May, 2006

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

May 2006

At Piano


Welcome to the May issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter.

April Shows in Amsterdam, Antwerp

Solo and duo performances

Ran’s April trip to Europe went well. First he played a duo gig in Amsterdam with David “Knife” Fabris, and then he performed solo in Antwerp as part of Thelonious Monk festival. Highlights of the Antwerp show included Ran’s “Short Life of Barbara Monk” and a closing medley of standards associated with Monk that included “Just a Gigolo,” “April in Paris,” “And the Band Played On,” and “I Should Care.”

Downbeat Magazine Review

Tied CoverRan’s new CD, All That Is Tied, continues to draw strong reviews. Here’s an excerpt from Downbeat magazine’s review by John Corbett, from the May issue:

“In the 40-plus years since he made that first remarkable record [The Newest Sound Around], Blake’s never stopped putting out absolutely original and compelling music, most of it in a moody, noirish, erudite genre of his own design. The pianist and composer’s entire oeuvre is worth investigating, but this solo outing, which stands as a sort of historical survey and state of the union, is an excellent starting point. Top to bottom, All That Is Tied is wonderfully original, approachable and rewarding, and so unambiguously Ran Blake.”

Tompkins Square Records

Student Spotlight

Patrons release All That Is Tied

patronscoverThe title song on Ran’s latest CD is a country ballad written by Jonah Kraut, an NEC graduate who has worked for Ran since 2001. Jonah’s band, The Patrons, recently released their first CD, which is also titled All That Is Tied. You can hear the original version of the song on the Patrons’ Myspace page and purchase a copy from Raggmopp Records.

Upcoming Performance/New Composition

Paris

Black BagRan performs solo on Friday, July 7 at 10:30 p.m. at the Theatre du Chatelet. The McCoy Tyner Septet plays at 8 p.m. Ran is excited to perform at this illustrious theater.

Speaking of the City of Light, Ran has a new composition, “Paris,” in honor of what he considers his favorite city in the world. The song was inspired by the music halls of pre-World II-era Paris and perhaps the city’s most famous singer, Edith Piaf.

Sinus Surgery Follow-up
clear sailing

Ran’s sinus surgery at the end of April went smoothly and he made a rapid recovery. It’s a little early to know for sure, but the coughing spells that bothered Ran should occur must less often, or not at all. Thanks to everyone who inquired about Ran’s health.

NEC to Present Ran with Honorary Degree

On May 21, Ran will receive an honorary degree from the New England Conservatory at Commencement, along with Joan Tower, Janos Starker, David Baker. You can read more about it on the NEC website.

Ran and Knife Playing at Home

another video clip

Last month’s videoclip of Ran playing solo was the most popular item in the newsletter. So I thought I’d let you know ranblake.com also has another videoclip.

This one features Ran playing with guitarist David “Knife” Fabris, his accompanist on several CDs including “Indian Winter.” You’ll hear two medleys — Vilna > Dr. Mabuse > Mood Indigo and You’ve Got It Bad Girl > Fantasy > Night Crawler > Haitian Fight Song > Merci Bon Dieu — followed by brief renditions of Elijah Rock and Spiral Staircase.

And in case you missed it, here’s the solo video clip from last month.

Both clips should open with both sound and video in Apple Quicktime and other players compatible with the MP4 format. If you’re having trouble getting it to work, follow these steps:
If you’re having trouble getting the videos to work, follow these steps:
1. If you don’t already have Quicktime, download the free version
2. Open Quicktime
3. In Quicktime, click on “File” and then “Open URL in New Player”
4. Copy or type in: http://www.ranblake.com/DuetsDialUp.mp4
5. Press Play

See you next month. In the meantime, you can always check the biography page on ranblake.com for new announcements.