May, 2014

Welcome to the May issue
of Ran’s newsletter.

Ran’s feline friend DecTor Dutra has a brand
new bag.

Photo by Rebecca Sullivan

Upcoming Shows in New York City and Boston

June 6 & 7Ran and vocalist Sara Serpa perform sets at 8 and 9 p.m. for two nights at the Kitano Hotel (66 Park Avenue). To make a reservation, call 1-800-KITANO-NY. More information is available on the hotel’s jazz page.
June 8 — Guitarist David “Knife” Fabris celebrates the release of his new album, Lettuce Prey, at Spectrum (121 Ludlow St.) at 5 p.m. Ran is featured on the album and will be among a number of guests performing. For more information, visit the club’s website.

July 5Ran and pianist Brian Friedland perform together at M. Steinert and Sons at 6 p.m. in Boston (162 Boylston St.). For more information, call (617) 426-1900.

Mensa Conference

Ran will speak about his ideas on ear training at “Brilliance in Boston,” Mensa’s annual gathering in Boston at the Sheraton. The conference runs July 2-6, and Ran’s talk is on July 2 from 4:30 to 5:45. For more information and to register, visit Mensa’s website.

NYC Jazz Record Review
Donald Elfman favorably reviewed the re-release of Ran Blake Plays Solo Piano and Lettuce Pray, guitarist David “Knife” Fabris’ recent album that features Ran on eight songs, in the June issue of New York City Jazz Record. Excerpts follow:

“The two albums here are separated by nearly 50 years but
share a riveting intelligence … On Plays Solo Piano, the artist takes music that is part of the jazz repertoire and the fabric of American music and reframes it melodically and harmonically. … Throughout the album, Blake fashions sounds and directions that still feel fresh after so many decades.

“What’s different on Lettuce Prey is that Fabris, even with Blake as featured pianist, comes at his diverse influences in a bigger way. There are horns, singers and a host of wildly different sources. … From the jazz world comes Abbey Lincoln’s “Down Here Below” with Blake and Fabris sharing a gorgeous and emotional hymn. …
Lettuce Prey is many things but above all it is terrific music.”

You can read the full review by downloading the issue here (page 30), and you can check out another review of Lettuce Prey (on the Gapplegate Guitar and Bass blog)here. Both albums are available at

Private Lessons

Ran is available for private lessons in June and beyond. Potential areas of focus include long-term melodic and harmonic memory, repertoire development, and sequencing a performance. For details, contact Ran directly at
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

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

Vol. 10, No. 5