Brian Kelly | Afterplay

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United States - California - SF

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Brian Kelly

Vibrant piano-based contemporary instrumental jazz.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. River Rush
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5:14 $0.99
2. Smiling South
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4:22 $0.99
3. New Vision
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4:43 $0.99
4. Snowflakes Rising
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3:31 $0.99
5. Flavor Seven
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4:46 $0.99
6. Afterplay
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4:44 $0.99
7. Heaven On Earth
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4:39 $0.99
8. Celtic Fire
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3:41 $0.99
9. Stone Shine
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5:04 $0.99
10. Reach for the Stars
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4:52 $0.99
11. Sunchaser
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3:31 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
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Brian Kelly is a Contemporary Instrumental composer, pianist, and recording artist. His latest release, Afterplay (his second CD of piano-based contemporary instrumental music), includes the world-class talents of Eric Crystal on sax (Boz Scaggs, Omar Sosa), David Rokeach on drums (Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles), Viviana Guzman on flute, James Robinson on guitar, and other fine musicians. Nominated for "Best Instrumental Jazz Album 2009 (Just Plain Folks Music Awards), ranked #3 on the NAR Top 100 Chart for three months in a row.

His debut album, Pools of Light, released in 2005 on his own Skylight Music label has received wide critical acclaim. The album charted at #1 for two months on the instrumental music radio chart in North America, was nominated for "Best New Artist 2005" (NAR Lifestyle Music Awards), and voted Top 10 Best New Age Albums of 2004. In 2006 Brian published Pools of Light: The Solo Piano Songbook, a collection of 12 solo piano arrangements (sheet music) from the album.

Born in New York City, Brian grew up in Palo Alto, California. He began piano at age 8. His experience as a stage actor and performer in numerous plays and musical theatre productions , as well as his four years of singing madrigals in an a cappella group, continue to inform his creative work. He studied music composition at Hampshire College and studied jazz piano with Art Lande. Brian Kelly is winner of the Keyboard Magazine Soundpage Award for his original composition "Todd Pond".

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


to write a review

Kathy Parsons

“Afterplay” is pianist/composer Brian Kelly’s follow-up to his exceptional 2004 debut, “Pools of Light.” Bright and upbeat, “Afterplay” provides a bit of sonic optimism in these days of uncertainty and change. Don’t get me wrong - this is far from ear candy or sugary fluff. More jazz than new age, Kelly has created a collection of eleven rhythmically and melodically complex pieces that are easily accessible for casual listening yet provide a substantial and sensual auditory experience for many repeated plays. Brian Kelly appears on piano, keyboards, percussion, penny whistle, and voice, and is joined by Eric Crystal on sax, David Rokeach on drums, Ross Wilson on brass, Carol Alban and Viviana Guzman on flute, James Robinson on guitar, and Tim Bolling on additional percussion.

“Afterplay” begins with “River Rush,” a piece that is both energetic and leisurely. Piano and percussion give the silky sax a slight edge, providing an enticing opening to the musical pleasures that follow. “Smiling South” is one of my favorites. Beginning with an infectious rhythm and a playful piano intro, this piece dances and swirls with a joyful energy. Ross Wilson adds additional color and pizzaz with trumpet and trombone - love it! “New Vision” slows down the pace a bit, but maintains an upbeat, easy-going mood. “Snowflakes” Rising” is a gentle, sparkling musical confection - another favorite. I also really like “Flavor Seven,” again playful and full of fun with just a touch of mystery. The title track brings back the sax along with piano and some catchy rhythms - smooth jazz with a gentle bite. “Heaven On Earth” is a gorgeous trio for piano and two flutes. As the title implies, it conveys a blissful, floating feeling that is pure musical peace. “Stone Shine” features Kelly on a variety of keyboards along with guitar and percussion. Rhythmic and a little on the dark side, its playful energy is infectious. “Sunchaser” closes the CD as it began, easy and joyful with a toe-tapping rhythm and a warm sense of contentment.

Brian Kelly has outdone himself with his second release. If you haven’t yet heard “Pools of Light,” be sure to pick up a copy of that one, too - the two CDs complement each other exceptionally well. “Afterplay” is a real treat for the ears and is good for the soul, too. Very highly recommended!

Scott O'Brien Review
San Francisco Bay Area composer/keyboardist Brian Kelly follows his brilliant debut release POOLS OF LIGHT with yet another outstanding, compelling collection of originals, this time leaning a bit more Smooth Jazz, but with plenty of new age elements in the mix too. If you loved the highly recommended and highly regarded POOLS OF LIGHT, which I reviewed in 2006, then AFTERPLAY is unquestionably destined for your player. The musical integrity and lyrical sensitivity that Mr. Kelly brings to the table for his projects is clearly evident on this release. He’s created more of a combo sound here, adding flutes, sax, horns and guitar to his musical toolbox, and uses them strategically for depth and richness of texture featuring Eric Crystal on sax (Boz Scaggs) and David Rokeach on drums (Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles). At a time when commercial Smooth Jazz too often heads in the direction of cliché, Brian Kelly’s AFTERPLAY is a refreshing example of how we can keep this music genre exciting and vibrant!