KENNY MILLIONS (a.k.a. Keshavan Maslak; DJ Fucked UP) - born in Detroit, Michigan...began playing music at 5...professionally performing at 12...went to 3 universities...on the road at 18...many tours around the world...worked with everybody...recorded 70+ LP's & CD's of originals.
RECENT ACTIVITY -
K.M. now enjoys a resurgence of his solo career with the incorporation of the hum ha guitar joined in performance with noise things and abuse-rap. A mini guitar is altered using cheap electronic instruments such as a radio/CD player and on-board DJ effects box during which, in a performance, verbal insults directed at the audience occur. The provocative and offensive music he now creates is exclusively performed in a solo context since he attempts to reinvent the physics of music in a psychological and philosophical performance art setting this result can only be achieved in a soloist format as the concept has become a totally subjective experience for both K.M. and his perversely entertained audience he believes that genre classification is negative insofar as it assumes a single ground by which both artist and audience might began to derive meaning from nothing for poetry to exist K.M. strives to transcend the limitations of genre, group participation and other B.S.
"Your "thing" should have you shot. Worst display of a waste of breathe I have ever seen." - facebook fan
"Avant genius Kenny Millions can teach us plenty...K. M. regularly gets dumped into some weird jazz bin because he "plays" a saxophone during performances. He also "plays" the guitar, which has a bunch of gadgets and one of those radios you use in the shower glued to it. The scare quotes are there as a reminder that Millions' approach to performance -- including his verbal assaults on the audience -- are all about re-wiring the assumptions we have about attending a concert. And if that translates to an eyes-open approach to our daily lives, all the better." City Pages Magazine
"Foul-mouthed instigator Kenny Millions couldn't give a hootenanny of fisty flying fucks if you're into his version of shit and/or jazz and/or noise and/or art and/or life. He is 5,000 years old. He's recorded more than 60 albums. His sound comes from the ether seconds before creation. He is an angel and devil, mother and whore rolled into one balding, ageless monk of aural chaos. Is that a fucking guitar in his hands? No. It is a phallus of destruction in the biblical sense of being smote." New Times Magazine
"In perfect response to his environment, Millions gives to the audience all the substitutes that they rejected him for. Having refused all subtleties, all nuance, all intelligence, Millions offers noise for music, insults for respect, goggles for a face, a deflating rubber sex doll for love and pornography for art. It is, of course, all theater, and it’s perfect. The audience loves it; it is Loved by Millions." Steve Malagodi - WLRN Radio
"...a scalding-hot dust storm of squalling, screeching-cat saxophone; muddy, grumbling guitar; and Tourette's-like barrages of vulgar exclamations directed at no one and everyone." New Times Magazine
"Kenny Millions Will End Your Shit. Kenny Millions owns a top-rated restaurant. Do you own a top-rated restaurant? I didn’t think so, you shiftless twat. Kenny Millions is also the most brilliantly scatological jazz multi-instrumentalist you’ll ever have the good graces of hearing. Born and raised on the mean streets of Detroit Rock City (that’s three cliches in one phrase) Millions has developed a satirical, abrasive and completely exhilarating style of sax squonks, vocal screams and guitar noise performance art. While he does mostly solo performance stuff now, he’s had one of the most insanely diverse and prolific careers of any musician I can think of. Here’s a short list of the awesomeness he has played with, copy and pasted directly from his Wikipedia page: Paul Bley, Sam Rivers, Han Bennink, James Jamerson, Peter Brötzmann, Rhys Chatham, Laurie Anderson, Rat Bastard, Mick Taylor, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Otomo Yoshihide, Dr. goddamn John, Frank fucking Wright, and Rashaan cunting Roland Kirk. And those are just the people I recognize. Why have these touchstones of culture all chosen to work with this ethnically (but not religiously) Detroit shit-disturber? Well, the short answer is: he’s really fucking skilled and really fucking hilarious. The long answer is shorter than the short answer. Check out his videos, you precious little shits." Hood Vibrations
"Kenny Millions was freaking out squares, bumming out norms, and inciting audiences to pelt him with garbage before you were even born. Calling all tattooed candy-asses: Maybe Daddy will let you borrow the car for a few hours so you can learn how it's done." Roofless Records
"Lunacy mixed with supreme musical mastery." BobWeinberg.com
