Composer and instrumentalist Rick Kelley is ready to release the newest CD from Soul Ballet, titled Lavish, on September 11th. The Artizen Music Group release features guest appearances by two of the label's owners, Rick Braun and Richard Elliot. The first single from the set is "Smooth Vegas," which features Elliot on saxophone.
Soul Ballet last topped the smooth jazz charts with "Cream," a track from the 2005 release DreamBeatDream.
Kelly, who in addition to music continues to succeed as an actor, says that his love of contemporary pop and hip-hop helped shape the musical feel of Lavish. "I'm really into the whole hip-hop thing, not the hardcore stuff but the pop side," Kelley explains, adding that he enjoys the work of producers like Timbaland and Pharrell and the work of pop acts Nelly Furtado, Gwen Stefani, and Justin Timberlake.
"Throughout the making of the project, I was trying to conceptualize the coolest way to blend those beats and flavors with smooth jazz," he adds. "The result is something no one else in contemporary jazz is doing."
Lavish will be the seventh CD from Soul Ballet since the self-titled 1996 debut.
By: Janine Coveney
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