Brian Kelly Archives - Page 2 of 7 - BRIAN KELLY

Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com:

Tomorrow’s Daydream is the fourth album from SF Bay Area pianist/composer Brian Kelly. Although the album was just released, it has already garnered two silver medals from the 2018 Global Music Awards – one for “Album” and one for “Instrumental Performance, Solo.” I’m sure the awards won’t stop there as this is an outstanding album! All eleven tracks are original piano solos that reflect Kelly’s diverse music background. He started his piano studies at the age of 8, going on to study composition, improvisation and jazz piano through college and beyond. He also has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer. Strong jazz and classical elements are apparent in the music on Tomorrow’s Daydream, as are gospel, pop and rock influences that blend to create a sound that is uniquely his own. I should also mention that Brian Kelly has the chops to express pretty much anything he chooses with ease. “The boy can play!”

Kelly’s 2015 release, Butterfly Rapture, won and was nominated for several awards and is currently nominated for Best Solo Piano Album in the 2018 Enlightened Piano Radio Awards to be presented in Berlin in October 2018. Kelly’s first album, Pools of Light, was released in 2004 and was named “One of the Best Albums of the Decade” by this reviewer.

Tomorrow’s Daydream opens with the title track, a piece that starts out at a leisurely pace and gradually becomes livelier while maintaining a relaxed feeling. The energetic “Tracing Rainbows” expresses a magical excitement wrapped in swirling colors and joyful exuberance – a favorite! “Dancing With the Moon” begins with a Baroque-sounding intro that becomes beautifully delicate and almost fragile, gradually building to an expressive peak before returning to the softer theme. Near the end of the piece, Kelly inserts a passage that sounds almost like a harp – wow! “Our Own Window” is smooth jazz with a slight edge – cool, relaxed and very graceful. “Daffodil Hill” is another favorite with its joie de vivre spirit and carefree innocence. I feel exactly like this when the daffodils start opening in the early spring and a whole hill covered with them is almost euphoric! “Meant to Fly” takes a poignant, bittersweet turn that is as beautiful as it is emotional – another favorite. “Iris Blue” makes me think of dancers in filmy blue dresses gracefully welcoming the promise of spring – I really like this one, too! “Journey Home” begins with a simple melody that seems to have its soulful roots in gospel music, gradually building more complexity and then returning to the simplicity of the opening passage. “All of Thee Above” has a gentle, uplifting energy that is unhurried and free. The spirited “Secret Look” overflows with unbridled happiness – also a favorite. “Before You Go” closes the album in a more classical style that is both elegant and emotionally powerful – a fitting end to a great album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream is excellent from the first note to the last and I hope it will bring Brian Kelly the attention he and his music so richly deserve. The album is available from www.BrianKelly.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!

Kathy Parsons – MainlyPiano.com

Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar

By | Reviews

Here is a Tomorrow’s Daydream album review by Vivek Kumar:

A very vibrant kind of music and definitely one of the few albums that I would place on the top shelf! There’s a lot of promise, variety, and novelty in the album. If you love listening to solo piano, this should be an easy choice for you.

There’s a kind of freshness in the songs, and I like the different moods that the artist has tried to bring in, presenting a visual imagery of the song’s theme with sound.

The first two songs are my favorite–they just carry a unique rhythm which I could easily relate to and feel connected immediately.

There are 11 tracks on the album and Brian has tried to offer different textures to the listener.

The control, the innovative approach and the dexterity of the fingers are audible at various places throughout the album–no wonder that Brian’s previous music has also been licensed for various purposes and was received with much admiration.

This is the first time I heard his music but I could easily recognize the ease with which he approaches his music–a clear demonstration of his mastery and skill. There’s a certain level of accomplishment for an artist, which once reached, becomes visible (or audible in this case) in the creation and the work of art separates itself from the rest. Brian clearly has reached that level.

I will say the album is worth if you choose to spend your time and money.

Congratulations to Brian for bringing out this collection and sharing his gifts with the world.

Tomorrow’s Daydream wins two 2018 Global Music Awards

By | Awards

Tomorrow's Daydream by composer Brian Kelly wins two silver medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards.TOMORROW’S DAYDREAM, the new solo piano album by composer Brian Kelly, has just won two Silver Medals in the 2018 Global Music Awards: one for Album, the other for Instrumental Performance Solo! Many thanks to Gary Mankin (engineer of 5 Grammy-nominated albums) for mixing and mastering my 4th album.

Tomorrow’s Daydream may now be pre-ordered on iTunes, Amazon, and BandCamp. The album will be available on all major streaming services (Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, etc.) when it officially releases on March 16, 2018.

