Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Late

Ran Blake

70 posts in this topic

A criticism of Charles Lloyd and moldy figs.

To me, Ran Blake is Ran Blake, not standing in for any greater aesthetic problem or solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A criticism of Charles Lloyd and moldy figs.

To me, Ran Blake is Ran Blake, not standing in for any greater aesthetic problem or solution.

I agree. I meant to employ Baraka's criticism to the idea of a "freedom argument."

I love Ran Blake's music. I need to spin Blue Potato & Other Outrages again--it's been too long since I listened to Blake. In fact, I have that duet album with Jaki Byard, and I think I only gave it one listen a year ago. Gotta get on that. Too little time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cliff, if I read you right, than I may disagree - see my post with the incorrect stationary.

been doing some recording with Matt Shipp and, interestingly enough, on the more "inside" material he shows a marked Ran Blake influence - and though it's difficult to use these ideas in a group format, it can be done with the right players. It takes musicians who don't mind, in effect, stopping and starting, using the material as a kind of re-write format. It's very effective when done right and also a very radical way to re-work standard material. To my way of thinking this is one very significant aesthetic solution do making older (or older-style) compositions fresher and even new again.

Edited by AllenLowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think, perhaps, that I completely understood the reference to solving the "freedom problem."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, freedom isn't free -

(though with the inflation rate down it has remained pretty much the same for the past year)

but seriously - who are you quoting? Did I miss something?

Edited by AllenLowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blake has solved the whole freedom argument in jazz - showed how one can create a sense of open form while at the same time having brilliant musical focus

Sorry, typed "problem" when I meant to type "argument."

I mean, Ran Blake isn't the only person to have approached openness with conviction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the latest Ran Blake newsletter:

End of the Year Honors for Driftwoods

Slate, AllMusic, etc.

driftwoods

Driftwoods, Ran's album of solo piano released earlier this year, turned up on a number of lists of the best albums of 2009.

--In Slate, Fred Kaplan rates Driftwoods 10th in his listing of the best jazz albums of the year. Kaplan writes: "His chords, dissonant but heartfelt, waft out of a dream."

--emusic lists Driftwoods as the 19th best album of 2009 (of any genre).

--Boston Phoenix jazz critic Jon Garelick includes Driftwoods and Ran's November NEC tribute to the film Pawnbroker among a list of his favorite things of 2009.

--AllMusic mentions Driftwoods in a list of the top jazz albums of the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Sorry, typed "problem" when I meant to type "argument."

I mean, Ran Blake isn't the only person to have approached openness with conviction"

sorry, Cliff, missed this post when you first put it on this thread -

I agree, there have been many and differing solutions - what I meant, really, was that I find his solution particularly compelling and idiomatic - as a matter of fact, I think Shipp has taken it even a step further than Blake, though he rarely performs "standards" per se -

as is well known here, I have some issues with so-called "free" players, though I have no question that they have defined their own musical spaces compellingly; too many of them just seem to hit a wall, and to not be aware of WHEN they've hit that wall.

This is, I know, a rather conservative response to the form; it may be generational, though I think not, given that I was feeling this way as far back as the 1980s; I just think that, eventually, each school runs into the problem of repetition and cliche.

Personally I am so bored with nearly all forms of jazz that I have to fight a certain paralysis that sometimes sets in. This makes certain kind of judgments even more difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed that the magnificent, Penguin-crowned All That is Tied has fallen out of print. There are a couple more "affordable" copies on Amazon, so I might suggest picking this up quickly if you haven't already. I can't imagine you'd regret it ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that drawing of Ran carrying his oversized case and looking as if it contained the Los Alamos formulas. That's the Ran Blake I met in 1960, the Ran Blake who all but dragged me to a small NYC apartment to meet Reverend Gary Davis. I don't think I ever saw Ran as enthusiastic and full of awe as he was when speaking to Davis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ran is "something else", thank god.

I had the same experience with him and James P Johnson a number of years back.

I like Ran (and his playing) a bunch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always felt partially responsible for driving him underground. His phone number used to be in the book. So 20 years ago I called him up to ask if he was interested in a recording project I was working on, and he was completely paranoid that I'd gotten his phone. I explained to him that it was a public listing. When I checked the next week, it was unlisted.

just doing my bit for American culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed that the magnificent, Penguin-crowned All That is Tied has fallen out of print. There are a couple more "affordable" copies on Amazon, so I might suggest picking this up quickly if you haven't already. I can't imagine you'd regret it ;)

Have a copy on the way now, thanks for the alert!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[That Certain Feeling, a Gershwin album with Steve Lacy & Ricky Ford. Out of print, but I bet Hat Art will get around to reissuing it one of these days.

That is really a superb session. Magical moments; Lacy and Ford are in their best attitudes.

The best version of Lover Man out of the Golden Age of jazz (and a pretty 'free' different one) I ever heard.

Made me understand why Blake is famed to be so interested in visual arts, in Cinema and soundtracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed that the magnificent, Penguin-crowned All That is Tied has fallen out of print. There are a couple more "affordable" copies on Amazon, so I might suggest picking this up quickly if you haven't already. I can't imagine you'd regret it ;)

Have a copy on the way now, thanks for the alert!

And have given it a few listens by now, slowly letting it sink in - wow! A truly magisterial album!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like All that is Tied but the piano does not sound like a good one -

Christine Correa I can live without. Dullsville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apt timing for me--I've been listening to the Complete Black Saint and Soul Note box of albums this weekend, recently purchased from a fellow board member.  And there's the new release of mid-60s material with Jeanne Lee floating around as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.