Smooth-sax king Kenny G had a string of successful releases under his belt dating back to the early ’80s. But 1992’s Breathless would put him on another planet of popularity, selling more than 15 million copies and becoming the best-selling instrumental album ever. Apart from the high-pitched soprano sax that’s long been his stock-in-trade, Kenny G also plays alto on “In the Rain” and tenor on “End of the Night,” “Even If My Heart Would Break,” and “A Year Ago,” presenting a fuller and warmer horn sound than was typical for him at the time. Woven into the densely produced synths and programming sheen are human touches from veteran session players like percussionist Paulinho da Costa and guitarist Dean Parks. Guest vocals by Peabo Bryson and Aaron Neville, tailor-made for pop radio with flickers of soul and gospel, made Breathless a shoo-in with his gargantuan, globe-spanning fan base.

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