always felt Dave Samuels when subbing for Sanborn did the best selection and commentary on the music he played.  Gary Burton on Sirius was also a good program with good music being selected and played.  He even did that while traveling on the road thanks to the latest technology. 
 
This type of brief time sensitive programming of several hours may be the answer where Smooth Jazz has not sustained itself as a full time format.  LA certainly is a good market to host such a program and Kenny certainly has the name recognition. 
 
I hope it brings in good listenership who in turn want to hear more mainstream Jazz. 
ALOHA 
Tom 
 
On 3/31/2011 2:05 PM, Jae Sinnett wrote: 
> **** Follow us at twitter.com/jazzweek **** 
> 
> 
> KKJZ's problem? I wouldn't exactly call that a problem. It's a shrewed business 
> decision IMO. I'm quite sure their audience numbers will spike during... which 
> is the point I guess. 
> 
> 
> Freddie...as for the music...I think it's all in understanding how rhythm, 
> melody and harmony reach listeners. Kenny obviously has figured that out. It's 
> about simplicity really. Usually dealing with major keys, particular note 
> choices and some simply constructed melodic motif that the average 5th grader 
> can hum. Seriously. Make it pretty with LONG notes and keep the rhythm straight 
> as possible with some level of soulful feel in the groove. This is playing to 
> what the masses can relate too. Most jazz players don't play this way. They're 
> thinking of the music first then how it relates to people. Kenny is thinking of 
> the people first then the music. Again my opinion. Some things I find 
> interesting are when Kenny started playing this way...only Grover Washington Jr. 
> came close in terms of resembling the concept...actually he started it... but 
> there was a little more beef in what he was doing. His sound too wasn't as 
> compressed and produced but similar in development. I think Grover really 
> started or at least took this style to a larger audience. The other thing is 
> that today there are many that play within this style but can't get anywhere 
> near the success Kenny has and I think it's because the sound isn't new anymore. 
> Grover and Kenny came along at the right time for that style. With commercial 
> radio now as artistically limited as it is...I think the days of the 
> instrumental "hit" are over. Even for Kenny G.  > 
> Jae Sinnett 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message ---- 
> From: Merrill Lipton<merrillfla at aol.com> 
> To: "jazzproglist at jazzweek.com"<jazzproglist at jazzweek.com> 
> Sent: Thu, March 31, 2011 1:20:48 PM 
> Subject: Re: [JPL] RE: Kenny G on KKJZ w/content 
> 
> **** Follow us at twitter.com/jazzweek **** 
> 
> 
> Who care's? It's KKJZ's problem.I'm glad I won't have to listen. 
> 
> "Melodious" Mel Lipton 
> WDNA Jazz Host on 
> Jazz Party in Miami 
> 4PM to 8PM ET Saturday 
> www.wdna.org 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone 
> 
> On Mar 31, 2011, at 12:47 PM, Arturo Gomez<arturo at kuvo.org>  wrote: 
> 
>> **** Follow us at twitter.com/jazzweek **** 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> This is a great move for KKJZ, this will draw a large audience on a habitually 
>> low audience day and time slot, Sunday evenings. Keep in mind that the stations 
>> broadcasts to "Tinsel Town-Hollywierd" and Metro LA so this fits well. Former 
>> 1960s Laker stand out and long time TV/radio sportcaster, Tommy Hawkins also is 
>> heard on KKJZ. 
>> 
>> My only curiosity is will there be fundraisingr done during Gorelick's show the 
>> next time they go to a membership drive. 
>> 
>> 
>> Arturo Gómez 
>> Music Director 
>> The Oasis In The City, The Front Range and the High Country! 
>> jazz89KUVO 89.3FM DENVER, 89.7FM BRECKENRIDGE, KVJZ 88.5FM VAIL 
>> Colorado's First HD FM Radio Station 
>> Celebrating 16 Years of Live Performances! 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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