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Ron Blake


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Multi-talented saxophonist Ron Blake inhabits many worlds, and nowhere is this more apparent than on his third release for Mack Avenue, Shayari (shy-ree). Produced by pianist Michael Cain (who also appears on the CD), Shayari (the meaning, in Urdu, a type of ancient poetry consisting of copulets and a highly stylized form of verse considered extremely beautiful) combines fertile ground from each of Blake’s worlds to create an extraordinary landscape of its own. Showcased here in an intimate, unplugged, trio setting, the CD also features performances by speacial guests drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Christian McBride, violinist Regina Carter and percussionist Gilmar Gomes.

Blake, a strikingly tall, Virgin Islands-born native is based in New York City. He is a well-rounded musician and has recorded three CDs as a leader. In addition, his discography numbers more than 50 recordings as either a guest or sideman with leading artists. They include Roy Hargrove, Art Farmer, the Christian McBride Band, Spirit Music Jamia, Red Hot + Riot and the Grammy-nominated Latin pop group, Yerba Buena. Blake has also recorded soundtracks (most recently on El Cantante starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez). And Blake is entering his third season as a member of the NBC Saturday Night Live Band. About the new recording, Shayari, Blake says, his record his more introspective than earlier projects. “It’s an acoustic collection of trios. Compositionally, it lends itself to some of the ideas introduced on my last recording, Sonic Tonic.

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