June, 2007

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

June 2007

At Piano


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

Ran Blake: The Music of Chris Connor

August 8-16

lovesPress Release from the New England Conservatory on Ran’s Intensive Summer Course

August 8-16, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday: 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Special public evening: Tuesday, August 14, 6:30 p.m.

Chris Connor is arguably the most unique “white stylist” in jazz singing. With her husky timbre and long expressive phrases, Chris Connor remains one of jazz’s most nontraditional musicians. Connor started singing with a big band led by trombonist Bob Brookmeyer before leaving her native Kansas City for New York in 1947. After a stint with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra, Connor was hired by Stan Kenton at June Christy’s recommendation.

Connor began her solo career in 1953, recording three albums for Bethlehem before moving to Atlantic in 1955, reaching the height of her popularity. Highlights include The Thrill is Gone, Something to Live For, The Lady Sings the Blues, Roundabout, You Stepped Out of a Dream, High On a Windy Hill, and Lonely Woman — the first recorded version of the Ornette Coleman classic.

We will explore Connor’s musical personality by listening to selected recordings spanning her career and by hearing personal anecdotes, rather than by analyzing specific musical selections. In tracing Connor’s progress from her roots with Bethlehem to her Atlantic years with Ronnie Ball to her commercial success in the ’70s with Rod McKuen to her comeback in the ’80s and ’90s, we will gain an appreciation of the full range of this extraordinary vocal stylist.

You can receive one college credit for taking this short, intensive course.

You can download the enrollment form here. For more information, use this link or contact Ran at ran@ranblake.com.

Finally, here is an mp3 of one of Ran’s favorite tracks, Get Out of Town. You can listen to a number of her other songs on her website.

The Music of Landscape

July panel discussion in Brookline

brookline On Sunday, July 8, Ran will participate in a roundtable discussion titled From Beethoven to Ballads: Music of Landscape at Brookline High School.

The event is co-sponsored by Brookline Adult and Community Education and the National Park Service/Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

The program will explore the interrelationship of landscape and music across a range of musical genres and cultures. Specifically, topics will include landscape as a source of creative inspiration for musical composition, the added dimension to performance from performing music outdoors in a natural or naturalistic landscape, and music as a medium for educating the public about the environment and promoting a deeper connection between the public and the environment.

Boston Globe music writer Scott Alarik will serve as moderator, and the other participants are Charles Ansbacher (conductor of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra), Mark Erelli (singer songwriter), and Aine Minogue (Celtic harpist).

The two-hour discussion begins at 7 p.m. The high school is at 115 Greenough Street. Tickets are $10, with registration through Brookline Adult & Community Education, 617-730-2700, or www.brookline adulted.org.

Brooklyn Performance Program Notes

available for download

bag Ran’s May 17 solo show at the Center for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn went well. You can download a copy of the program here.

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We’ll see you in July.
–Steve

Vol. 3, No.6