Storyboarding Noir — Just Published!
Storyboarding Noir gives an inside view of Ran’s Blake’s unique use of storyboarding, a film-making technique, which lies at the heart of his extraordinary music-making. The result of many hours spent watching and re-watching favorite films with his co-author Gard Hartmann, the book brings together Ran’s reminiscences, specific commentary on 12 classic noirs, recommendations for future viewing, and several brief demonstration recordings, accessible on his website, based on the films discussed. These range from Fritz Lang’s 1922 silent epic, Dr. Mabuse, to later masterpieces (Taxi Driver, The Pawnbroker, Claude Chabrol’s Le Boucher), and in between, classics from noir’s Golden Age—including Laura, Night of the Hunter, Pickup on South Street, and the film that launched him as an 11-year old on a lifelong love affair with the movies, The Spiral Staircase.
When this album was recorded, Ran's intention was to revisit pieces he composed while living in Springfield, MA as a young man, but as he performed it evolved into an album of rarely played original compositions from throughout his life. The album starts with Jennique and then takes a leap back in time to the music clubs he would frequent, such as Jinxy and The Silver Fox. Here are some excerpt notes from Ran:
Cry Wolf: This composition was inspired by The Window, a film in which a little boy witnesses a murder but no one believes him. He had invented so many tales from so many dreams that neither his family nor the police would believe a word of his accounts. Only the murderer takes him seriously.
Sister Tee: To New York City. Sister Tee was an incredible woman whom I met at Sweet Daddy Grace’s Church (between Amsterdam and Saint Nicolas Avenue on 125th Street) across from the famous Apollo Theater, where Jeanne Lee and I appeared. Sister Tee would come to assist my landlady, Amelia Lehrfeld, on 113th Street and would often break into gospel songs. During Sunday services, it was incredible seeing her lead a chorus down the aisle.
You Go to My Head, Take 2
You Go to My Head, Take 1
Ran Blake Song for Yukiko
Obamaism - Ran Blake
Midnight in Friuli
Mightnight Sun by Hampton/ Burke
Bells of Friuli dedicated to Sergio Fabris
Bells of Friuli-Ran Blake
Laura- Ran Blake
Gloomy Sunday-Ran Blake
"It's not my invention.
People have been learning music aurally since the beginning of time."
Pianist, composer, and educator Ran Blake (born April 20, 1935) is known for his unique style that combines blues, gospel, classical, and film noir influences into an innovative and dark jazz sound. His career spans over 50+ years on every major label. This is the official website of Ran Blake.