May, 2010

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

May 2010



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



CDs Now in Stock


parisOut of the Shadows is now available from You can also order the album from cdbaby and download it from cdbaby and iTunes. The cdbaby link also allows you to check out song samples.

Out of the Shadows, produced by the pianist Frank Carlberg and released last month on Red Piano Records, was recorded last August at Rear Window Studio in Coolidge Corner. This is Christine’s second collaboration with Ran; the duo released Round About in 1994.

To celebrate the album’s release, Ran and Christine will perform a concert titled “Nuance” June 18th at the Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, Maine.


Ran’s Newest Fan

released May 8

sashaThis is an abbreviated issue because your humble editor currently has his hands full tending to the needs of the newest member of Ran’s fanbase, Sasha Belle. The night she was born, Mom and Dad put on Driftwoods in the hospital room. The baby relaxed peacefully while the CD played and started bawling moments after the final notes of “You Are My Sunshine.”

Two Strong Reviews

“intimate and eccentric”

Out of the Shadows, Ran’s new duet album with vocalist Christine Correa, received favorable reviews from Derek Taylor’s Master of a Small House blog and Peter Hum’s jazz blog in the Ottawa Citizen. Excerpts and links to the full reviews follow:

Master of a Small House: “The duo’s brief exploration of the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln anthem ‘Mendacity’ cuts to the biting political quick of the piece. Correa conveys the indignation inherent in the lyrics as Blake pounds out a similarly stark pedal-weighted mood at the keys. … The pianist’s sound world is an intimate and eccentric one. As with much of his past work this set presents a welcome share of brow-raising challenges. Most memorably, it’s a session that continues to reveal secrets with each new audition.” Full review

Ottawa Citizen: “Songs such as ‘Out of the Shadows,’ ‘The Thrill is Gone,’ ‘Deep Song,’ ‘Goodbye,’ and ‘The Bad and the Beautiful’ deal with loss, loneliness and even betrayal — but Blake and Correa seem to be having a fantastic time plumbing the brooding subject matter. The sense of inspiration is palpable from both of them, as both grapple with the music material, wringing it for new kinds of expressiveness. … I generally shy away from using phrases such as ‘musical risk-takers’ and ‘players going out on a limb’ because we talking about jazz, not base jumping. But I was struck by Blake and Correa’s complete surrender to their brash and audacious way of rendering time-honored tunes. Of course, they wouldn’t have them any other way.” Full review

Thanks for reading. As always, you can reach Ran directly at, 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 June.

Vol. 6, No. 5