November, 2011

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

November 2011



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

Praise for Whirlpool

“the perfect autumn record”

whirlpoolWhirlpool, Ran’s new duet album with vocalist Dominique Eade, continues to garner critical praise. Here are excerpts from three recent reviews:

Scott Albin, Jazz Times: “Blake has developed an approach that is never less than thought-provoking and is brilliantly original at its best. As for Eade, her effortless and seemingly limitless ability to vary both her vibrato and tonal quality, and cleverly utilize intervallic leaps, while speeding up or slowing down unpredictably in navigating a lyric, help make her a most flexible and adventurous match for Blake. They are harmonically and melodically attuned to one another.” Read the full review.

Lucid Culture blog:Whirlpool couldn’t have come out at a more appropriate time. It’s the perfect autumn record: its dark clarity is absolutely chilling, and absolutely exhilarating. It makes you glad to be alive. Eade has never sung better; at 76, Blake’s at the top of his game, absolutely undiminished, the indomitable master of noir piano menace and magic.” Full review.

C.J. Bond, Jazz Music blog: “The implementation of this project at last, infers a very clear, focused mission, ensuring a triumphant performance that is refreshingly original, extraordinarily imaginative, brimming with ineffable confidence, shows a boldness that knows no limit, and seems to deliver itself from a source of happiness dispossessed of any particular reason … Whirlpool presents jazz in its purest, most elemental form. Eade and Blake succeed on all levels.” Full review.


Ran’s Book, etc.

blackbag 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 about studying at NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department, visit this website or contact Department Chairperson Hankus Netsky.


Mahler Unleashed

Ran performs Tuesday

nec Ran will debut a new suite, “Mahler Noir,” during a November 29 concert honoring the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler at the New England Conservatory.

The show is part of “Mahler Unleashed,” several months of activities celebrating Mahler’s works that includes concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film.

Tuesday’s concert, titled “Mahler in Chinatown,” features contributions from NEC Classical, Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation faculty, as well as the student Chamber Orchestra.

Ran’s contribution is a solo piano inspired by important events in Mahler’s life. It includes six parts:
I – Death Gong
II – Conversion
III – Death of Maria
IV – Auf Wiedersehen Wien
V – The Last Boat Trip: New York to France
VI – Flashback and Death.

See the full line-up and read much more about the show here.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. in Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough St.), and it’s free.

Holiday CD Sale

buy 3, get 1 free is offering a special deal to readers of this newsletter through the end of 2011: Buy any 3 CDs, and get 1 free — an even better offer than the ongoing buy 4, get 1 free offer.

To get your free CD, just order 3 albums and type in “newsletter bonus” and the title of your choice in the Notes/Instructions box that appears when you complete your order.

The sale is a good chance to catch up on several of Ran’s recent releases: Whirlpool, Camera Obscura (with Sara Serpa), and Out of the Shadows (with Christine Correa).

We’ve dropped the prices on some of Ran’s older titles, so it’s also a fine time to fill in holes in your collection of Ran’s back catalog or take care of several people on your holiday shopping list.


We’ll see you in December.

Vol. 7, No. 11

You can read back issues here.