Upholding the Standards of Smooth Jazz Purists

Ben Ratliff on Kenny G:

Curly-locked and slim-hipped, [Kenny G] made his customary entrance, playing and walking through the audience. As he approached a small stage in the front rows, he halted a slow ballad to hold a single note, by circular breathing, for several minutes, shaking hands with the audience along the way. In 1997 he set a Guinness world record for longest saxophone note — 45 minutes 47 seconds — so this bit is now a running joke. “Still going …” flashed the screen above the stage. “Still going …” He held the note with the same feathery authority that he plays everything, and the tremendously long note had no emotional or narrative connection to the song itself.