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In a career spanning six decades, pianist/composer, writer and educator Ran Blake has released 36 albums for such labels as ESP, RCA, Arista and hatOLOGY. His 2006 album for Tompkins Square, All That Is Tied, earned 4 stars in Downbeat and top honors in the Penguin Jazz Guide 2007. Driftwoods, released in 2009, was Ran's salute to some of his favorite singers, including Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Mahalia Jackson and others. The album was featured on NPR's All Things Considered and Fresh Air, and received praise from The New York Times, among many others. Grey December - Live in Rome captures Ran on a recent European jaunt in December 2010. Although one of his albums was recorded in a movie theatre and another in a train station, this is Ran's first live concert recording in front of an audience in a proper venue. The performance includes several new Ran Blake compositions that appear on record for the first time, as well as standards. The intensity and magic of Ran Blake's live performance is now here for us to enjoy and marvel at, again and again.creditsreleased May 17, 2011 Manufactured By – Fontana Distribution, LLC Distributed By – Fontana Distribution, LLC Phonographic Copyright (p) – Tompkins Square Copyright (c) – Tompkins Square Recorded At – Casa Del Jazz Mixed At – The Magic Shop Mastered At – The Magic Shop Design – Joel T. Jordan Engineer [Sound Engineer] – Ascanio Cusella Liner Notes [Italian] – Luciano Linzi Mastered By, Mixed By – Warren Russell-Smith Piano – Ran Blake Producer, Photography By – Dave Fabris* Production Manager [Production] – Cecilia Guerrieri Paleotti Recording Supervisor [Sound Supervisor] – Pasquale Minieri Technician [Technical Director] – Marcello Fagnani Recorded on December 16, 2010 at Casa Del Jazz, Rome. Track durations are not shown on release and are therfore as observed. Dedications: We'll Be Together Again is dedicated to Jeanne Lee. Winter In Madrid is dedicated to Pedro Sarmiento. Special Thanks to everyone who helped support Ran on his tour of Dec. 2010. In Spain: Jesús Manuel Álvarez Fontaneda, Javier Díaz and María Elena Riaño from the Aula de Música at Universidad de Cantabria. Edward Fuente, Charlie García, Sergio Merino and Marta Fontanals and everyone at Arco Y Flecha and Sigüenza Jazz. César Merino, David Renau, Cuquí, Ana and Laura Sarmiento. In Vilnius: Danas Mikailionis of NoBusiness, Valerij Anosov of Thelonious, Dmitrij Veller and Evgeny Levin of Lav Pictures, Maxim Micheliov, Nikita Kobrin, Vladimir Terasov, Fania Brantkowski (Vilnius Yiddish Institute), Audelin Chappuis, Artûras Anussauskas, Romas Brickus, Svetlana Zilinskiene and the whole staff of the Shakespeare Hotel. In Rome: Luciano Linzi, Cecilia Guerrieri Paleotti and the whole staff at Casa Del Jazz; Jacopo Jacopetti; Stefania Peterniani; Anastatia Fabris. In Lisbon: André Matos, Sara Serpa, Joana Serpa and Gonçalo Marques, Maria Jose Correia, Jose Luis Serpa, and Betina Galhardo. Laurent Filipe, Pedro Costa and the Clean Feed/Trem Azul crew. Lastly, back in the US, many thanks to Team Noir, who worked tirelessly before during and after this tour: Aaron Hartley, John Campopiano, Jiaao Yu, Luke Moldof, Eric Lane, Jason Rogers, Steve Mardon, and Josh Rosenthal for his longstanding support. Linda and David D'Angelo.
“Pianist Ran Blake’s discography includes some remarkable duet recordings with vocalists, ranging from 1961 with Jeanne Lee, to 2006 and again in 2010 with Christine Correa. However, the newly released Whirlpool (from sessions in 2004 and 2008), featuring Dominique Eade, may be the best yet.” - Scott Albin, Jazz Times 

"Simpatico relationships between vocalists and pianists—Shearing and Cole; Evans and Bennett; Bill Charlap and his mother, Sandy Stewart—are hardly unusual. Occasionally, though, such unions transcend sympathetic rapport and become truly empathetic. The finest example on record emerged in 1961, when trailblazing third-stream pianist Ran Blake and singer Jeanne Lee commingled on The Newest Sound Around. Now, a half-century later, Blake achieves very near the same magnificence with Dominique Eade. Actually, these 13 tracks were recorded a while ago, in sessions dating from 2004 and 2008. In fact, this album has been 30 years in the making, demonstrating the continual evolution of their shared sensibility from their first meeting, when Eade transferred to the New England Conservatory expressly for the opportunity to study with Blake (she has long since joined him on the faculty)." - Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times 

“There is nothing like the right time, the right place, and the right vibe, to ensure a musical success. Add to these circumstances, composer/improviser Dominique Eade’s arctic-clear voice with a chilling celestial range, pianist Ran Blake, whose career has spanned a half century…and the result is: “Whirlpool,” a date that was thirty years in waiting, at least that’s how far back, a young Dominique Eade entered the New England Conservatory and first heard Blake play. The implementation of this project at last, infers a very clear, focused mission, ensuring a triumphant performance that is refreshingly original, extraordinarily imaginative, brimming with ineffable confidence, shows a boldness that knows no limit, and seems to deliver itself from a source of happiness dispossessed of any particular reason.” - C.J. Bond, 

“Whirlpool features familiar tunes like “Old Devil Moon” and “My Foolish Heart,” as well as insider jazz numbers like Quincy Jones’ theme from The Pawnbroker and Russ Freeman’s “The Wind.” But Blake and Eade treat them like classical art songs as much as popular standards. With her clear and radiant but forcefully grounded voice, Eade investigates the songs like a diamond cutter, taking time to highlight their unique harmonic facets while never losing sight of their emotional meaning. Blake’s spare, elegant backing illuminates her in a wintry light, with occasional dissonant shivers… If you haven’t heard his exquisite recent efforts for the Tompkins Square label, you should, if only to hear the only artist who may be equally at home with Hank Williams and Charles Ives.” - Lloyd Sachs, Jazz Press 

“I think that the Blake/Eade date (Whirlpool, Jazz Project, 2011) will stand as a landmark in both artists’ discographies.” - Steve Elman, The Art Fuse 

“Ran Blake and Dominique Eade’s new album Whirlpool couldn’t have come out at a more appropriate time. It’s the perfect autumn record: its dark clarity is absolutely chilling, and absolutely exhilarating. It makes you glad to be alive. Eade has never sung better; at 76, Blake’s at the top of his game, absolutely undiminished, the indomitable master of noir piano menace and magic.” - Lucid Culture  


released October 25, 2011 

Ran Blake, piano 
Dominique Eade, Vocals 

Cover – Zimri Yaseen 
Design, Photography By – Andrew Hurlbut 
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Eric Oligney 
Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Nate Dube 
Mixed By, Mastered By – Alan Mattes 
Photography By – Cercie Miller 

We dedicate this album to Jeanne Lee, Dorothy Wallace, Gunther Schuller, and Claude Chabrol. 

Recorded June 2004 and February 2008, Rear Window Recording Studio, Brookline, MA.

(2011) Grey December: Live in Rome

SKU: Tompkins Square TSQ 2592

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