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The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake

Read "The Very Singular Mr. Ran Blake" reviewed by Duncan Heining

There have been few American composers and musicians, with the ability to encapsulate their country's music in all its racial and ethnic complexity. We might perhaps point to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and perhaps, in their own distaff ways, Harry Partch and Steve Reich. In jazz, their number is fewer still--Duke Ellington and George Russell certainly and, at a stretch, Jelly Roll Morton. And then there's pianist and composer Ran Blake. Listening to any one of ...

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Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee: The Newest Sound You Never Heard

Read "The Newest Sound You Never Heard" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Ran Blake has developed a reputation over the years for recording duets with vocalists, including in recent times, Sara Serpa, Dominique Eade and Christine Correa. That began back in 1961 when he released The Newest Sound Around (RCA), a remarkable set of duets with singer Jeanne Lee. The duo toured together occasionally in subsequent years but never released another recording until You Stepped Out Of A Dream (Owl) in 1989. Now here comes a new and very welcome discovery, ...

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Ran Blake / Christine Correa: Streaming

Read "Streaming" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Ran Blake has been known for his duo work with vocalists dating back to his 1962 collaboration with Jeanne Lee, The Newest Sound Around (RCA Victor). In recent years, he has been working with three individualistic singers, Sara Serpa, Dominique Eade and Christine Correa. The year 2017 brought a session of folk songs and soundtrack music with Eade, the excellent Town And Country (Sunnyside Records). This time it's Correa's turn in a program of mostly jazz and pop standards. ...

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Ran Blake & Christine Correa: Streaming

Read "Streaming" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

Back in 1946, Ran Blake watched The Spiral Staircase and was rather freaked. This classic chiller's opening scene shows a silent film flickering whilst a woman accompanies the visuals on piano. Blake later composed his own piano sketches for each character and wrote fan letters to the entire cast. His only reply came from Carlton, the housekeeper's sleepy bulldog, via a paw print autograph. Blake also claims a childhood interest in Irish ghost stories and church spirituals. Thus ...

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Ran Blake: Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell

Read "Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Sometimes an album can haunt you. It can be a companion that follows you through life. In the liner notes for the album: Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell (A-Side Records, 2015), pianist and composer Ran Blake reveals his love for composer and bandleader George Russell's album Jazz Workshop (RCA-Victor, 1957): “I listened to it so much that I wore out several copies, each time having to revisit the record store to replace it." Blake's love for ...

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Ran Blake: Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell

Read "Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Pianist/composer Ran Blake presents a loving tribute to his late colleague George Russell in a diverse program anchored by his sensitive piano playing. Blake and Russell taught together at the New England Conservatory for many years. Russell was immensely influential as a modal jazz theorist, but Blake loves his compositions above all. He interprets several of them here, along with some of his own and a few biographically relevant standards. The set opens and closes with solo piano ...

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Ran Blake: Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell

Read "Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

At eighty years of age, pianist Ran Blake has shaped an impressive and multifaceted legacy: four decades of mentoring students at the New England Conservatory; helping shape a new genre of music, Third Stream, the marriage of the jazz and classical worlds; his teaming with the lady vocalists--Jeanne Lee, Christine Correa, Sara Serpa, Dominque Eade; numerous solo piano recordings, and a handful-plus of tribute sets, honoring icons like Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn. Ghost Tones ...


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