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  • Jonathan Widran

CHARLES A. KELLY, "You're Not Alone"

After many productive, multi-faceted years in the music industry, gold selling (RIAA, BMI) artist, keyboardist, producer and songwriter Charles A. Kelly uses his high spirited debut Innervision Records single (and second smooth jazz track overall) to deliver an important emotional and even spiritual message to help our hearts transcend these challenging times: “You’re Not Alone.”

Whether one reads “God” or important human beings (family/friends) into that message, it’s expressed with profound joy and exuberance via Kelly’s whimsical touch on the keys, a wildly infectious melody that shouts out “radio hit” from the first iteration of the funkified hook. Though certainly we’re always waiting for that earworm to kick back in, Kelly’s cheerful piano dazzle in the verses is equally engaging – and all the elements and sections of the song serve to lift our spirits towards more optimistic thinking.

Not surprisingly considering his behind the scenes, pre-smooth jazz resume that includes work with countless legends (Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Elton John, The Pointer Sisters, Nile Rogers, Nathan East, Ralph Johnson and Sheldon Reynolds from EWF, et al), Kelly’s vibing powerfully with the genre elite here – including guitarist Blake Aaron, bassist Darryl Williams, drummer Tony Moore, and percussionist Munyungo Jackson.

We should expect those cats to pop in service of an artist who will definitely be a genre great in years to come, but perhaps the nicest surprise is the soulful soprano sax harmony of the keyboardist’s son Jason Kelly on the hook. Needless to say, as solid as this label debut track is, it would be great to hear more of Jason in the future!


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