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Album Review: Fogland
Richard Carr
Cover image of the album Fogland by Richard Carr
Richard Carr
1998 / Rec'd Music
62 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Fogland is a series of solo piano impressions of areas all over the country from the California coast and mountains, to the prairies and southwest, and on to Richard Carr’s home in New Orleans. Carr is widely known for his evocative piano improvisations which are recorded without edits.

Not surprisingly, since I live in the SF Bay Area and know a lot about fog, I especially like the title song and “Fogland Revisited”, which closes the CD. Cool, mysterious, and gray, these two pieces really capture the feeling of the rolling mists along the coastline. “Revisited” seems to be more about being caught within the fog - a little fear creeps in as we loose our sense of direction and the fog settles in more densely. Deep fog can be ominous as well as beautiful, and “Revisited” expresses that very well. “Sonoma Coast Sunset” was inspired by one of my favorite places - a long rugged beach with majestic rock formations rising from the surf. Goat Rock Beach is a place I retreat to whenever I need a sense of peace and inspiration, and it sounds like Carr had a similar experience. “Canyon Memories” is also a favorite. Dwelling deep in the bass on the piano, this piece is full of mystery. The left hand holds a deep rhythm pattern as the right hand improvises over it, sometimes in the bass other times soaring to the upper registers. Bold without being showy, this is a fascinating piece. Other tracks include “Lazy Summer Night” (almost a dream-state), “Twilight Snowfall on the Prairie” (you can see light dance and twinkle on the snow as the moon begins to rise), “I Was Lost Until...” (dark and pensive, but not without hope), and “Champagne Improv” (introspective in places, celebratory in others, flowing, and melodic).

While not mainstream new age piano, this is an excellent album for those who like their piano music more complex and cerebral. It isn’t that accessible at first, but this album really grows on you as you discover what Carr is saying with his very personal music and style. It will take some time, but it’s worth the effort!

Richard Carr’s albums are available from his website at www.richardcarr.com and from www.amazon.com.
January 1, 1998
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