August, 2011

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

August 2011


Welcome to the August issue of Ran’s newsletter.

Above: The band that performed at Cadbury Commons on August 25, just before the show. Left to right: Ran, Eric Lane, David “Knife” Fabris, Aaron Hartley, and Andrew Mulherker.

Cadbury Commons Concert

…the band played on

blackbagThe concert at Cadbury Commons in Cambridge, titled Ghost Tones, went well, with residents and a number of outside guests and fans packing the assisted living facility’s courtyard.

The show was divided into two parts. The first, a tribute to the composer R.B. Lynch, included Lynch’s “Christmas Cheer” and “Love Lament,” Chris Connor’s “Driftwood,” Knife’s “Nightcrawler,” and Ran’s “Memphis.”

The evening’s second half, highlighting the music of film noir, included music from the films Dr. Mabuse and Laura, Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” and “Love for Sale,” George Russell’s “Ezzthetic,” and Ran’s “The Short Life of Barbara Monk.”

For the finale, the group performed “The Band Played On.” The song, also known as “Casey Would Waltz with a Strawberry Blonde,” was featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. Many audience members recognized the tune and joined in a rousing singalong.

Said Susan Burgess, Director of Community Outreach, who organized the show: “It was a delightful moment and even greater fun in contrast to the darker noir elements.”

An additional highlight for Ran was seeing several family friends, including a woman who babysat for sister who he hadn’t seen in more than 60 years.

The concert was the last in a series of four shows in August at Cadbury Commons.

August Odds and Ends

new semester, Irene, etc.

Next month we’ll have details about the release of Ran’s next album, as well as some new concert dates. For now, here’s a round-up of some other relevant news:

Fall semester at NEC: Next week marks the start of Ran’s 43rd year at the New England Conservatory. Ran is teaching two classes: long-term melodic memory and development of personal style.

Hurricane Irene: Ran never lost power and did not experience any flooding from the hurricane/tropical storm.

Live album: Ran’s latest album, Grey December – Live in Rome, is available from Tompkins Square Records, Amazon, iTunes, and other retailers. The album of solo piano was recorded Dec. 16 at the Casa Del Jazz in Rome.

Ear Training Book: Ran’s book, The Primacy of the Ear, is available on The book 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.

Patio Portrait


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

We’ll see you in September.

Vol. 7, No. 8

You can read back issues here.