That’s not necessarily a revelation, but more like a huge understatement, and it really comes into focus at this point in Kenny’s amazing career. This is a musician who has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, owns the best-selling instrumental record of all time with 1992’s 12-times-platinum Breathless, has the number one Christmas record of all time with 1994’s 8- times platinum Miracles, and whose song “Going Home” has, improbably, become the official end-of-work-day anthem in China. At the heart of those achievements is Kenny’s ability to convey deep emotional resonance with his saxophone, a skill never more apparent than on Innocence, his 20th studio album and fifth for Concord Records.

The 12-track project’s theme is lullabies, which have existed for thousands of years not only as a means of soothing babies to sleep but also to impart cultural and familial traditions. “Lullabies are very special to me,” says Kenny, who has been mulling an album with this musical focus for several years and even mentioned the idea in passing in Penny Lane’s acclaimed 2021 HBO documentary on him, Listening to Kenny G. “They hold a special place in my heart. It’s the melodies. They are beautiful and timeless and whenever I hear them, wonderful memories start rushing back to me.”

For the last several years, Kenny has taken to the internet with gusto, as new generations of listeners have discovered his music and contemporary hitmakers such as The Weeknd and Jon Batiste have enlisted him for guest appearances on their albums. His posts have become memes and gone viral, as he continues to have fun with the whole idea of being his iconic self. And while the material from Innocence may not make much sense as part of Kenny’s live show (“unless I’m playing at a nursery school or a private gig at somebody’s house” he jokes), it’s most definitely not just an album for kids. “You can put it on when you want to get into a peaceful frame of mind,” he offers. “Some people will hear the new tracks without thinking about them as lullabies and say they just sound like my original music, and that’s great too. Also, young parents can enjoy this album. It might help them finally get some sleep.”

Series Sponsors