July, 2013

July 2013


Welcome to the July issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter, which celebrates the release of Kaleidoscope, a duet album with drummer and percussionist Jon Hazilla. Read on for further details.

Ran’s Reflections

summer reading

beach This month Ran would like to pass on three summer reading recommendations:

Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams, by Linda Dahl

The Asylum, a Gothic thriller about mistaken identity by John Harwood

Love Story Black, a novel about an unlikely romance between an elderly woman and a much younger man by William Demby, who recently died

Also, Ran encourages Boston-area residents to check out Marc Cary’s solo piano performance at Scullers on Thursday August 29. The show, as well as Marc’s recent album, For the Love of Abbey, is a tribute to Abbey Lincoln.

CD Ordering Info

+ full track listing

You can sample the songs on Kaleidoscope and download the album on iTunes here. A limited supply of CDs with the cover signed by Jon and Ran is available at ranblake.com. You can also order the CD from Klompfoot and Downtown Music Gallery (use the search function at both sites). The album includes:

1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
2. Never On Sunday / A Little North Wind
3. Curtis-Wende-Breakthru / Girl from Ipanema
4. Monk’s Drum Dream
5. Dreamsville
6. Manos Hadjidakis / Vradiazi
7. I Say a Little Prayer
8. Goodbye
9. Paris
10. Birmingham to Obama
11. Shostakovich 10th Symphony 3rd movement and 9th Symphony 2nd movement / Stormy Weather
12. Driva Man
13. This Drum Doesn’t Waltz
14. Early Autumn / Gloomy Sunday
15. Miss Up to Date
16. Angel Maker
17. Arline
18. Cry Wolf
19. Who


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


Kaleidoscope Released

duet with Jon Hazilla

jon Although Kaleidoscope, released by CIMP Records, marks the first duet album from Ran and Jon Hazilla, the pair’s friendship and musical collaboration dates back more than 30 years, when Jon was a student at the New England Conservatory. Jon, a professor at the Berklee College of Music, appears on Ran’s Film Noir (1980) and Short Life of Barbara Monk (1986) albums.

The album’s 19 tracks and nearly 74 minutes include several originals (such as Ran’s new “Birmingham to Obama,” new interpretations of “Cry Wolf” and “Arline,” and Jon’s “Monk’s Drum Dream” and “This Drum Doesn’t Waltz”) and their treatments of a range of jazz, classical, and traditional songs. (See the full track listing and ordering information below left.)

The album was recorded in Brookline in January of 2009, the day before President Obama’s historic first inauguration. It was produced by Robert D. Rusch, who also contributed liner notes. An excerpt follows:

“This session–this recital–was remarkably freewheeling despite its suggested repertoire. Between takes there was talk of cookies, Lenox Music Inn, various common acquaintances, musical suggestions, freely-associated and spontaneous excursions. For instance, within a span of 15 minutes, the duo went from Shostokovich to Arline to Driva Man to I Say A Little Prayer–all played with spirit and enthusiasm. After producing hundreds of sessions, I can say this was for us one of the more memorable experiences.”


B&W Portrait

ranbwPhoto by Ed Hartley

Ran’s book, The Primacy of the Ear, is available from 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.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you in August.

Vol. 9, No. 7