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Soul Ballet: DreamBeatDream (2004)

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Soul Ballet: DreamBeatDream How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The dreamy, sexy music that Soul Ballet offers comes courtesy of Rick Kelly, who imagines Soul Ballet as a conceptual process. What kind of process? Well, it you like downtempo instrumentals with elements of classical, rock, new age and smooth jazz music, Soul Ballet is your musical nirvana. This is the style of romantic of music that is huge in Europe and in "chill music" circles. Kelly plays keyboards and uses samples, beat boxes and all available modern musical technology to provide a saucy sound that's unique to smooth jazz. Anyone who's heard Kelly's first single from the CD, the luscious "Cream," will agree.

Not surprisingly, Kelly has a knack for music with a cinematic sweep. He's a handsome guy who's directed a few short films and during the last year has guest-starring roles in such hot TV series such as Nip/Tuck and Cold Case. Although cinematic, the Soul Ballet sound is also music you can dance to, even if it's a late-night sway with someone special. The CD title is dead-on—just when is appears a musical lull looms, a percussive beat comes booming back.

Trina Dye and Sera Lynn add comely voice-overs throughout the CD, and Ken Ross blows many seductive horn lines. In fact, horns seem to be a central in many of Soul Ballet's hits, including here on "Cream" and on earlier songs such as "Black Sun."

A second CD included in the package, All the Pretty Lights , has extended remixes of three songs from Soul Ballet's self-titled debut album: The songs are "Love, Juliet," "Man and Woman" and "Exotique." The remix CD directs you to soulballet.com to get the rest of the remix project. This is the kind of stuff that Soul Ballet diehard fans will really groove to, as the selections are perfect for those special chill-out moments with your honey.

Track Listing: She Rides; S. Beach, Feel This Beat; Cream; Her Whisper; My Secret; Her Dream; Jazzy Girl; Dreaming Of...; Watching U; Love, Juliet; Man and Woman; Exotique

Personnel: Rick Kelly, piano, all other instruments; Trina Dye, Sera Lynn, voice-overs; Kenn Ross, horn

Record Label: 215 Music/Munich Records

Style: Contemporary/Smooth


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