"Kenny G Live" is the first and so far only live album released from the popular saxophonist. Recorded during his successful 1989 tour, "Live" displays Kenny G at his peak riding on the success of his then-previous two studio records, "Duotones" and "Silhouette". While those albums contained some fine music, the live versions displayed on this CD are an entirely different story. Kenny G and his five-piece band stretch the music out into extended improvisations and show off some great musical chops. Mr. G himself performs some excellent virtuoso sax work on "Songbird" and "Silhouette" (which features Kenny holding an A-natural on his soprano sax for nearly 30-seconds in the intro). Kenny's bandmates also show off their versatility especially in Vail Johnson's bass solo in "Midnight Motion" and Robert Damper's extended keyboard solo in "Songbird". Besides having its mellow moments, "Live" also includes some downright funky highlights including the aforementioned "Midnight Motion" as well as "I've Been Missin' You" and "Tribecca" which shows off Kenny's fine playing on the tenor sax as opposed to his usual soprano. Renowned pop singer Michael Bolton makes a guest appearance with a soulful rendition of "Don't Make Me Wait For Love" (originally sung by Lenny Williams on "Duotones") with his gutsy vocals giving the song a harder edge.
Apart from the live material, the album is bookended by two additional studio tracks. Both "Going Home" and "Uncle Al" are in the typical Kenny G ballad style with light melodies and soaring soprano sax work.
While Kenny G has been an assasination target for many critics, there is no denying that "Kenny G Live" contains some brilliant music. It's quite possible that this could be Kenny's finest album as it shows off the full scope of his dynamic sax playing full of lyrical melodicism and passion. His studio albums offer only a glimpse of what he is capable of while this live disc offers the big picture.
In the end, this is definitely a classic in the key of G.