“[West] reached out to me and wanted me to come and do that,” the saxophonist said of the intimate Valentine’s Day performance, in which he surprised Kardashian by playing in their home surrounded by roses. “I didn’t know him real well, but I was obviously flattered. He could not have been more welcoming.”
Since then, Kenny G has joined West in the studio, although he wouldn’t confirm if the collaboration would appear on West’s newly-announced ninth LP, Jesus Is King. “I can’t really say much else because he doesn’t really want anyone to talk about music before he releases it,” he said. “Just suffice to say that we’re collaborating on some things, and nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
Kenny G first raised the possibility of working with West as he warmed up for his Valentine’s Day performance. “Well, when he walked in, I was playing my sax, so I figured I would just play to him,” he told Rolling Stone hours after the special gig. “So I started playing some really sweet blues riffs and soulful riffs and a couple of jazz riffs, and I could see he thought it was really good. I said something like, ‘This kind of sound would be really great with some of your music.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, maybe we can go to the studio and check it out.'”
West recently brought his Sunday Service to Chicago, where he recruited Chance the Rapper to join the choir for “Ultralight Beam,” the duo’s collaboration from Life of Pablo. Jesus Is King will be released on September 27th.
Kenny G is currently working on a new album called New Standards, a follow-up to 2015’s Brazilian Nights. He’s also on a North American fall tour, which includes a five-night stint at Blue Note Napa from December 27th through New Year’s Eve.