March, 2011

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

March 2011


Welcome to the March issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover of Ran’s next CD release. More details are below.

Upcoming Performances

in Boston and New York

blackbag Ran has a two performances scheduled in May:

On Tuesday, May 3, Ran will perform at a concert produced by Anthony Coleman honoring Duke Ellington at the New England Conservatory. The 8 p.m. show at Jordan Hall is free. More information is available here.

On Sunday, May 15, Ran is performing a memorial concert in honor of Abbey Lincoln at Cobi’s Place in New York City. The club is at 158 W. 48th St. We’ll have more details next month.

Information, Please

math and music

xyz Ran was very pleased with the response to an item in last month’s issue seeking someone interested in cooking French cuisine. So now he’s looking for help on a few other issues:

Math: Ran is fascinated by algebra and graphing, and would enjoy meeting with a math whiz to discuss algebraic concepts a couple of times a month.

Music publisher: To cut through some red tape for an upcoming album, Ran is trying to find out who was the publisher of the song “Falling,” which Ann Richards recorded with Stan Kenton in the late 1950s.

Missing Person: “R.B. Lynch” is credited with writing the music for three songs recorded by Abbey Lincoln: “How I Hoped For Your Love,” “Love Lament” and “When Autumn Sings.” Ran would like to find out basic biographical information about this person.

If you can help with any of these, contact directly at

Monthly Reminders

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.

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

Live Album Coming Out in May

Grey December

Ran’s next album, Grey December – Live in Rome, is slated for release May 17 on Tompkins Square Records. The album of solo piano was recorded Dec. 16 at the Casa Del Jazz in Rome.

One of Ran’s earlier albums was recorded in a movie theater and another in a train station, but this is Ran’s first live concert recording in front of an audience in a traditional venue.

The performance includes several original compositions that appear on record for the first time, as well as standards. The track list:

-Cry Wolf (Blake)
-Obama (Blake)
-Magic Row (Gunther Schuller)
-Let’s Stay Together/Brazil (Al Green/Ari Barrosso)
-Winter in Madrid (Gene Roland/Jacques Cascales)
-We’ll Be Together (Carl Fischer)
-Field Cry (Willis Laurence James)
-Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
-Luciano (Blake)
-Mingus (Mingus/Blake)
-You Stepped Out of a Dream (Nacio Herb Brown)
-Inspirations: Abbey Lincoln (Lincoln/Blake)

Jason Yeager Releases Debut

a former student’s “Ruminations”

yeagerA March highlight for Ran was seeing pianist Jason Yeager perform March 15 at the Regattabar, in honor of his debut album, Ruminations.

Yeager, a former student of Ran’s at NEC, plays with a trio that includes Tal Gamlieli on bass and Michael Gleichman on drums. For the Regattabar show, they were joined by guests Aubry Johnson on vocals, Mike Tucker on tenor sax and Vivek Patel on flugelhorn. The show featured Jason’s interpretation of Ran’s “Memphis.”

In an article in the Taunton Gazette published in advance of the show, Ran said: “Jason is a very intuitive musician. He has a wonderful ear. He’s exciting technically but he doesn’t parade his technique. Then he surprises you like a thunderbolt and knocks you off your feet.”

The album is available from Inner Circle Music.

We’ll see you in April.

Vol. 7, No. 3

You can read back issues here.