This is the much awaited duo album of Danish drum innovator Kresten Osgood
and American piano genius Ran Blake. More than 40 years of age divide them, but they meet in a contemporary expression. The Dorothy C. Wallace Suite is a suite composed especially for this project by Ran Blake and is a heartfelt tribute to the great Dorothy C. Wallace who was a patron of the arts in Boston and played a vital part in Ran Blake´s art. This is only the second time in the entire Ran Blake discography where he plays duo with drums. The suite is recorded in Brookline on a piano of Ran Blake´s choice.
From the liner notes:
One dark Saturday evening my phone rang, and a magnificent contralto voice said, “I’ve heard a lot about you from Timothy Marquand” (the son of the popular novelist John P. Marquand). It was a certain lady named Dorothy Colman Wallace. We arranged to meet the following day, and I waited outside New England Conservatory with my friend Eve Bernard. This friendly lady drove up and greeted us with “I’m so delighted to meet you both!” and drove us to her magnificent home at Chestnut Place in Brookline. I remember that day she served her famous spinach dish. When I raved she said, “Why don’t you try it again next Sunday, and would you bring six people?” And so began a friendship with the person who, along with Jeanne Lee and Gunther Schuller, was to become one of my three great friends in life-and it lasted for almost 35 years right up to her passing at age 87 in 2000. For years Dorothy would call me early in the morning, full of up-to- the- minute news, a recipe for a cocktail, a Biblical reading, a report about her 6:00 a.m. breakfast. Dorothy had a way of making incredible gifts to people she encountered from all strata of society-including a woman she heard about in Jamaica who needed eyeglasses– but her greatest gift was her emotional rapport.
Besides the fabulous surrounding gardens, the house featured a beautiful small concert hall that could seat 20-to- 30 people. Her musical soirées were unforgettable, and regularly included Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Ricky Ford, Dominique Eade, Jon Hazilla, Eleni Odoni, Hankus Netsky, and many others.
Her patronage of the arts earned Dorothy the sobriquet of Boston’s ’20 th century Isabella Stewart Gardner,’ I also remember, inside the house, there was a tree and a big orange moon painted over the bathtub. Her son Rick’s bedroom wall was adorned with two chalk drawings: one of a jazz trio and one of the New York City skyline.
Her travels were unique, and for her generosity she was fêted in such far-flung places as Kampala, Uganda, a western island off the coast of Scotland, a botanical garden in Costa Rica, and a village in Central America where she brought electricity. She made several trips to Iran and the Mideast, and went to El Salvador on a health mission with a group from Boston’s Trinity Church. Her papers are being kept at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, which is dedicated to the history of women from all walks of life. She also supported the Arnold Arboretum, and in the afternoons on hot 2 days invited the staff over to swim in her pool.