October, 2009

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

October 2009



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


Duo En Noir Re-released

1999 live album

duoDuo En Noir, a live album featuring Ran and the Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava that’s been out of print for several years, was re-released in October. The new version has a different cover (above).

The album, on the European Between the Lines label, first came out in 1999. It has 10 tracks, including “Nature Boy,” “Vertigo/Laura,” “Spiral Staircase,” and “Let’s Stay Together.”

The reissue is available from the Jazz Loft and Amazon. You can also download it from Amazon, iTunes and e-music.

Ran recalls having jet lag, but it doesn’t seem to have affected his performance. The album received many favorable reviews, such as this one on Allmusic that called it “a must-have for followers of both Blake’s and Rava’s work.”

October 23 show

NEC Jazz’ 40th anniversary

cakeRan will perform at an concert at Jordan Hall this Friday (October 23) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Program. Ran will play his new original composition, “Obama.”

The show is part of a series of events in Boston at a number of venues during the week of October 18. Artists for the October 23 performance include Ran, Gunther Schuller, Bob Brookmeyer, Danilo Perez, Dominique Eade, Fred Hersch, Don Byron, Billy Hart, and Cecil McBee.

The show starts at 8 and tickets are $25.

Ran on NPR

expanded version of earlier piece

National Public Radio’s Morning Edition aired an extended profile of Ran on October 17. Titled “Ran Blake: A Blur of Film Noir, Improvisation,” the 8-minute story by Andrea Shea is an expanded version of the piece WBUR aired last April. You can read and hear it here, and there’s also a new annotated link to Ran’s performance at WGBH last March.

Annual Department Production

November 9 at NEC

pawnbrokerUsually presented on Halloween, this year Ran’s annual Contemporary Improvisation Department production is set for November 9th. The date is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” in 1938, which many historians consider the beginning of the Holocaust.

Using video footage from Sidney Lumet’s 1965 film The Pawnbroker and its film score by Quincy Jones, the evening focuses on the psychological torment of Holocaust victim and Spanish Harlem pawnbroker Sol Nazerman (played by Rod Steiger) and underscores the challenge of renewing faith in humanity in a world where the tragedies of the Holocaust are still very real.

Aaron Hartley’s Storyboard Noir Ensemble will provide much of the musical accompaniment for this production along with special guests Ken Schaphorst’s NEC Big Band, Hankus Netsky’s Jewish Music Ensemble, Anthony Coleman, Eleni Odoni, Jerry Sabatini, Alonzo Harris, and many others.

The show, which is free, is at NEC’s Jordan Hall at 8 p.m.

Dog Day Afternoon

second The photos of Ran in the issue were taken by Aaron Hartley at a park in Brookline one fine September day, and that’s Eric Lane’s dog Jackson.


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 November.


Vol. 5, No. 10