BJUR 006 Daniel Kelly - Emerge (CD)
BJUR 006 Daniel Kelly - Emerge (CD)
Daniel Kelly - Piano, Rhodes
Chris Tarry - Bass
Jordan Perlson - Drums
“I recently began playing in the trio setting again after many years of exploring music in different contexts. For years, I had led quartets, in which I had played various keyboards, samplers, electronics and effects in addition to the piano. (You can hear that approach on my CD, Duets with Ghosts). I performed modern classical music as a part of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, collaborated with theater artists in multi-media works and even composed a feature film soundtrack.
A couple of years ago, I began performing all-improvised piano solo concerts. The challenge was thrilling and I felt as if my relationship with the piano was deepening. I even recorded an improvised solo CD, Portal. It was a natural progression to explore my compositions with a trio and translate some of that excitement I had been feeling to the trio context. This CD represents the emergence of my renewed interest in playing trio.”
All the music was composed by Daniel Kelly and recorded on August 27 & 28, 2008 in Brooklyn.
1. Moroccan Nutchuck - The CD starts with a huge sound as Daniel plays low octaves on the piano announcing a take-no-prisoners attitude. This tune explores two different grooves in 7/4 meter. The initial groove has a mid-tempo funk feel where Daniel solos on Fender Rhodes. Halfway through the tune, the band gradually speeds up and Daniel returns to the piano, soloing over an angular bass line with rhythmic intensity. After a cacophonous climax, the band slows down again to the original tempo with Daniel playing hints of the melody on the rhodes.
2. Obfyor has a propulsive drum and bass rhythm. The band solidly states the theme then builds through Daniel’s solo into an open exploratory section. The B section returns and develops into an explosive drum solo. The title is an invented word.
3. Transience is an atmospheric ballad. Chris Tarry supports the melody with undulating bass swells. The title reflects the passing moments of our lives and is a meditation on the transience of our existence.
4. Emerge begins with prepared piano and Jordan Perlson playing all sorts of small objects. The melody is stated over a baiao groove. In the middle of Daniel’s solo, the bass drops out and Daniel freely improvises with Jordan’s drumming while breaking away from the form of the tune and introducing new harmonic structures. The momentum continues as the bass returns and the band surges forward.
5. Anima/Animus – The titles Anima/Animus and Doppelganger reflect Daniel’s interest in the ideas of psychologist Carl Jung. Anima/Animus transitions between a lyrical melody (the feminine Anima) and an Afro-Cuban tumbao (the masculine Animus). Daniel has spent many years playing Afro-Cuban jazz in New York City playing with heavy-hitters in the scene such as drummer/bandleader Bobby Sanabria and conga legend Candido Camero.
6. Doppelganger - Daniel returns to the rhodes this time with a heavy rock tune, Doppelganger, the name Jung gave to one’s shadow self. The keyboard manipulated with bizarre effects reflects some of Daniel’s previous work on his CD Duets with Ghosts where he used the field recordings of chain gangs, Dada poets and even his great-grandfather intertwined with electronic sounds in his compositions.
7. The idea of Michelangelo’s Uncarved Block is presented in the book Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch. Imagining the sculptor looking at a huge stone and seeing the figure residing within was the inspiration for this piece.
8. July 25th and Song for Katherine (9) are both dedicated to Daniel’s wife.
10. Canary Effect was inspired by an independent film of the same name that Daniel saw a film festival at Haskell Indian Nations University while on tour. This film detailed the long list of crimes against the native people of this country with rage and intelligence.
Daniel Kelly - Pianist and Composer - Bio
Award-winning composer and pianist, Daniel Kelly has developed a unique and personal approach to jazz, free improvisation and modern chamber music. Daniel has collaborated in performance and on disc with a wide range of artists, including Michael Brecker, Lauryn Hill, Ray Barretto, Don Byron, Bobby Sanabria, William Parker, John Zorn, David Murray, Donny McCaslin, David Binney, Brad Shepik, Joel Harrison, Nestor Torres, Briggan Krauss, Iva Bittova, Candido and many others. He performs regularly with bassist Harvie S and the genre-busting modern chamber ensemble the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Daniel has toured throughout the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America. In addition to the several CDs he has recorded as sideman, he has recorded highly acclaimed CDs as a leader, including World and Duets with Ghosts which features Daniel’s unique approach to electronic sound manipulation and sampler. Daniel’s third CD Portal is an improvised solo piano suite that arose from his continuing series of improvised solo piano concerts. His quartet was the recipient of the 2007 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. His fourth CD, Emerge, will be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records.
Daniel serves as the artistic director of the music based non-profit organization Connection Works. Along with founder, Rob Garcia and co-artistic director Michel Gentile, he has organized and helped present workshops for young people and an ongoing series of daylong concerts featuring artists such as Joe Lovano, Fly (with Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard), Dave Liebman, Adam Kolker Trio with John Abercrombie and Billy Hart, Dafnis Prieto Quartet, Yosvany Terry Quartet, Anat Cohen and Howard Alden, Wycliffe Gordon, Nikki Denner Septet with Dave Valentin, Adam Rudolph’s Go Organic Orchestra, Matt Darriau’s Yo Lateef and the Tony Malaby Trio.
