TIFF 21: ”I’m full of confidence and good reps of doing things that I think are great, and plus I like the way that I play,“ jazz icon says
“When I first read it I thought, I thought it was a joke. Oh, this has gotta be a joke. And then I had my manager talk to his manager, and they go, ‘No that was real.’ Wow! ‘Can I have his email address?’” he asked. “I wrote him something directly and said, ‘Hey man, why are you so angry? Do you want to get together for lunch and talk about it?’”
Lane was fascinated about making a movie about people who don’t like someone else’s art, and she guessed correctly that Kenny had a sense of humor and would not be “so sensitive” to talk about it.
“I thought that whole episode said a lot more about the people who flipped out than it did about Kenny or anything about his music,” Lane said about Metheny’s screed. “I thought it was really funny. Who would be so angry? It’s one thing to say I don’t like that song, I don’t think he should’ve done that but to write a 10,000-word rant?”
But “Listening to Kenny G” doesn’t just stop at Metheny’s criticism but looks at how fans and critics have lambasted his music for decades, even as he’s continued to sell millions of records. And even for how personal some of the attacks have gotten, Kenny is still playing.
“I’m full of confidence and good reps of doing things that are great, and plus I like the way that I play,” he said. “Unfortunately, most people in the world, our whole identity of ourselves are based on what other people think of us and most people are narcissists anyway. We all think about ourselves. So if you’re waiting for somebody else to give you your view of yourself and they’re telling you what they think of you, you’re doomed to be miserable. I know who I am, I know what I do.”
“Listening to Kenny G” is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and will air on HBO as part of the music documentary series “Music Box.” Watch the full interview above.
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