December 24, 2007

Starbucks To Release Kenny G's New CD

kennyg_2006.jpgKenny G is joining Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell as the latest artist to have their music for sale at Starbucks. Kenny’s Rhythm & Romance will be offered at Starbucks stores and traditional outlets as part of the fruitful partnership between Starbucks Entertainment and Concord Records.

In November, Kenny and his longtime record label Arista parted ways after the saxophonist’s I’m in the Mood for Love … The Most Romantic Ballads of All Time. The saxophonist's association with Starbucks makes sense. Kenny is a Seattle native who was one of the original investors in the Seattle-based company and is actually a co-owner. A few years ago, Starbucks sponsored Kenny’s tour in the Far East, where the saxophonist helped promote coffee sales.

Kenny says he invested in Starbucks when it just a small company in Seattle, largely due to the charm of then-CEO Howard Schultz. "When it was a privately owned in Seattle, it was owned by just a handful of people that knew about Starbucks," Kenny says. "Everybody knew that Starbucks had really great coffee, and the CEO at that time, he’s such a charismatic guy and so passionate. That's why I invested in the company. I felt that he had a great product. This was a guy that I felt was a winner."

On Rhythm & Romance, Kenny is backed by his longtime pianist Walter Afanasieff, who also produced the CD, as well as Alex Acuña on drums, Ramon Stagnaro on guitar, Enrique Martinez on accordion, John Pena and Nathan East of Fourplay on bass, and Michito Sanchez and Paulino Da Costa on percussion. Chile's Barbara Munoz and Camila supply guest vocals. Songs includes classic selections such as “Besame Mucho” and “Sabor a Mi,” as well as “Brasilia,” “Peruvian Nights,” “Fiesta Loca” and "Salsa Kenny.”

Rhythm and Romance will be available at Starbucks and at retail stores and online on Feb. 5.

Posted by Brian Soergel at December 24, 2007 10:40 PM