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Randy Ingram: The Means of Response (Carrier)

A review of the pianist's fourth album

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Randy Ingram, The Means of Response
The cover of The Means of Response by Randy Ingram

A boldfaced quote from the late Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa—“The role of the artist is to not look away”—adorns the inside cover of the CD version of pianist Randy Ingram’s fourth album, a trio set featuring Drew Gress on bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums.  The album, as its title and that quote suggest, is meant to voice Ingram’s way of dealing with the state of affairs we all find ourselves engulfed in these days, and Ingram’s challenge here is how to convey those powerful feelings with music that does not include any lyrics that would spell it out.

Ingram and his accompanists rely on their emotional states to accomplish that goal, and how each listener takes it all in will, of course, vary accordingly. What one may interpret as anger could easily be construed as frustration or bleakness by another. An ethereal or serene passage could represent hopes and dreams or, perhaps, sheer exhaustion.

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Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Tamarkin on social media

Jeff Tamarkin is the former editor of Goldmine, CMJ, Relix, and Global Rhythm. As a writer he has contributed to the New York Daily News, JazzTimes, Boston Phoenix, Harp, Mojo, Newsday, Billboard, and many other publications. He is the author of the book Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane and has contributed to The Guinness Companion to Popular Music, All Music Guide, and several other encyclopedias. He has also served as a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NARAS, National Geographic Online, and Music Club Records.