2

Ran Blake and Christine Correa: Down Here Below

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Ran Blake and Christine Correa: Down Here Below Starting with the inimitable Jeanne Lee, pianist Ran Blake has been collaborating with adventurous vocalists for half a century. These are singers who are not satisfied by merely parroting the old repertoire in the same tried and true, but also musty and tired way. These are musicians whose vocal cords command close listening, as is the case with the Mumbai-born and New York-based Christine Correa.

This Abbey Lincoln tribute, Down Here Below, is the third time Correa and Blake have recorded together over a span of 18 years. Lincoln, a musical giant, was a major influence on Lee, therefore this particular disc brings Blake full circle.

Correa exudes Lincoln's bold spirit without losing her own individuality. "Bird Alone" features Correa's emotionally raw and honest yet highly urbane and elegant interpretation, perfectly matching Blake's advanced piano solo.

The predawn melodic chant that characterizes "African Lady" has a certain primitive Sophistication, while "Retribution" highlights Correa's agility, as she vocalizes against the grain of the melody, with Blake's angular piano alternating between quiet notes and bursts of dissonance. This kind of improvised dialogue is abundant throughout the album, but best heard on the whimsical "Little Niles," where Correa articulates the lyrics with child-like wonder, as Blake's fast runs are followed by an easing of the tempo, to bring just the right amount of chaos to the tune, much like a mischievous youngster at play.

The inclusion of two takes of some of the pieces, far from being repetitious, actually helps cement the central concept around which the record is built. The first take of the title track has Correa's vocalese blowing free, like a saxophone solo, and in its wind Blake's piano keys ring like chimes in a seemingly random way while simultaneously creating a dark and complex sound that set the mood for the rest of the session. There is a church-like mystique with a heartbreaking yearning as Correa's gentle hesitant singing takes the spotlight backed by Blake. The second take features Correa unaccompanied, articulating the lyrics with more anger, more vigor and less melancholy.

Correa's ethereal voice and Blake's mature pianism in this sublime artistic expression pay a unique homage to Lincoln's legacy.

Track Listing: Down Here Below; Little Niles; Freedom Day; Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?; Christmas Cheer; Bird Alone; African Lady; Retribution; Freedom Day; How I Hoped for Your Love; Christmas Cheer; Down Here Below.

Personnel: Christine Correa: voice; Ran Blake: piano.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Trio Miami" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Miami
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Agartha" CD/LP/Track Review Agartha
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!