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Ran Blake is still spry at 70. The pianist's thoughts are as fertile as one could ever wish them to be, and he makes fulsome use of them as he enunciates with authority on All That Is Tied, a solo recording made forty years after his first album. Time has not stilled his passion; it still beats strongly within him, along with his sense for discovery. Blake is always alert for a new direction which will spring a surprise. His sense of fun is an integral part of his makeup, and he continues to explore it delightfully.
Blake values melody just as he does a fragmentary approach and free exploration. Even as he examines freedom, breaking up time and pulse, he goes back to swiftly kiss the melody, though he does linger on occasion. That is part of the magic he dispels.
The pianist has an emphatic left hand, and he shows this to advantage to rumble the chords as his right essays the blues for "Latter Rain Christian Fellowship. He opens the melody, circumvents it, dissects the lines, and breaks up the rhythm, all in just over two minutes. Blake finds himself in a lyrical frame of mind on "Wende, his gentle flow clasped firmly in the arms of heartfelt emotion.
All that is tied up is loosened, and all that is loosened is set free.
Track Listing: All That Is Tied; Breakthru; Birmingham, U.S.A.; Thursday; How Bout That; Impressario of
Death; Sontagism; Epilogue; Latter Rain Christian Fellowship; Field Cry; Wende; Breakthru.