Michael Kelly

No, What?

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Michael Kelly is a perfect example of a saxophonist who has been recorded as a leader far too early in his career. In 1996 his technique was reasonable but his generic tones on tenor and alto were far from distinctive. Worse yet, as he shows on the blues "5 X 5," "Summertime" and a rendition of "Impressions" that simply goes nowhere, Kelly did not have anything all that significant to say at that point and he seemed to be struggling in spots. The originals on his CD (which lack any memorable new melodies) start out with some danceable music that could almost fit into the genre of "acid jazz" before switching to more conventional acoustic playing; the two rambling versions of "Knuf Said" that finally conclude the set are frivolous to say the least. The no-name rhythm section is anonymous if competent and in general this is a premature effort by Michael Kelly, who clearly needed more seasoning.

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