Brian Kelly is a First Prize Winner in the USA Songwriting Competition

By | Awards

Brian Kelly - USA Songwriter Competition 2016 - First Prize - Piano Escapade - InstrumentalWow! The 2016 USA Songwriting Competition awarded me First Prize in the Instrumental category for “Piano Escapade,” the opening track on Butterfly Rapture!! Congrats to the other First Prize Winners! http://www.songwriting.net/winners

Cam Nacson (Dance/Electronica)
Jared Rabin (Folk)
TrEv LuKaThEr (Rock/Alternative)
Frank Raknes Schonberg (Lyrics Only)
Marlowe Stone (Children)
Jesse Blaze Snider & Freddy Scott (Novelty/Comedy)
Pinnacle TheHustler (Hip-Hop/Rap)
Paulina Aguirre (Latin)
Tiffany Smith (R&B)
Lisa Hilton (Jazz)
Terry Fator (Gospel/Inspirational)
Benjamin Furman Music (World)
Tim Gates, Brad Hull & Will Nance (Country)
Jerad Finck , David Hodges & Steven Solomon (Pop).

Brian Kelly Butterfly Rapture is on Official 59th Grammy® Awards Ballot

By | Awards

Thrilled to see my album, Butterfly Rapture, is on the Official 59th Grammy® Awards First-Round Ballot for consideration! Nominees will be announced on Dec. 6, 2016. It’s been a pleasure participating in the voting process this year and listening to the exceptional artistry of my friends and colleagues whose music is also on the ballot. Best of luck to all!

Butterfly Rapture Album Review from Reviews New Age

By | Reviews

Here is a review of my Butterfly Rapture solo piano album from Reviews New Age (translated from Spanish by C. Comella):

Butterfly Rapture cover 200It’s been a long time since we have received a solo piano album where joy and energy are present in the majority of the pieces.  Butterfly Rapture brings us the colorful and intense work of pianist and composer Brian Kelly, made up of twelve compositions that travel intensely between tenderness and boldness, and all embellished with the fleeting light touches of mastery.

Butterfly Rapture opens with my favorite piece, “Piano Escapade.” This composition integrates romanticism and hope in its notes, making it one of the most beautiful pieces on the entire CD. The intensity of the melody perfectly joins with the nexus of the notes and chords. Fantastic beginning!

“Room for Sky” is subtly more formal and reserved. Large arpeggios emanate from the left hand, while the right hand covers the keyboard with a rolling and striking melody. Another wonder from Butterfly Rapture.

Returning to Kelly’s musical warmth enters “Flowers at Her Feet”. This piece, together with others of equally brief duration are those that give character to Butterfly Rapture’s radiant energy and light. “Flowers at Her Feet” has a touch of improvisation that offers a masterful stroke to the track.

“Lilac Horizon” is subdued, the first song on the album that breaks the general profile, but in spite of this, it does not stop being an interesting and deep theme.

We return to the happiness that flows from Kelly’s hands. He presents “Chasing a Breeze,” another of the album’s exciting jewels, a theme that invites one to imagine the rapid movements of the pianist’s fingers on the keyboard. A delight!

The shortest of the compositions is sweet and sensitive, powerful to the point of drawing a pleasant smile on the listener. With a classical and minimalist touch, Spiral Moon is one of the delights that Butterfly Rapture displays.

“Hills in Bloom” is not as intense as some of the other earlier pieces, but it preserves that same joyful touch.

Brilliant introduction to “Niko’s Delight.” A stroke of dance, the chords accompany radiant notes that are born in the high end of the piano. “Niko’s Delight” gives us the instant affection and delicacy of Butterfly Rapture.

Again, with a romantic touch, appear exhilarating notes. “Playing My Heart” plays with silences, with the fleeting force of notes and chords, and shows us the most tender and sincere side of love. Beautiful!

“View from the Swing” is a musical game, a fun soundtrack. Slightly quick and yes very attractive in its melody, “View from the Swing” mixes melody and jazz touches with tremendous skill. Beguiling composition!

A moment for reflection comes from “Winter Aura.” The piece presents a very original dialogue between both hands, and continues a game between silence and notes of the most pure jazz style. “Winter Aura” is another of the album’s remarkable compositions.

The title track closes the CD. “Butterfly Rapture” is a romantic narration made from music. Like the soundtrack from an animated Disney story, “Butterfly Rapture” delights the senses. The changes in tempo, the melody, and the magic are spectacular. Great, Brian!

Mastery, hues, and harmonies are seen in the new work from pianist and composer Brian Kelly, a perfect display of piano filled with life, capable of invoking deep emotions within the listener. Butterfly Rapture is one of the best solo piano albums of the year, without doubt.

Butterfly Rapture Review from Ricky Kej

By | Reviews

Butterfly Rapture cover 200Very grateful to have received a generous 5-star review of Butterfly Rapture on Amazon from Grammy® winning composer Ricky Kej!

