To Kenny With Love

oah Haidu remembers the first time that he really “got” fellow pianist Kenny Kirkland. Haidu, still in his teens at the time, was with his father at the New York City club Sweet Basil, where Kirkland was accompanying singer Carmen Lundy. “It was very much a pickup gig where Carmen had some tricky music and the whole band was sight-reading,” Haidu says. “[Drummer] Victor Lewis and Carmen’s brother Curtis [on bass] were also playing. I don’t like the term ‘dominated,’ but we said, ‘Who this piano player? God damn!’ I had heard him before, but the intensity of hearing it live, that was pretty important to me.”

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