"Kenny Millions, stalked the stage a bit later. Right after a young artist drew an enormous penis on the wall in chalk, the ski-goggle-wearing Millions proved to be his usual pissed off self, and alternated between David Carradine-esque zen poses, kicking his instruments around and telling the audience to "eat shit." After smacking his custom guitar with a towel, he picked up a saxophone and honked it like a tortured goose. All the while, a piercing strobe light cut through the dark main room." New Times Magazine
"...who absolutely shredded his instruments while berating the entire audience." Bloodlust
"a solo show (clar/as/g/screams) in scuba goggles doesn't describe the unique insanity." New York City Jazz Record
"whose biography reads like the outline for the great twentieth-century American picaresque novel... At his best, Kenny not only ties together the disparate threads of his life so far, but in his happy mingling of old traditions and new beginnings, of man and machine, of families and friends, of black and white, of rock and funk and new music and jazz, he unites the conflicting shrieks and whispers of American music and American life into one joyous roar, one barbaric yawp". The Village Voice
"Millions ranged the space with anarchic glee, laying down lines of guitar noise to solo over, losing his pants, blasting sax and clarinet solos while flipping someone in the audience the bird, high kicking unexpectedly. Yes." Impose magazine
"Kenny Millions destroyed all ”physics of music” within noise sax skronk and jazz punk improv. Looping disaster guitar riffage and then blasting sax on top with a gusto most people half his age can't even seem to find for whatever reason. A one man tonal roller coaster ending on dimensional train X while he cursed, threw kicks and punched into the air to “help release tension” he later said. This was the soundtrack to the David Lynch remake of Repo Man for real or the alternate universe where Hunter Thompson was a experimental musician. Not of this world ever!" Owlbeemoth.wordpress.com
"prolific lunatic." Deep Cutz
"An offensive and abrasive spectacle..." Rolling Stone Magazine
"sounds like shit chopped up" Keshavan Maslak
"Burning guitar improvisations, loops and distortion, sax skronk, an ululating clarinet, general insanity and a Las Vegas ending." fan
"Poker-faced and rocking on his heels, Millions laid down a wall of electronic distortion, which he looped on a sampler and over which he then blew sax and clarinet. The sound was simply HUGE, as Millions reveled in the sonics he pulled from the guitar, activating various distortion pedals and creating industrial-grade grunge with a whammy bar. Always an intuitive and feel-motivated performer, Millions was obviously feeling the guitar...Of course, the horns did come into play, as Millions blew with tremendous force and utilized techniques he had honed playing alongside heavy avant-garde jazz cats such as Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sam Rivers. But also ingrained in his sensibility are the examples of the great blues and R&B honkers he had seen and heard growing up in Detroit, the ones who put a premium on keeping audiences entertained. And certainly, Millions did just that, as he dropped to his knees, mumbled obscenities into his mouthpiece, rhythmically beat the guitar slung at his side, spat water onto the concrete floor in front of the stage and ultimately collapsed into a catatonic heap on the lip of the stage, his eyes glassy, his guitar buzzing.....some of the most exciting and vital musical performance art you're likely to hear." Jazziz Magazine
"He writhes on the floor like a cockroach playing the sax." fan
"I'm torn between the mini-guitar and the sax. Both were obliteratingly awesome." fan
"At one point Millions played a tiny guitar, hooked up to sound like crashing cymbals. After he put the instrument down, he continued to torture it, even shooting rubber bands at the strings to produce still more sounds. In the often deadly serious milieu of jazz, it's refreshing to hear a player whose wit surpasses his ego...an Absurdist, a Dadaist, a Beatnik, sure. But most of all a punk. And even though that voice can be somewhat schizophrenic, lovely and passionate, then discordant and mocking, it's ultimately the voice of a creative soul. And that creative soul is having a helluva good time." New Times Magazine
"Kenny Millions believes that modern jazz must have a sense of humor. His outsider status in the avant community (probably self-imposed) comes from his utter lack of musical sobriety. His music, like that of Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, and Willem Breuker relies heavily on entertaining smiles and surprise, a concept not foreign to jazz. Louis Armstrong was known go into an alternative character and tell jokes during a show, as did Dizzy Gillespie who was possessed with a lifetime of physical comedy on stage. But like all things in this puritanical American society jazz began to suffer from the serious art form syndrome, and it's serious young men rejected Satchmo in favor of higher art." All About Jazz
"There's no doubt that Millions can play his ass off. He is a badass saxophonist with a wicked sense of humor". All Music Guide
"This saxophonist, who's more R & B terrorist than avant-garde extremist, blows hot enough to peel paint." Tower Records.com
