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Songbook Review: Pools of Light
Brian Kelly
Cover image of the songbook Pools of Light by Brian Kelly
Pools of Light
Brian Kelly
2011 / Skylight Music
88 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Brian Kelly’s Pools of Light solo piano songbook is a completely revised and expanded edition of the e-book that was published in 2006. Twelve of the thirteen tracks from the album are included (“Sacred Waters” is a percussion interlude that isn’t adaptable to the piano), transcribed by Kelly himself and arranged for solo piano; I helped with the editing. The Pools of Light recording is ensemble, so some of the parts for other instruments have been incorporated into the piano part to make the sheet music sound as close to the original recording as possible. Kelly also wrote four pages of performance notes to help the pianist understand his intentions and to note differences from the recording. Coming from the composer himself, these notes are invaluable!

Brian Kelly is an incredible pianist who is very fluent in jazz stylings, so his music is far from simple and would be beyond beginning and intermediate pianists’ capabilities. Some of the pieces include cadenzas that are complicated and require very nimble fingers. The jazz rhythms are complex (and a lot of fun!) and some of the pieces have difficult key signatures (noted below). Kelly has suggested fingering for some of the thornier passages and expression has been carefully indicated according to the CD. The book is printed on bright white paper with clear, crisp type, and is spiral bound. The spacing within the scores is roomy and easy to read, and the cover is a beautiful print of the album cover artwork on glossy stock, making this a very attractive book! If you are a pianist at an early advanced to advanced playing level, this book is great fun and very satisfying to play! It is available from www.skylightmusic.com, briankelly.com, and Amazon. I highly recommend it!

Below is a list of the pieces with the key signatures and number of pages:

Open Sky - Key of E major (4 sharps) - 6 pages
Pools of Light - Key of E - 6 pages
Cool Blue - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 9 pages
Unfolding - Key of A minor (no sharps or flats) - 10 pages
Expect a Miracle - Key of B major (5 sharps) - 4 pages
Troubadour - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 10 pages
Angels Breathing - Key of G# minor (5 sharps) - 4 pages
With Eyes Closed - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 9 pages
Home at Last - Key of Db (5 flats) - 3 pages
Calling For Rain - Key of Gb (6 flats) - 6 pages
Speak Your Heart - Key of C# minor (4 sharps) - 5 pages
When the Stars Align - Key of Ab (4 flats) / B (5 sharps) - 6 pages
December 22, 2011