Kenny G Gets His Close-Up in HBO Documentary

Listening to Kenny G on HBO
(Image credit: HBO)

Listening to Kenny G, a film about the notorious saxophonist, premieres on HBO December 2. Penny Lane directs and Bill Simmons executive produces. 

The film “takes a humorous but incisive look at the saxophonist Kenny G, the best-selling instrumental artist of all time, and quite possibly one of the most famous living musicians,” said HBO. “Listening to Kenny G investigates the artist formerly known as Kenneth Gorelick, unravelling the allure of the man who played jazz so smoothly that a whole new genre formed around him, and questioning fundamental assumptions about art and excellence in the process. In his own words, Kenny G speaks candidly about his musical background, his stringent work ethic, and his controversial standing in the jazz canon.”

The film is part of Simmons’ Music Box series. Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, Alanis Morissette documentary Jagged and DMX: Don’t Try to Understand already aired. 

On December 9 is Mr. Saturday Night, about Robert Stigwood, impresario behind Saturday Night Fever, and Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss, about the rapper, is on December 16.

HBO promises a look at a complicated man in Listening to Kenny G. “Dismissed by the media and mocked by the jazz establishment, Kenny G nevertheless embraces his detractors. Aware of how he is often perceived, he nevertheless strives to perfect his craft and to continually move forward in a changing musical landscape.”  ■ 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.