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Kenny Kirkland

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Beginning his career as a teacher of classical music, Kenny Kirkland next became a jazz musician. Later he emerged from his jazz chrysalis as a practitioner of exotic pop/rock music and finally shed his wings to follow the mundane but financially more stable profession of studio musician. Kirkland was an associate of Wynton Marsalis, it is not surprising therefore that the five years Kirkland spent working for him (1981-85) should have been such a powerful influence on him. He was born Kenneth David Kirkland in Brooklyn, New York, on 28 September, 1955, and took up piano at the age of six. The enthusiasm and urgency Kirkland applied to his piano lessons at such an early age, confirmed that his life was to be devoted to music, "although it wasn't until I was 13 that it actually caught on for me," he remembered

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Article: What is Jazz?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 3: The GhostsIn a recent essay in Commentary, Terry Teachout, arts and culture critic for the Wall Street Journal, makes an argument for the date on which the jazz era officially ended and the rock/pop era began—May 9, ...

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Article: Radio

Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2

Read "Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Although Sting is mostly known for his solo career and, before that, for fronting one of the most epic band of all times, The Police, his love for jazz has been a common thread throughout his career. His jazz sensibility became more prominent when he started his solo career with the album The Dream of the ...

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Article: Radio

The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - the Companion Mixtape

Read "The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - the Companion Mixtape" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Compiling a radio playlist is both incredibly satisfying and quite frustrating. Two hours are so quick to fill and one has to often leave out a great number of tracks that would deserve attention but, for a reason or another (length, similarities to other selection, need for variety and flow etc.), don't find a natural spot ...

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Article: Radio

The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 2

Read "The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


A classical musical upbringing; a deep knowledge of contemporary classical masters; a career that rapidly saw him develop affinities and life-long collaborations with mainstream and forward-looking jazz musicians, both from the US and from abroad; equally at home with fusion, pop and rock. In sum, Kenny Kirkland epitomized that kind of musician that defies categorization which ...

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Article: Radio

The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 1

Read "The Genius of Kenny Kirkland - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


On September 28th, Kenny Kirkland would have turned 65. This week we celebrate his legacy as leader or co-leader, as side-man invited to add power and sophistication to the bands he joined, and as composer, through renditions of his music by peers and contemporary musicians. Among these, pianist Noah Haidu has recently released the first-ever album ...

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Article: General Articles

Noah Haidu ricorda Kenny Kirkland

Read "Noah Haidu ricorda Kenny Kirkland" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Kenny Kirkland era chiamato dagli amici Doctone (ovvero Doctor of Tone) ed è questo il titolo del progetto multimediale elaborato dal pianista Noah Haidu a più di vent'anni dalla scomparsa. Un ricco tributo della Sunnyside Records consistente in un libro d'interviste, un film documentario e un album di suoi brani eseguiti da Haidu con Todd Coolman ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kenny Kirkland

Jazz Musician of the Day: Kenny Kirkland

All About Jazz is celebrating Kenny Kirkland's birthday today! Beginning his career as a teacher of classical music, Kenny Kirkland next became a jazz musician. Later he emerged from his jazz chrysalis as a practitioner of exotic pop/rock music and finally shed his wings to follow the mundane but financially more stable profession of studio musician. ...

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Article: Book Excerpts

DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)

Read "DOCTONE: An oral history of legendary pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955-1998)" reviewed by Noah Haidu


In chapter 2 of my book Doctone, I interviewed drummer Billy Hart and we discussed his interaction with Kenny Kirkland as he emerged in the 1970's fusion scene, his unique personality, the “Kirklandese" language and Kenny's legacy as one of the great pianists and composers in this music Noah Haidu: What were your first ...

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Article: Album Review

TEST with Roy Campbell: Live at The Hinton House

Read "Live at The Hinton House" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


More exquisite madness from Brooklyn's barn burning free jazz label 577 Records, home to the free and the brave. This time it's a hard core NY borough blowout recorded live in April 1999 that cantankerously and vividly chronicles the only known performance of the late, free/avant, Harlem/NoBro legend, trumpeterRoy Campbell. Unrestrained, Campbell raises the ...


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