October, 2010

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

October 2010

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

Chabrol Noir

November 10 at NEC

ruptureHere’s a final reminder for the Boston contingent that Ran and coproducer Aaron Hartley are staging a musical and cinematic tribute in honor of Claude Chabrol at the New England Conservatory on Wednesday, November 10.

Students and faculty of NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department and several guests will perform in response to the plots, moods, and music of Chabrol’s rich body of film.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall, and it’s free. Read a detailed description of the program on NEC’s website.

Gunther Gala

November 16 at NEC

guntherRan will be among the performers at an NEC concert on Tuesday, November 16 in honor of Gunther Schuller’s 85th birthday.

John Heiss and the NEC Contemporary Ensemble are spearheading the celebration in honor of the legendary conductor, composer, author, and historian. Gunther, who was NEC’s president from 1967 to 1977, played a major role in helping Ran’s musical career take off in the 1960s.

Ran will play “Magic Row,” an improvisational piano piece based on Schuller’s compositional exploration of the twelve-tone technique.

The 8 p.m. show at Jordan Hall is free, and Gunther will also deliver a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. You can read more about it here.

That Certain Feeling Reissued

1991 Gershwin Tribute

certain feelingHatHut Records has reissued That Certain Feeling, Ran’s 1991 tribute to George Gershwin that features Ricky Ford on tenor saxophone and Steve Lacy on soprano saxophone. The album has been out of print for many years.

The reissue is remastered and has a new cover. You can purchase it through ranblake.com.

In other CD news, Camera Obscura, Ran’s new duet album with vocalist Sara Serpa, is also now available through ranblake.com.

Primacy of the Ear

book on musical philosophy released

The Primacy of the Ear, Ran’s long-awaited book, is now available from Lulu.com. The book (shown above) outlines Ran’s philosophy on development of the ear and explains how musical memory is the key to becoming a more potent musician and shaping a personal musical style.

The Primacy of the Ear includes Ran’s famous “ear-robics” exercises, which musicians can use to improve their listening skills. Other key topics include:

–The Auteur Theory and how it translates into music making
–Developing and differentiating between the conscious and subconscious mind
–Listening and musical memory
–How to learn from your musical heroes without being consumed by them
–Developing and using repertoire
–How to record your music most effectively

Jason Rogers, a musician and longtime friend of Ran’s, co-wrote the book. David “Knife” Fabris, Art Lange, Hankus Netsky, Larry Livingston, Dylan Charbeneau, Fred Harris and Gardiner Hartmann contributed forewords.

The book costs $30, plus $4 shipping in the U.S. You can read more about it here and preview and order a copy here.

European Tour Dates

4 Countries in December

vilnius Ran will be playing a series of concerts in Europe in December. These are the confirmed dates:

Dec. 2Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain, duo performance with guitarist David “Knife” Fabris
Dec. 4 Siguenza Jazz Festival, Spain, duo with Knife
Dec. 10 – St. Catherin’s Church, Vilnius, Lithuania, duo with Knife
Dec. 16 - Casa Del Jazz, Rome, Italy, solo performance with appearances by Knife and tenor saxophonist Jacopo Jacopetti
Dec. 19Trem Azul Jazz Store, Lisbon, Portugal, duo performance with vocalist Sara Serpa

The tour marks Ran’s first performance in Lithuania. An additional exciting development is that if all goes to plan, the tour will produce two live albums. The show in Vilnius may be released by NoBusiness Records as an LP-only recording, and the Rome concert may be issued on CD on the Tompkins Square label.

As always, you can reach Ran directly at ran@ranblake.com, and you can read back issues here.

To learn more about studying at NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation Department, visit the department’s website or contact Department Chairperson Hankus Netsky.

We’ll see you in November.
–Steve

Vol. 6, No. 10