"Maslak hates predictability, so he always hopes that a live performance won't reflect any of his album work. His solo playing throws diverse raw materials into an exhaustively linear chewing-over process, his logical lines uncoiling like a giant's intestine, his atonal practices filtered through a wailing blues haze". Birmingham Post (England)
"Kenny is Loved By Millions". Miami Herald
"His music is creative terrorism, with an eclectic style that charms the metropolis". Swing Journal (Japan)
"I have never talked to someone quite as outspoken as Kenny Millions, once known as Keshavan Maslak. Whatever he is Millions is two things, honest and one hell of a saxophone player. He plays other instruments too, but they are of little interest to me. His resume is impressive, including Paul Bley, Charles Moffett, Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink, easily proving my point. He is about as anti-establishment as possible and that just wins him over more in my book. He does it all on his own, own label, own club, own website, own way. I like". www.jazzweekly.com
"Millions' penchants for sound generation are almost beyond parallel. You might say this is one of free jazz's best possible directions today. It ís not overhyper or madly caterwauling. It shows enormous thoughtfulness for the partnership at hand. Millions' clarinet is as serene as his tenor sax is blunt and blustery. Take this in fearlessly." Victory Review
"An eccentric, avant-gardish saxophonist who undertakes to actually entertain rather than alienate". All Music Guide
"Kenny Millions has that twisted sense of humor..." Downtown Music Gallery
"Kenny, you are one of the kind. Most of the "free" music bores me but yours don't. It's because you don't fake, you don't pretend and do shit on people's head". Yoko Noge, Nikkei Shinbun News
"Like his music, Kenny Millions is sunny without being sun-baked, open minded without being empty headed".
Perfect Sound Forever Magazine
"Maybe one day this massive talent will give audiences in his own back yard a little taste". Miami New Times Magazine
"...an inspirational foil to Maslak's sometimes touching, sometimes bombastic forays...It's the kind of kaleidoscopic music that subtly shifts on each hearing...musical Americana meets Lenny Bruce?" Downbeat Magazine
"Maslak has the spirit of the avant-garde dadaist...brilliant and hilarious". Orkhestra International (France)
"Maslak is not beyond wacky histrionics to augment the music. This year he alternately 'sang in tongues' and donned a blue pillowcase over his head, while playing a miniature electric guitar, for that special hypnagogic-avant garde effect". Orlando Reporter
"He's pulling out lounge and noir jazz clichs and turning them into soulful expressions of sax savvy. His tone is rich and full on the alto; his scalar knowledge is such that he could play "Cherokee" in all 12 keys; and the cat's arpeggios are in the pocket, tight and soaring." All Music Guide
"Sometimes Kenny played the role of a rock star and shouted in the microphone, also he made gymnastic exercises with his guitar and hit it with a towel". Prospect Mira (Russia)
"...determinedly idiosyncratic..." The Times of London
"Keshavan doesn't seem to worry about the ponderous intellectual issues of Art, he's having a great time mixing it all together..." Jazz Forum (Poland)
"Maslak is a master of the saxophone". Jazz Now Magazine (Holland)
"Maslak was a revelation". Jazz Journal International (England)
"Back in January, the Birmingham Jazz AGM was followed by the year's strangest gig, a solo performance from Keshavan Maslak. Also known as the enigmatic Kenny Millions, he's a saxophonist, a drummer (usually at the same time) and all-round silver lurex jacketed provocateur. Millions held the audience captive to his showdown approach, barging from free jazz squeals to R&B honks, adding a welcome dose of bitter, bilious humour, forcing avant garde medicine down the throat of a tuxedo-ed restaurant entertainer". Martin Longley (England)
"Keshavan whose tone as so intense it could make one's bridgework ache sympathetically...he underlined the pain and terror those r&b tenors testified to in the middle of their strutting...for Keshavan is attempting a synthesis as dangerous and as perversely thrilling as American immigration itself". Village Voice
"Music as fervent and lyrical and fiercely comic as Maslak figures to go on making in one context or another come thick or thin is enough to make hope spring eternal in even the most disillusioned of hearts". In The Moment (the book by Francis Davis)
"A talented but slightly enigmatic figure". Penguin Guide to Jazz
"I was slicing, dicing and killing before all that candyass "Downtown" bullshit existed."
"cynical, uninspired and don't give a fuck audiences are the best teachers...I can feed the poor cities now because I already paid my dues in NYC & Europe...but one day if you're really fucking serious you will have to face the monster...as Roland Kirk once told me to my face in '69 after playing with him -"go get your ass kicked in New York"...and I did."
