Listening to Kenny G, All-Time Best-Selling Instrumentalist

Listening to Kenny G, All-Time Best-Selling Instrumentalist

Kenny G is the best-selling instrumentalist of all time, but why does he elicit such heartfelt, negative criticism from some listeners?

Penny Lane’s new HBO documentary Listening to Kenny G shows the world-famous saxophonist speaking candidly about his musical background, his stringent work ethic, and his controversial standing in the jazz world.

Penny joins us to discuss the making of the film and how she gained access to such a high-profile music star. She also reveals her original impressions of Kenny G and his music, but shares what it was like getting to know the real artist behind the music while shooting this documentary. 

“I would never have thought who Kenny G is, why he makes this music, it just never crossed my mind that behind that music was an artist.” – Penny Lane

Time Stamps:

00:00 – The trailer for Listening to Kenny G.
03:05 – What the film is about. 
05:17 – How Penny feels about Kenny’s music.
07:09 – Why some people dislike his music so strongly.
09:31 – Why Penny thought now was a good time to make a documentary about this musician.
11:27 – Common misconceptions people have about Kenny G.
13:10 – Why fitting into a specific genre isn’t as important as it used to be.
16:24 – How the idea for the film started.
18:37 – How Penny gained access to Kenny G.
20:25 – The amount of time Penny spent shooting with him.
21:15 – Penny’s impression of Kenny after spending so much time with him.
23:22 – How Penny’s conception of the documentary evolved over time.
29:45 – The next project Penny is working on about altruistic kidney donations.


Listening to Kenny G (2021)
MovieMaker Magazine
Innersound Audio
Alamo Pictures

Connect with Penny Lane:

Connect with Factual America:

Connect with Matthew Sherwood:

More From Factual America:
Under the Volcano: The Secret Birthplace of the 80’s Greatest Hits
Marry J Blige: The Unheard Story of the Album ‘My Life’
Moby Doc: A Life in Reprise
Miles Davis: The Coolest Innovator of the 20th Century

More from this show


Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know the news.

Episode 80