Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ran Blake: Driftwoods

If you have read about Ran Blake but do not know his music, Driftwoods is a good place to discover him. In contrast to Blake’s previous recording, All That is Tied (which was his 35th and which contained his own jagged, austere compositions), Driftwoods “salutes his favorite singers.” When he plays solo piano versions of songs like “Unforgettable” and “You Are My Sunshine,” his radicalism becomes more approachable. He still sounds jagged and austere, but there is satisfaction and even amusement in knowing you are never going to hear quirkier interpretations of “Dancing in The Dark” and “I Loves You, Porgy.” Blake sculpts them with painfully slow deliberation, in contours distorted by repositioned accents and incongruous chords and sequences and “wrong” notes that clang and linger, sustain pedal down.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published