April, 2012

April 2012



Welcome to the April issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter. Ran recently sat for a photo session with photographer Eric Antoniou, from which the photos in this issue are drawn.

Upcoming Shows

Lisbon, Boston, and Toucy

Ran has three upcoming shows:

May 11 — Ran and vocalist Sera Serpa are playing a duo gig in Lisbon, Portugal at Auditorio da Culturgest. Read more here.

June 5 — Ran and composer and pianist Alla Cohen present “an evening of counterpoint” with Darby the red Persian cat at the Old South Church Chapel (645 Boylston Street) in Boston. Read more here.

July 20 — Ran performs with the Ricky Ford Orchestra at the Toucy International Jazz Festival in France. Read more about the festival here.

Ran and Alla

ranandallaRan with the composer and pianist Alla Cohen. They perform together June 5 in Boston.

With Darby


A Sold Out Show

tribute to Abbey Lincoln

Ran’s April 30 performance at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan, received a warm reception. Ran’s show, a tribute to Kalamazoo native Abbey Lincoln, was sold out. Fritz Klug, a music critic for mlive.com, wrote that “Blake captured Lincoln’s vocal range and mix of moods by taking the original instrumentation of songs, cutting them with Lincoln’s, creating new pieces memorializing the singer.”

Klug also observed that after the show, four classmates of Lincoln from high school and reminisced with Ran about growing up with Lincoln. Read the full review here.

Photographer Bradley Pines posted two excellent photos of Ran from the show here.

Fine Wine


Recent Album Reviews

“not of this earth”

Down Here Below, a duet album with vocalist Christine Correa released last month that pays tribute to Abbey Lincoln, is drawing favorable reviews:

criticaljazz.com, Brent Black: “Odd and shifting meter, harmonic dissonance and a quiet if not reverent melancholy haunt this release as though a guiding hand not of this earth was influencing the sonic path taken.” Read the full review here.

Buscando un nombre blog, Pachi Tapiz: The review is in Spanish, so we won’t quote from it, but you can read it here.

The album, released on Red Piano Records, is available from CDbaby here.

Vilnius Noir, a live LP released last winter on No Business Records that features Ran with guitarist David “Knife Fabris,” drew praise on allaboutjazz.com. Critic John Sharpe said the record “has the feel of eavesdropping on a late night conversation between two old friends who don’t need to say very much for the other to grasp the intended meaning.” Full review.

Ran’s book, The Primacy of the Ear, is available on lulu.com. 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.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you at the end of May.

Vol. 8, No. 4

You can read back issues here.

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