Febuary, 2007

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

February 2007

At Piano


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

New Book on Lenox School of Jazz

where Ran learned from the masters

lenoxA new book, The Lenox School of Jazz, covers the history of an important chapter in jazz history. The book, by Boston University professor Jeremy Yudkin, includes several references to Ran, who studied and performed at the school at the start of his career.

The Lenox School of Jazz operated at the Music Inn in Lenox during summers from 1957 to 1960. Faculty included Gunther Schuller, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and Jimmy Giuffre. Ran attended all four years and looks back on it as one of the highlights of his life.

In a chapter on Ornette Coleman, the book cites a 1959 newspaper review of a faculty/student concert: “Best individual performances of the evening were turned in by pianist Ran Blake and alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Young Blake has tremendous talent both as a composer and player, and his rendition of his own Vanguard has wonderful feeling and expressiveness … The 29-year-old Coleman has created quite a stir at the school this season with his unique style and theories, and the short hearing Saturday night was a revelation both as to style and creativity …”

The book is published by the Lenox Library Association. You can order a copy for $22 from Amazon or by contacting Professor Yudkin at YudkinJaf@aol.com.

Expanded “Tied” By Download

available from emusic.com

tiedAn enhanced version of All That Is Tied is now available by digital download. “The Complete All That Is Tied Sessions” can be downloaded from eMusic, a website that offers various downloading packages via monthly subscription. The eMusic version includes 25 songs recorded during the original album sessions: the original 12, alternate takes of five songs (some radically different), plus eight songs not on the album (Arline, Spiral Staircase, Indian Winter, Sister Tee, Straight Ahead, Turning Point, Touch of Evil and Vanguard).

Upcoming Performances

in Northampton and Brookline

bag Ran is playing at the Northampton (Massachusetts) Center for the Arts this Friday, February 16 as part of a solo piano series. Ran plans to debut several new compositions at this show, which he has titled “Northampton Noir.” The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($12 and $8 for students and seniors) will be available at the door.

Ran will also be performing Sunday, March 25 as part of the Brookline Library’s 150th Anniversary. The celebration centers on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Ran’s show is at 2 p.m. in Hunneman Hall. For this show, Ran will play with a band including David “Knife” Fabris (guitar), Jonah Kraut (guitar), Joel Yennior (trombone), and Andrew Beer (violin). On several songs, the band will play as clips from Alice-related films are shown.

Further Down the Road

NYC and Europe

Ran is also tentatively slated to appear as part of a panel on jazz and film at Lincoln Center in New York City on Wednesday, May 16. And several appearances in France in December are being planned. We’ll have further details on all these appearances once they’re confirmed.

August Intensive Study

celebrating Chris Connor

Here’s a quick reminder that the vocalist Chris Connor will be the subject of Ran’s annual intensive course from August 8-16. For more information, please contact NEC Summer School Director Margaret Ulmer at sumsch@
newenglandconservatory.edu.

Newsletter Archive: January December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April

We’ll see you in March.
–Steve

Vol. 3, No. 2