December, 2009

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

December 2009

ran

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

Rare Videos of Ran and Jeanne Lee

performing in 1963

screenTwo stunning videos of Ran and Jeanne Lee performing in October 1963 have surfaced on a French website. The duo play “Something’s Coming” (from West Side Story) and “Jada.”

A Memory of Vienna Returns

duo disc with Anthony Braxton

viennaA Memory of Vienna, Ran’s celebrated duet album with saxophonist Anthony Braxton that has been out of print for several years, has been reissued in a remastered version by Hat Hut Records.

The album, which was recorded in November 1988 and originally released in 1997, includes standards such as Monk’s “‘Round Midnight,” Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite,” Miles Davis’ “Four,” and Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes.”

Thanks to Hat Hut founder Werner X. Uehlinger, we have a limited quantity available for order from ranblake.com.

End of the Year Honors for Driftwoods

Slate, AllMusic, etc.

driftwoodsDriftwoods, Ran’s album of solo piano released earlier this year, turned up on a number of lists of the best albums of 2009.

–In Slate, Fred Kaplan rates Driftwoods 10th in his listing of the best jazz albums of the year. Kaplan writes: “His chords, dissonant but heartfelt, waft out of a dream.”

–emusic lists Driftwoods as the 19th best album of 2009 (of any genre).

Boston Phoenix jazz critic Jon Garelick includes Driftwoods and Ran’s November NEC tribute to the film Pawnbroker among a list of his favorite things of 2009.

–AllMusic mentions Driftwoods in a list of the top jazz albums of the year.

Vernissage Evening

groupFriends of Ran hosted a show highlighting his original compositions and several standards he favors on December 17 at Vernissage, a Brookline restaurant. The photo above, as well as the one of Ran atop the issue, was taken by Deborah Raptopoulos. Performers shown are Aaron Hartley (trombone), Michalis Katachanas (violin), Brad Barrett (bass), Jason Yeager (piano), and Eleni Odoni (vocals). Hankus Netsky (piano), Sara Serpa (vocals), and Linda Chase (flute) also performed.

Thanks for reading. As always, you can reach Ran directly at ran@ranblake.com, and you can read back issues here. We’ll see you in January.
–Steve

Vol. 5, No. 12