A View From Within Nick Farr 2012 / Riverboy Records 50.2 minutes
"A View From Within" is pianist/composer/percussionist Nick Farr’s seventh release and quite possibly his most ambitious project to date. A classically-trained pianist from the age of five, Farr has always been intrigued by all kinds of music, especially jazz and contemporary instrumental. A published writer of poetry, prose, and children’s books as well as a musician, Farr’s recordings consistently reach the top or very near the top of the charts and stay there longer than most recordings. On this album, Farr performs on piano, keyboards and percussion, and most of his back-up musicians are real people, not synths. Those musicians include Farr’s daughter, Marina, who also performs on piano and percussion. Additional instrumentation includes guitars, bass, sax, oboe, English horn, French horn, trumpet, and flutes. Sometimes smooth and dreamy, sometimes upbeat and rousing, Farr continues to impress with his versatility and scope.
"A View From Within" begins with “Refuge,” a soothing keyboard solo with a gentle and calming lilt - a lovely way to start. “Never Knew” is more on the mysterious side. The keyboard has some additional reverb that gives it an otherworldly feeling in sections while percussion and brass keep it grounded - a very interesting piece! “All It Takes” is a favorite and includes some beautiful piano passages. This one includes quite a bit of ensemble work, fleshing it out and making it sing. I also really like the relaxed, easy pace of “Here Goes” and the graceful flow of “Oceantide.” “Journey Homeward” has a big, cinematic sweep suitable for travels in the present time or in past history when returning home from a long journey was much more triumphant (and difficult). “Concerto Americana” is another large-scale work, this time quite symphonic, with piano as the featured instrument. I’d love to know what the various themes represent or pay homage to, but this is a very exciting and impressive piece of music without any verbal explanations. “Green Leaves” brings us back to simplicity with a lovely piano piece as fresh as springtime. It also brings us to the end of another great album from Nick Farr.
"A View From Within" is available from www.nickfarr.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more