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Album Review: Sunset At the Pier
Larry W. Rice
Cover image of the album Sunset At the Pier by Larry W. Rice
Sunset At the Pier
Larry W. Rice
2012 / Larry Rice
49 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Sunset At the Pier, Larry Rice’s second album of original piano solos, is a warm and refreshing collection of musical vignettes about life, love, and the emotional responses they evoke. Most of the fourteen tracks were recorded at Joe Bongiorno’s Piano Haven Studio in Seattle, and the sound quality of the piano is velvety-smooth and crystal clear. This is perfect music for a romantic dinner, relaxing, or simply getting lost in - accessible and unobtrusive yet substantial enough for a more discerning ear. A social worker for the developmentally disabled, Rice pours his heart into his music, revealing a sensitive and generous soul with much to express and share.

Sunset At the Pier opens with “A Morning Fog,” a beautiful piece with a very gentle motion (like fog rolling in) and no sharp edges. One section becomes a bit more dramatic - perhaps rays of sun breaking through the mist - but then it becomes very soft again - a lovely way to start! “Low Tide” has a slow, graceful ebb and flow with occasional percussive accents that suggest flickers of light on the water. “Ocean Breeze” is a favorite. Gentle movement tinged with longing and a melancholy mood become a passionate and evocative combination. “Sandpipers On the Beach” is another favorite. Gracefully rolling arpeggios create a hypnotic rhythm behind a simple melody line - gorgeous! The title song is peaceful and serene, evoking pastel images and a gentle motion. “Butterflies and Rainbows” was originally composed as a soundtrack for a presentation about autistic children. Feelings of sweetness and compassion are a lovely accompaniment to the images of children running in a meadow filled with butterflies and rainbows. I really like this one, too! “I’ve Been Waiting Here For You” was inspired by a the opening picture of a slide show about dogs. The photo was of a dog waiting in the rain - a heartbreaker - and the song conveys deep sadness and feelings of loss. This one makes my fingers itch - sheet music??? “I Love the Way You Look Tonight” is a “wine and candlelight” kind of piece - sweetly romantic with tender emotions and a sense of inner harmony. “Circle of Light” closes with a reference to God working in our lives. Its spiritual significance to Rice comes through in a very personal and sincere way and leaves us with a lovely “amen.”

Larry Rice’s second effort is even more promising that his first! Sunset At the Pier is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
September 5, 2012
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