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MUSICIAN Born:

Ran Blake

In a career that now spans five decades, pianist Ran Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solos, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions, and themes from classic Film Noir, Blake’s singular sound has earned a dedicated following all over the world. His dual musical legacy includes more than 30 albums on some of the world’s finest jazz labels, as well nearly 30 years as a groundbreaking educator at Boston’s New England Conservatory. Blake first discovered the dark, image laden and complex character driven films that would so influence his music at age 12 when he first saw Robert Siodmak’s Spiral Staircase

When Soft Rains Fall

Label: Red Piano Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: I'm A Fool To Want You; For Heaven's Sake; The Day Lady Died; You've Changed; You Don't Know What Love Is; The End Of A Love Affair; For All We Know; Big Stuff; I Get Along Without You Very Well; Violets For Your Furs; Lady Sings The Blues; But Beautiful; Glad To Be Unhappy; I'll Be Around; It's Easy To Remember.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ran Blake / Christine Correa: When Soft Rains Fall

Read "When Soft Rains Fall" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Ran Blake and vocalist Christine Correa have recorded several duo albums together including two on the music of Abbey Lincoln. Here they turn to another iconic singer, Billie Holiday, concentrating on the contents of her final album, Lady In Satin (Columbia, 1958). Lady In Satin is known for its lush orchestral and choral ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Piano Forte: Chick Corea & Ran Blake/Frank Carlberg

Read "Piano Forte: Chick Corea & Ran Blake/Frank Carlberg" reviewed by Doug Collette

Originally classified as a percussion device, the piano these days is also generally considered a stringed instrument and, certainly under the right hands, those eighty-eight keys have the ability to conjure up fluid lines that effectively combine melody and rhythm. It is hardly a surprise then that such a versatile tool has evolved into one of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Wayne Escoffery, Art Blakey, Gunhild Carling and More

Read "Wayne Escoffery, Art Blakey, Gunhild Carling and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

As this COVID-19 pandemic has silenced the world of live music, jazz musicians continue releasing more and more great albums. This week we focus on some of them, Wayne Escoffery, Warren Wolf, Gunhild Carling and Ran Blake. Enjoy the music. Playlist Wayne Escoffery “Benedictus" The Humble Warrior (Smoke Sessions Records) 00:00 Host talks 5:23 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra: Night Devoid of Stars

Read "Night Devoid of Stars" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Daniel Hersog is a Canadian trumpet player and composer, here presenting his first big band album, a set of sweeping and progressive orchestral jazz which reflects the current state of the world with shifting moods of unease and cautious optimism. Hersog has a expansive style of writing that draws as much from classical music ...

Piano Times Seven

Read "Piano Times Seven" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Every jazz pianist plays in their own individual style. These recent albums demonstrate the way seven particular players approach the instrument. Laurent Nicoud Outline QFTF 2020 This is a solo disc by a pianist whose background in classical music shows through the formal drama of his approach ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 2

Read "Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Stevie Wonder has often infused his performances with compelling renditions of jazz standards like Miles' “All Blues" or Coltrane's “Giant Steps." In return, countless jazz musicians have looked into his Songbook for compositions that would provide them with a fertile ground for their own explorations. In the second part of our “Stevie @70" ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...

NEWS: AWARD / GRANT

Iconic Pianist/Composer Ran Blake To Receive 2020 Jazz Journalists Association Boston Jazz Hero Award

Iconic Pianist/Composer Ran Blake To Receive 2020 Jazz Journalists Association Boston Jazz Hero Award

Iconic pianist and composer Ran Blake is the 2020 recipient of the Boston Jazz Hero award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Blake is one of 27 jazz heroes in 23 cities across the country chosen as “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz." The complete list of honorees, with photo portraits and biographies, is posted ...


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