"shit you haven't seen nothin' yet my man...society is gettin' more retarded every day...wait till you've been around as long as I have...I've seen the world turn upside down...either you slash your wrists now or you keep blowing and don't forget to tell them to go fuck themselves as much as possible...most motherfuckers give up and become pussies when they get older...don't let that happen to you...being pissed off is a good thing but stay healthy...remember the longer you keep doing what you're doing the more you win and the THEY lose."
"what's a gig...don't call me and I'll call you...the check won't be in the mail...welcome to the jazz age."
"I've been "the bad guy" longer than most of the spineless musicians and suckass critics have been alive."
"good reviews bad reviews don't mean shit to me and waste my time".
"I remember old cats carrying guns to their gigs so no one would fuck with them. I miss those days in that the musicians would take no shit. Everyone got paid or else. Now that's all changed and 98% of the musicians are spoiled wimps and the lucky few that get paid are arrogant egomaniacs. If musicians still had balls then their would be no door gigs."
"it's different NOW and today's musicians are different AS they should be...jazz is DEAD since that generation of jazz cats are dying off...no one can imitate the past and even though I was there at that time in that scene I don't want to waste my time playing that old bullshit...it's gone... NEW SHIT is here."
"I've played everything for shit stalls to concert halls to yuppie wannabe candy-ass joints."
"I don't have any gigs for you and neither does anyone else. Make your own joint and give yourself a gig."
"the bend-over boys always need the critics to "get-over."
"Destiny is what happens when you really think about shit long enough - the shit that you are thinking always comes back to you. My life story..."
"...is so typical of most of the "middle men" in the music world, and his arrogance, like other "experts", is one of the reasons why there is no longer a respectable music business. At first the middle men kiss up to the innovative artists who can help them make a reputation. After they get some success then they become arrogant with their little power trips and start to think that only they know what good music is by asserting their shallow opinions on the promoters, agents and festivals. Since their heads are all the way up their asses, now they have all these little wannabe musicians sucking up to them, which makes them more self-righteous and self-important. Thankfully I saw the picture years ago and had the common sense to tell all the middle men to go fuck themselves. For the last 20 years I have had a successful restaurant business which gives me the financial freedom to create my music totally on my own terms. I don't kiss ass, play the game, hang out, etc. I am completely free to express myself, when I want and wherever I want."
"Music is really not any more important than bug shit...it's only a self proclaimed hype. The point is that we're all supposed to have a good time playing it and than the audience will also have a good time. That's the problem - musicians have become too fucking mental about performing and the result is that the people don't want to come to the gigs."
"I actually grew up listening to Lawrence Welk and enjoyed playing his songs AND THEN, I discovered, after too much LSD, that Adolphe Sax's invention sounded better being played through one's ANAL cavity after consuming a large plate of broccoli and raw onions."
"I hate jazz nazis and jazz nazis hate me."
"that's the real shit - fucking DETROIT motherfucker...not wimpy candy-ass New York with all the beautiful people walking around calling themselves great artists - only in their bung-holes. D-troit has always been hardcore...modern art masterpiece is what it is - right on."
"Life is too short to worry about what style of music I will play"
question: "What kind of music will people listen to in a hundred years?"
answer: "The music that appeals to people's emotions. The music that will endure will have melodic and emotional content. In the end, people want to hear a good melody. They want to feel the music. It's not just a head trip. I don't care what some musicians do on stage, how much they want to freak out. Put it this way: when you go back into human history, into early civilization, what was music about? Simple melody, simple rhythm, simple harmony. Those are the things that endure, not the intellectual, cerebral, mental masturbations."
"Play music with a positive spirit and people will respond to you in a like manner. The performance of music should be a spiritual experience and not some hype-ego-career-hustle. The style of music in which one chooses to express oneself does not guarantee a spiritual experience. Any style of music can be a sincere statement coming from the heart. Jazz and all of it's derivatives does not have exclusive rights for the enlightenment of the soul, but jazz can be freedom for the soul."
"At some point in our lives we all are pushed down with our faces in the mud so that eventually we will have something to say that no one can take away."
"entertainment is not evil.
to call oneself an entertainer is not wrong.
entertainers are much needed in an increasing volatile world.
the reality of any mature successful performer (including all forms of jazz performers) is to call oneself an entertainer.
free yourself and transcend the self-imposed prison of titles and word games.
art is self-sufficient and has no need of politics and religion.
art works best alone.
"I left the girl there," said the Zen master Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
"Great music will always survive and record companies will die away."
"The more notes you play the less you will get paid."
typical, but I was determined to express my one and only self. I
didn't copy anybody. One has to find oneself privately. It
hasn't been easy but it has been extremely interesting. I find
great joy in knowing that I choose to live my life not as a