Daniel has exhibited his commitment to arts education and young audiences by performing in schools and in artistic multi-media works for family audiences. His most notable collaborator is storyteller David Gonzalez. In addition to performing in hundreds of schools, they have toured to performing art centers throughout the US and Canada and the Royal National Theatre in London. They developed the multi-media theatrical work The Frog Bride, which premiered at the New Victory Theater on Broadway and incorporated Daniel’s music with the music of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and video images of paintings by Wassily Kandinsky. It was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 2006. Daniel composed music for a new collaboration called Wounded Splendor, a multi-media work that is part of the University of Maryland’s “Performance as Politic/Artist as Activist” 2009 season bringing together music with video, poetry and monologues inspired from interviews with activists and experts in the environmental movement. David and Daniel have also been Lincoln Center Institute Repertory artists from 2002-05 and 2008-09.
Daniel was chosen by the US State Department to be a Jazz Ambassador, performing a six-week tour to India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. This highly prestigious honor is only awarded to a few groups each year that travel to developing countries to perform concerts and workshops.
Daniel's talents as film composer can be heard in the films The Receipt, Suzana’s Dreams, Below the Belt (awarded Best Film of the Oregon Film Festival) and the feature film The Legend of Johnson Roebling.
P R E S S
“Daniel Kelly is a pianist and composer who confidently splits the difference between murky history and sleek progressivism” Nate Chinen, New York Times
"Pianist Daniel Kelly is original and adventurous."
-Howard Mandel, Author of Future Jazz and Miles, Coltane & Cecil
About Duets with Ghosts CD:
“Daniel Kelly and his spry quartet play music from Duets with Ghosts, an album that will be released next year. 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
About Portal CD:
'Portal' is an inspired solo piano effort, a 17-part suite of improvised sections that flow superbly and cover a great deal of terrain…. I was most impressed with the wide range of feelings, textures, intersecting lines and ideas that emerge throughout this wonderful disc…. I found this disc to be immensely rewarding on a variety of levels.
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Kelly admires artists across genres who have embraced the polyphonic, orchestral nature of the grand piano, plumbing melodic possibilities, harmonies and dissonances, multiple layers and cross-references, rhythms and counterpoint to map otherwise inaccessible sonic spheres and mental spaces. But he imitates no one.
– Howard Mandel, from liner notes
From the stride masterworks of early jazz to the extemporized epics of Keith Jarrett, solo pianists have laid down a challenge that the current generation can't ignore. On his third album, Portal, Daniel Kelly steps into the breach with 17 wholly improvised pieces—some less than a minute long, others more than five. They add up to a complete and well-formed thought, imbued with mystery as well as technical rigor.
Is it jazz? Arguably, given its tenacious open-form impulse, not to mention the syncopated rhythm and turbid harmony of "Burning Heart Inside" and the shifting five-beat patterns of "Continuing on…." But Kelly's sweeping arpeggios and reiterative left-hand accompaniments affirm a strong classical influence. His sure tempos steady the music's dreaminess, and lend something of a unifying concept. There are flickers of Lisztian romanticism in "Turbulence," Ravelian impressionism in "Removing the Veil of Illusion" and Bartókian folklore in "Magic Circle Dance."
Kelly does keep a foot in the classical world, working with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and others, while exerting a serious influence on the local jazz scene as an assistant director of Brooklyn service organization Connection Works. His 2007 quartet disc, Duets with Ghosts, matched a fusiony edge with the sampled voices of dadaist poet François Dufrêne, Mississippi prison inmates and Kelly's own great-grandfather. Portal is far more inward, its design as rich as it is unrepeatable. Live, Kelly will start again from scratch, relying on listeners to complete what he calls "a circuit of commitment."
- David R. Adler, Time Out New York
"Pianist Daniel Kelly shows great character and depth-definitely a talent to watch."
-John Davis, Latin Jazz Club
"Daniel Kelly comes on like gangbusters and rocks, explodes chord after chord of some of the most exciting Latin Jazz piano I've heard since first seeing Eddie Palmieri years ago at the old Village Gate."
-The Jazz Zine
"The pianist wastes no time in tossing in the Latin fire that one would expect from a pianist named Valdes or Rubalcaba, rather than one named Kelly. Without exaggeration, during a glossy-jazz-magazine blindfold test, Kelly would be identified, ten times out of ten, as a native of Cuba, rather than Ohio . . . At one point, Kelly punctuates the climactic excitement of his solo with the slamming of the keyboard and serpentine lines in clave."
-Don Williamson, 52ndStreet.com
"Gifted pianist Daniel Kelly is always a delight and his solo work is outstanding . . . topnotch . . . he performs in excellent form."
-Lee Prosser, Jazz Review
"Daniel Kelly has an uncanny ability to get inside and around the percussive heat and deliver exciting moments on the piano."
"Daniel Kelly's composition is complex and entertaining."
"fist-pounding keyboard attack that has the crowd shouting like a revival meeting . . . masterful evocative performance!"
-Tom Ineck, www.bermanfoundation.org
"When pianist Daniel Kelly breaks loose with an exhilarating performance set up by the entire group, attention must be paid . . . [a] performance made possible by Kelly's finely attuned senses of touch and texture."
-Don Williamson, JazzReview.com
"Kelly is quite a marvel throughout, whether spitting out burning runs or flowing lyrical elegance, but nowhere does he shine more than on his original, "Momentàneo". His rich, yet slightly wintry hues reflect contemplation and beauty."
-Jay Collins, OneFinalNote.com