Ran Blake is an iconoclast. Since his 1961 collaboration with Jeanne Lee on RCA, Ran Blake has released 35 albums on such labels as ESP, Soul Note, Arista and hatOLOGY. His 2006 album on the Tompkins Square label, All That Is Tied, received 4 stars in Downbeat and earned top honors in the 2007 Penguin Guide to Jazz. Penguin's editor Brian Morton and Wire Magazine hailed the record as a masterpiece."
For his new solo piano outing, Driftwoods, Ran salutes his favorite singers, interpreting songs popularized by Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole and more.
To celebrate the release, Ran will play a rare live solo piano performance on Eric Jackson's 'Eric in the Evening' program on WGBH on March 18th, 2009 airing locally on 89.7FM Boston and streaming globally via wgbh.org.
A free download of Ran's take on I Loves You, Porgy" is available in the downloads section of allaboutjazz.com
Ran Blake - Driftwoods - Available January 27th, 2009
Tompkins Square, distributed by Fontana/Universal
PRAISE FOR RAN BLAKE's ALL THAT IS TIED:
The most beautiful and challenging piano record of the last 25 years." -Brian Morton, Jazz Review, UK / Penguin Jazz Guide
In the 40-plus years since he made that first remarkable record, Blake's never stopped putting out absolutely original and compelling music, most of it in a moody, noirish, erudite genre of his own design. The pianist and composer's entire oeuvre is worth investigating, but this solo outing, which stands as a sort of historical survey and state of the union, is an excellent starting point. Top to bottom, All That Is Tied is wonderfully original, approachable and rewarding, and so unambiguously Ran Blake." -John Corbett, Downbeat - 4 STARS
...even if All That Is Tied had landed on the desk anonymously, without herald and no expectation based on past form, you would know you were in the presence of something magical and important. A truly great record...a masterpiece..." -WIRE
Nobody broods quite like Blake--his moodiness draws you in. Instead of Bernard Herrmann or Stevie Wonder, he reinterprets himself on All That Is Tied." -Francis Davis, Village Voice
All That is Tied is one of those records where you wouldn't change a note. Blake is a stylistic original. From All That Is Tied to the lovely closing ballad 'Breakthru', this is a truly beautiful album." -Duncan Heining, Jazzwise (UK)
Every tune here is a solo trip through the emotional world of this intriguing and individual artist... the music is so rich that it feels timeless." -Donald Elfman, All About Jazz
...the appearance of any new Blake album is always something to write home about, especially when it's as good as this. His total mastery of the pedals will have any pianist nodding admiringly. It's a sound that means business--every one of Blake's notes is there for a reason... Ran Blake hits the bullseye every time." -Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic