Duets with Ghosts began as an exploration of Daniel’s personal history through a recording of his great-grandfather, Paddy Livingston at the age of 97, singing a Tin Pan Alley tune to his beloved wife. Moved by the discovery of this family sound document, Daniel accompanied this recording on the piano. His growing interest in other “found sounds”, such as the chain gang chants from the south recorded by Alan Lomax in the 1940’s, became the impetus for furthering his cinematic compositions. In addition to the Lomax recordings, the myriad of sound effects and found sound documents, Duets features the voices of Dada poets and writers James Joyce, Francois Dufrene and Marcel Duchamp.
Daniel Kelly - Piano, Keyboards, Sampler, Sound Documents
Dave Wood - 8-String Guitar/Guitar Synth
Shanir Blumenkranz - Bass
Chris Michael - Drums
“Duets with Ghosts - A truly diverse and very appealing recording by a very talented artist. The production is fantastic." - David Liebman
“The leader’s music expertly negotiates the borderline between swing verities and rockish pulsations, while dancing gracefully with sampled sounds and the recorded voices of James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, chain gangs and Kelly’s great-grandfather. More than just clever, at their strongest (such as “58 Years”) these phantom encounters are powerfully moving.” - Steve Smith, Time Out New York
Pianist & composer Daniel Kelly is recent winner of the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. His CD, Duets with Ghosts, features Daniel’s quartet – piano/keyboards, electric guitar, bass and drums - intertwining old archival recordings such as interviews with his great-grandfather and folk music recordings made by Alan Lomax, with a new world of innovative music that that flows freely between jazz, rock and classical. This conversation between the quartet and the “ghosts” takes its listener on an aural journey to the forgotten past and back again, mining for connections to a history filled with ghosts.
Daniel has recorded and/or performed with a list of hugely diverse musicians such as saxophonist Michael Brecker, hip-hop star Lauryn Hill, Afro-Cuban conga virtuoso Ray Barretto, bass master Harvie S, drummer-bandleader Bobby Sanabria, free jazz giants David Murray and William Parker and avant-garde icon John Zorn.