“What a beauty! The expressive piano speaks a language of utter serenity and tranquility and makes any day a special one! From the sparkling melody that Brian plays out so beautifully on the piano on “Butterfly Rapture” to the soaring “Room for Sky”….the stark beauty of “Winter Aura”, the ethereal melody of “Playing My Heart”….the seriously lovely “Hills in Bloom”…each track imparts a certain imagery that imprints it on one’s mind. Now I just close my eyes and visualize these tracks :-). Produced brilliantly, this music is as incandescent and colorful as a Butterfly’s wings :-) :-) :-)”

Brian Kelly at Grammy® Mixer in San Jose

By | Music

I had a great time at a Grammy® mixer event held at JJ’s Blues club in San Jose on Oct. 12, 2016 (organized by producer/engineer Michael Lazarus). I got to hang out with three great trumpet players, whose Contemporary Instrumental albums are on the 59th Grammy® Awards ballot this year. L-R: Jeff Oster (Live!), David Longoria (The Journey), Steffen Kuehn (Leap of Faith), Brian Kelly (Butterfly Rapture). Best of luck to all of us!

Butterfly Rapture album review by Improvijazzation

By | Reviews

Here is a review of my new solo piano album, Butterfly Rapture, by Dick Metcalf at Improvijazzation:

Brian Kelly Butterfly Rapture albumBrian Kelly – BUTTERFLY RAPTURE: It’s been a while since I reviewed Brian’s fine piano work in issue # 86 – and on this outing, it’s all solo piano, which makes for wonderful Saturday morning listening! Pieces like the 2:32 “Flowers at Her Feet” swirl and dazzle your ears. The dozen tunes are, for the most part, quite short… like “Niko’s Delight” (3:20), but that makes them easy to listen to, and I can guarantee that they will have you coming back for repeated listens. What’s most distinctive about Brian’s playing is that the style is “all his”… nothing copied, all original, and vibrantly full of life. My personal favorite of the twelve tracks is “Piano Escapade“… strong chord work and a floating right hand that displays full mastery of the keyboard. I give Brian a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98 for this fine piano album. Get more information on Brian’s Bandcamp page for this release.

Butterfly Rapture album review by New Age Music Reviews

By | Reviews

Here is a review of my new solo piano album, Butterfly Rapture, by Dana Wright at New Age Music Reviews:

Brian Kelly Butterfly Rapture coverBrian Kelly is a composer and recording artist who began his musical career when he was a child. Butterfly Rapture is his third album done in the neoclassical tradition with influences ranging from Celtic, gospel and jazz. The album is a crisp solo piano experience, with sparkling composition and a resonance that sticks with you long after the last song plays. If you can stop listening. My play button is getting worn out on this one and what a joy that is.

“Lilac Horizon” is a tender and fluid piece, with layered piano work that evokes imagery of the poignant life moments that linger. Pensive and thoughtful, the winding nature of this track flows together like the never ending gears of time. Always moving forward, no matter what. The horizon is always just out of reach and we struggle to grasp that elusive glimpse of what is to be.

“Winter Aura” has a starkness about it that captures the essence of winter. Cold beauty claims the ruddy umber flavor of autumn and covers the land with delicate ice crystals and a blanket of soft white snow. The deep keystrokes and elemental playing delve deep into the introspective nature of this season of the year and bring forth the longing for home and hearth; of family and the familiar. At times playful and others more contemplative, this encapsulates all that winter has to offer, all from the masterful keystrokes of Kelly’s fingertips.

“Butterfly Rapture” is the title track and last piece on the album. Tumultuous like a butterfly beating its wings against the vast expanse of sky, it opens its wings and shines beauty down upon us all. Vibrant colors move within each well-crafted portion of the composition. The melodies twist and frolic like a meadow filled with small beating wings and the brilliant majesty brought with every nuance and flutter.

Butterfly Rapture is his first solo album and what a magnificent accomplishment it is. Solo piano can, in some instances, feel like a very long extension of the same song but not this album. Each track has its own flavor of music and takes the listener on a journey inside the mind of the artist. From snowy jaunts in “Winter Aura” to the first track “Piano Escapades” where we are first introduced to Kelly’s dazzling style, this album is a many faceted jewel any piano connoisseur will be thrilled to have in their collection.

Mastering Session for Butterfly Rapture

By | Music

The mastering session for Butterfly Rapture, the solo piano album by Brian Kelly, took place on 4/17/15 with engineer Gary Mankin in San Francisco.


Mixing Sessions for Butterfly Rapture

By | Music

Mixing sessions for Butterfly Rapture, the solo piano album by Brian Kelly, took place on 11/7/14 and 12/27/14 with engineer Gary Mankin in San Francisco.

Pre-Production of Butterfly Rapture Album

By | Music

Pre-production of Butterfly Rapture, the forthcoming solo piano album by Brian Kelly, is currently under way using the following audio gear: MOTU DP8, running on Apple iMac (3.2 GHz Intel Core i3) OS 10.9.5, MOTU 896 audio interface, MOTU MIDI Timepiece/AV, Yamaha P-80 Electronic Piano, Mackie HR824 monitors, and AKG K240DF headphones.



Brian Kelly Music for TV and Video 2013

By | Music

In 2013 music by Brian Kelly was licensed for use in TV and video productions by: BBC Worldwide, Simon & Schuster, MTV/tr3s (for a reality show called “Quiero Mi Baby”), Fuji Pacific Music, Ecentric Arts, MeadWestvaco, and SGAE (Societat General d’Autors i Editors).

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