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Album Review: When Soul & Heart Collide
Richard Carr
Cover image of the album When Soul & Heart Collide by Richard Carr
When Soul & Heart Collide
Richard Carr
2000 / Rec'd Music
68 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Richard Carr’s distinctive and evocative piano solos are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. Too many pianists in this genre feel the need or are pressured by labels to add synth tracks to “colorize” their music, but when a pianist plays with this kind of passion, all of the colors of the rainbow are already there. Carr’s music speaks volumes about the artistic merits of staying independent and in control of one’s own music. This is Carr’s fifth album to date, and he just keeps getting better. Many of the tracks are first-time improvisations and the album is presented without edits to preserve the integrity of the moment that the music was created.

The musical moods conveyed in this CD are varied, from the impassioned title track to the sweet and gentle “Tender Love”. The collection opens with “Familiar Stranger” - a light and upbeat piece of musical sunshine. “Sunbeams At Twilight” is darker and more abstract - less rhythmic and more atmospheric.”When Soul and Heart Collide” starts out gently and gradually builds momentum and emotional power. This is definitely a man at one with his piano, and the piece is exceptional in its openness and strength. “Racing Hearts and New Love” is pure joy. “In Memoriam” is a loving tribute to a trusted friend and mentor. Although much of this piece is sad and reflective, there is an underlying current of hope. At a little more than seven minutes, many musical ideas are able to develop and evolve into other themes - much as emotions often quickly change with the loss of a loved one. This is another truly exceptional piece of music. “Into the Sunset” is both reverent and majestic - almost anthemic. The final track is a duet variation on the title song with pianist Alex Uttermann. This version is also very effective and quite different from the solo - a compelling musical dialogue.

An exceptional album from start to finish, I highly recommend When Soul & Heart Collide.
January 1, 2000
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