Those unfamiliar with Kenny G's early work will be surprised to hear this one. It's an R&B song with vocals and a groove.
Kenny G got the attention of Arista Records when he was part of a jazz band led by Jeff Lorber. Signed to a solo deal, his first album was released in 1982 and didn't contain any singles. Very much a jazz album, it sold about 30,000 copies - enough to keep him on the label, but with some tweaks. For his second album, G Force, Arista teamed him with the R&B hitmaker Kashif, known for his work with Evelyn King. Kashif had him record "Hi, How Ya Doin'?," written by Steve Horton, who also had R&B bona fides, having worked with Don Blackman and the Fatback Band. Released as Kenny G's first single, it went to #23 on the R&B chart and made #70 on the UK singles chart.
But Kenny G didn't have all that much to do with the song. He played the synthesizer and breaks off a signature sax solo, but most of it is carried by session musicians. It took a few more years, but he eventually found his niche with self-written instrumentals where he plays saxophone all the way through.
Barry Johnson, better known as a bass player, sang the lead vocals on this track.
The song is about a pickup, with the singer spotting a lovely lady and making his move. The title is his pickup line: "Hi, how ya doin'?" Not very original, but effective when said with confidence and conviction.
"Hi, How Ya Doin'?" was Kenny G's first video. He plays an incompetent waiter who lamely tries to pick up a customer. He fails, but when he shows up with his saxophone and blows some riffs, she falls for him hard.
Kenny G even does some breakdancing in the video, attempting a Moonwalk, the Worm, and a spin where he emerges with his sax to play his solo.
On both the single and album cover, Kenny G appears in a solarized photo so there's no way to tell he's white. This was a marketing strategy because the song was targeted to R&B radio.