When 43-year-old pianist Kenny Kirkland died last November from a heart attack caused by a drug overdose, it was a tragic end to a troubled life. (His drug-related death was also something out of an earlier time, when substance abuse seemed to overwhelm jazzmen with the same ease that the musicians tore through torrents of notes.) Kirkland, who fought his addiction for many years, was the ultimate sideman; despite a 20-year career playing with everyone from Wynton Marsalis and Miroslav Vitous to Sting and the Tonight Show band, he released only one album under his own name and one with his short-lived group, Jazz From Keystone. Branford Marsalis (pictured) has dedicated his latest CD, Requiem, to his longtime pianist, who had played with Marsalis since 1986’s Royal Garden Blues. Most of Requiem’s songs are first takes—the band never had time to go back in the studio and recut certain tracks—but even so, it’s yet another beautiful record from the most talented Marsalis. The album begins with the in-the-pocket swinger “Doctone” and moves into melodic abstraction with a Middle Eastern-ized version of Paul Motian’s “Trieste” and the African drumming-inspired “Lykief.” The Sonny Rollins-influenced “Elysium” was recorded as a trio, and while drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts and bassist Eric Revis are up to their usual excellence, Kirkland’s absence is obvious. Requiem is Kirkland’s last recording and a fitting tribute to his talent. See the Branford Marsalis Quartet, with new pianist Joey Calderazzo, at 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, April 8, to Sunday, April 11, at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Rear. $29.50-32.25. (202) 337-4141. (Christopher Porter)