January, 2014

Poster by John Campopiano

Ran plays the Regattabar in Boston/Cambridge this Wednesday (February 5) at 7:30 p.m. To commemorate the recent reissue of Ran Blake Plays Solo Piano on CD, Ran will perform the repertoire from the 1965 album, interspersed with a number of other compositions, including Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” and Gunther Schuller’s “Tone Row.” Percussionist Jon Hazilla will appear as a special guest on several songs to celebrate the release of their recent duo album, Kaleidoscope. You can download the full program here.

In a preview, the Boston Globe’s Kevin Lowenthal called Ran “a master of touch and timing able to coax sonorities out of his instrument unimagined by other players, rendering his own unique idiom comprised of Messiaenic chords, Ellington-Strayhorn elegance, Monkish wit, gospel glimmer, and film noir glower and swoon.” For more information and to reserve a ticket, visit the Regattabar’s website.

In Memory of Marte Blake
Ran is dedicating the Regatta Bar concert to the memory of his sister, Martha “Marte” Blake Koleda, who died January 11 at age 73 in Arlington, Virginia. Marte (shown here with her dog Sake) is survived by her husband of 50 years, Michael, their five children, nine grandchildren, and Ran.

“She was a wonderful person who found many new dimensions to spirituality in her last few years,” Ran said. “She blessed her family, Michael, and their five children with wonderful care and emotional support throughout the years. Most of all, I remember her loyal sensitivity and love for animals. She was particulary fond of her childhood cat, Arabella.”

The full obituary is available here.
Algebra Tutor Wanted
Ran would like to find someone to give him an algebra lesson, perhaps in exchange for a lesson on music or film noir. If you’re interested, contact Ran at ran@ranblake.com.
Kaleidoscope: “… one beautiful set”
Kaleidoscope, Ran’s duo album with Jon Hazilla, received a favorable review on jazz critic Grego Applegate Edwards’ Gapplegate Music review blog. An excerpt follows:

“The two really strike it off and Hazilla brings a sensitivity toward Ran’s stylistic personality that is nothing if not striking. Maestro Blake comes through as his usual inventive, adventurous self, playing some notable originals (which he hasn’t done a great deal of lately) and reworking standards, harmonically, melodically an d otherwise, in brilliant ways that give the songs a very original, personal stamp. In the end we have one beautiful set with Hazilla inspired and seemingly inspiring Ran Blake for some fabulous music. Grab this one!”You can read the full review here and heed Edwards’ advice here.
To learn more about studying at NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department, please visit its website or contact Department Chairperson Hankus Netsky. Ran’s book, The Primacy of the Ear, is available from lulu.com.Thanks for reading. We’ll see you in February.

Vol. 10, No. 1