Brian Kelly
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Brian Kelly

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I've always enjoyed the New Age elements that the Smooth Jazz format has integrated into its core sound over the years, feeling that it helps keep the genre diversified and rich. With that thought in mind, I'm delighted to recommend the debut CD from San Francisco Bay Area keyboardist Brian Kelly. POOLS OF LIGHT is a lush, sparkling journey into a beautiful world of elegant melodies and brilliant artistry. The music rises and falls in powerful, yet gentle, waves of emotion as you experience Mr. Kelly's work, which is infused with elements from the genres of Classical, World, and Jazz. Billed as "contemporary piano instrumentals featuring flute and percussion," POOLS OF LIGHT is a totally captivating collection of original compositions that range from delicate, heartfelt solo piano ("Home At Last" and "Speak Your Heart") to ensemble performances that are full of dynamic tonal color and intricacies. My favorites include the breezy "Open Sky," the engaging, jazzy "Cool Blue," and the equally jazzy and tasty "When the Stars Align." Brian Kelly's background, which includes extensive composing and playing, as well as singing and acting, serves him well on this debut project, as he translates complex emotions into engaging musical experiences that both captivate and inspire. I highly recommend Brian Kelly's POOLS OF LIGHT as a collection of music that I am confident will find a permanent place in the "most-played" section of your music library! - smoothjazz.com


"Pools of Light" by pianist/composer Brian Kelly is sure to be on my Top 10 favorite CDs list for 2004. An amazing debut, the album is comprised of music composed and played in a variety of styles that include jazz, classical, and world. Two of the pieces are solo piano, and the other eleven tracks include keyboards, flute, and/or percussion. Kelly’s playing style has an easy elegance that comes from a phenomenal technique and chops to burn. His music is rhythmic and lyrical, and the moods range from pensive to joyous to ethereal. Despite the changing moods, the CD as a whole has a wonderful flow and cohesiveness, creating a uplifting and relaxing musical experience.

"Open Sky" opens the album with a buoyant, carefree piece that is full of rhythm and excitement. The title track is much more meditative and soothing, and was inspired by a trip to Maui. "Cool Blue" is a great jazz piece for flute, piano, percussion, and bass - this one sounds like fun to play! "Sacred Waters" is a surprising little percussion interlude inspired by a waterfall in a jungle on Maui. My favorite track is "Troubadour," an ensemble piece where Kelly played all of the instruments himself (piano, sampled guitar, bass, and drums). A little mysterious, it was influenced by Kelly’s years of singing a capella Renaissance music. Parts of the piece swirl and dance, and others are a bit quieter. I really like the energy in this one! "Angels Breathing" is very new agey with floating sounds, gentle bells, and a beautiful piano part. "With Eyes Closed" is another favorite. Rhythmic and kind of dark, it, too, has a compelling energy and spirit that are addictive. "Home At Last" is a gorgeous piano solo with a beautiful flow. "Calling For Rain" is more of a smooth jazz piece, a little dark, a bit mysterious, and there’s that catchy, compelling rhythm again! Good stuff! The second piano solo, "Speak Your Heart," is much showier and full of passion - it really shows what Kelly can do at the piano. "When Stars Align" closes the album with an upbeat and breezy little jazz piece.

"Pools of Light" is an outstanding debut, and Brian Kelly is a very versatile musician who is comfortable playing many styles. Samples and purchases are available at briankelly.com, and the CD is also available at cdbaby.com and amazon.com. Very highly recommended! - mostlypiano.com - Kathy Parsons


Brian's CD release, "Pools of Light" is one full of smooth, sensual and relaxing jazz piano that is a MUST HAVE for the jazz collection! This piece of work is jammed packed with some of the most eloquent piano that a jazz fan could ask for! One of my favorites, "Cool Blue" is titled perfect for this track! This track is certainly one of relaxation, calmness, and sheer perfection! Brian is certainly an unsung hero in terms of smooth jazz piano. - smoothjazzcd.com


Your CD is fantastic and is a favorite of mine. I particularly love the arrangements; they're compelling and always interesting to listen to. I spin just about every track on the CD and they're on most of the playlists on my iPod!"
- Jamey Osborne, Host of "Audiosyncracy", KTEP FM El Paso, TX


I enjoyed your music... I'm still enjoying it. - Tom Wolfe, author


A talent worth watching. - Keyboard Magazine


Stellar piano work. Great fluidity of line, wonderfully elegant. - Taxi.com


Discography

2008 - Afterplay
2004 - Pools of Light

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Bio

Brian Kelly is a composer and pianist.
In 2008 Brian released, “Afterplay”, his second CD of piano based instrumental music on his own Skylight Music label. The album includes the world-renowned talents of Eric Crystal on sax, David Rokeach on drums, Viviana Guzman on flute, James Robinson on guitar, and other fine musicians.

In 2005 he released his debut album of piano instrumentals, “Pools of Light". The album charted #1 for two months on modern instrumental radio in North America. Brian was nominated for the NAR Artist of the Year award and is winner of Keyboard Magazine’s “5th Annual Reader’s Soundpage Contest”. In 2006 he published “Pools of Light: the Solo Piano Songbook”, a collection of solo piano arrangements of 11 tracks from his “Pools of Light” CD.

His music receives national and international airplay from radio stations and satellite music networks around the world. Brian is a graduate of Hampshire College, a voting member of the Recording Academy, and a member of BMI. He resides in Northern California near San Francisco.