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Greetings jazz aficionados, after a brief pause from the blog I’m delighted to return and feature an extraordinary musician of his generation pianist Kenny Kirkland. Like many of you, I dearly miss him. With his GRP debut, as imagined … Kenny’s compositions and arrangements encompass a wealth of angular shapes and shifting tones attached to a chorus of complex melodies has undoubtedly left an infinite impression on those of us that had the pleasure of hearing him as a soloist and ensemble player. By chance, if you don’t have this recording please if you will do your ears a favor and pick up this gem by Kenny Kirkland … you want regret it. —Rob Young | The Urban Flux

Kenny Kirkland (Verve, 2009)

Kenny Kirkland -][- Kenny Kirkland – [GRP/Verve, 1991/2009]

One of the best definitions of musician is “student of music“. Kenny Kirkland exemplified this statement. As a musician, Kenny could fit any groove, any mold, any group. His playing with Sting, Branford Marsalis, and Wynton Marsalis is completely different stylistically, yet unmistakably Kenny. Considering the great musicians Kenny was recruited to play with: Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones, Sting, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Kenny Garrett (to name a few); and considering his rhythm section mates: Jones, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Bob Hurst, Eric Revis, and Nat Reeves; it is evident just reading these names that Kenny was at the top of the list of many jazz musicians. This cd, remarkably Kenny’s only solo release, is a superb example of his versatility and love of all styles of music. His use of synthesizers and differing styles shows his versaltility as a pianist and his playing exemplifies his brilliance. Not to mention the sidemen on this date, Branford, Tain, Roderick Ward (aka Kenny Garrett), Christian McBride and Jerry Gonzales.

I would like to end with a quote from Kenny himself on Sting’s Bring on the Night video pertaining to his and Branford’s decision to join the band. “Some people might not like what we’re doing. But I feel, as a musician, you need to play all styles of music”. Kenny definitely did that on this cd, and his genius will be missed greatly. –jkrl | Amazon.com

..:: Source: Amazon.com ::..