"Eccentricity is an unusual trait in jazz nowadays, but Rodney Kendrick...is eccentric. He has clearly absorbed the baroque styles of Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell, but there's something more knotty about Mr. Kendrick's playing...He flirts with the avant-garde but is also enamored with the richness of swing...Oddness, after so much predictability in jazz, is almost its own reward; Mr. Kendrick offers that and ability, too." - Peter Watrous NY Times
Though he cites Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk as his earliest inspirations, Rodney Kendrick’s unique percussive and harmonic piano style, due to a distinctive blend of classic jazz piano, 70’s funk, and gospel, stems from his unique upbringing and artistic development. Born in 1960 into a family of musicians, it didn’t take Rodney Kendrick long to realize his calling as a pianist. Judging from his rhythmic style, it’s not surprising that before switching to piano, Rodney’s first instrument was the drums. His two sisters may not have played music, "but everyone else on both sides of my family did, and everyone played or sang in church.” His father, James “Jimmy Kay” Kendrick was a noted musician who was Illinois Jacquet’s keyboardist for seven years, as well as working with Sonny Stitt, Lou Donaldson and Sam Rivers.