With global album sales in excess of 50 million copies, Grammy-Award winning saxophonist Kenny G is all set to break new ground. ‘An Evening Of Rhythm & Romance’, his first ever performance to be released in the Blu-ray format, is due out early next month when, simultaneously, it will also be available on DVD.
‘An Evening of Rhythm & Romance’ was filmed late in 2008 at the wonderfully atmospheric Humphreys By The Bay in San Diego when Kenny was in town as part of an extensive tour to promote his most recent studio album, ‘Rhythm & Romance’. Among the sixteen choice cuts are the Kenny G classics ‘Havana’ and ‘G-Bop’ while unsurprisingly there is also a place for his signature number ‘Songbird’. Cover versions of James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’, Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ and the Average White Band’s ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ complete the set in his inimitable, relaxed, and intimate style.
Growing up my parents listened to Kenny G occasionally, but he was always a source of jokes among my siblings. Between him and Yanni we ripped on the “easy listening” music to no end. As such whenever I think of either men all I can do is laugh, so getting into this concert was going to be a bit difficult in of itself. Still, there’s a reason Kenny G has so many fans—he’s a damn fine saxophonist and even as much as I want to mock his curly locks, I can definitely see the appeal of his music.
While I recognized none of his original composures (and if I did, it’d been about ten years since I would’ve heard whatever my parents listened to), I did pick up on the aforementioned Blunt and Armstrong covers, which were really well done. Not to mention the way the stage was set up and just the general reaction and enthusiasm of the crowd made this one rather entertaining concert.
07)Forever In Love
08)Rhythm and Romance
11)What a Wonderful World
12)Pick up the Pieces
Of course it’s still easy listening music so most of the noise you’ll hear will come from the crowd as even in its most hectic moments the music itself is relatively laid back. There’s still enough there to entertain, of course, and dialing up the volume still makes for a highly enjoyable experience. Seeing as I’m not familiar with his recent or past works all that much, however, I can’t really base this recent concert on any previous sounds. Still, for what it is, I did enjoy the concert moderately…but then I went back to listening to the new Alice in Chains CD, so, again, I’m not exactly the right audience for this concert. For the fans, however, this one’s Recommended.
Eagle Rock has released this concert in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with a double sided jacket. Inside the case are photos from the concert as well as a full six page fold out booklet that has information about Kenny G as well as this specific concert.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC transfer and, as can be expected from a late 2008 concert, looks spectacular. Fantastic crowd and stage details and wonderful lighting make this a visual delight to behold. Of course it falls prey to the usual issues with concert (repetitive angles and the like) but in terms of detail and visuals the 1080i picture here looks spectacular. Why they haven’t graduated to full 1080p transfers I don’t know…but hey, this still looks good.
Audio comes in three varieties (as usual): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DD5.1, and LPCM Stereo. As usual the DTS-HD wins out over the other two, although if you aren’t able to decode it then I would go for the LPCM over the DD5.1—the spread in the 5.1 mixes isn’t all that extensive but if your receive can handle matrixing out the LPCM track, you’ll get louder and very clean audio. But as far as king of the disc…the DTS-HD MA track wins hands down.
Introducing the Show (2:43, HD)
Interview (13:11, HD)
Earlier in the Morning Montage (5:40, HD)
Three Seasonal Tracks – “Deck the Halls/12 Days of Christmas,” “Dreaming of a White Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (12:23, HD),
Rehearsals of Two Christmas Songs – “Deck the Halls” (3:00, HD), “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (4:46, HD)
The interview is a nice look into the world of Kenny G and the seasonal tracks are nice too, if a bit early for this time of year. Also it should be noted that the rehearsals are exclusive to this Blu-ray release, as the DVD edition boasts only the interview and the three tracks.
Overall a solid concert with some nice bonus materials which should satisfy fans. Recommended.
Kenny G – An Evening Of Rhythm & Romance is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.