Kenny Mellman

“A truly inspired pop musicologist” is how the New York Times described Kenny Mellman in its all-out rave of Kiki & Herb’s recent limited run on Broadway. (This interview was conducted just weeks before they opened). “The secret ingredient” is how another observer trenchantly described the deceptively retiring Herb. But anything more than a cursory listen reveals the stunning and irreplaceable quality of not only his playing, but also his de facto curatorship of the entire K&H repertoire. As music director, pianist and, perhaps most importantly, arranger, he is in many ways responsible for their uncanny ability to own the songs they choose to perform, no matter how iconic the song may be. So what tune makes the tune-master feel ashamed…?