Out of the Shadows
The fourteen tracks that make up "Out of the Shadows", the second collaboration between McArthur award winning pianist/composer/educator Ran Blake and the amazing Indian/American vocalist Christine Correa (their first in nearly twenty years) have been, it seems, carefully selected for their emotional reach, melodic possibilities, noirish implications and Monkishly tantalizing underswing. Ms. Correa, an adjunct professor of vocal music in the jazz department at Columbia University, has been widely recognized as a leading interpreter of the works of a range of modern American and European poets as set to music by some of today's most innovative young jazz composers, such as Frank Carlberg, Sam Sadigursky, Nicholas Urie, and Steve Grover among others. In her fearlessly insightful and probing readings of the program, from the delicate, almost literary narratives of "Little Yellow Bird", "Hi Lili Hi Lo" to the stark, uncompromising edginess of "Mendacity" and "When Malindy Sings," Ms. Correa evinces such an implicit honesty of phrasing and attack that one comes away from these performances trusting they've just heard the songs' definitive renditions. Mr. Blake's art is not based solely on the well -acknowledged grandeur of his playing, or his probing and probative interpretations of standard tunes or the thrilling demands of his original compositions, but is rather an art that, as he himself expresses it, strives toward "recomposition"; a re-enactment of intention through the twin prisms of his heightened appreciation of the material's sonic formulations, and his unabashed love for the material per se, at a depth well beyond mere deconstruction: "the head by way of the ear to the note/ The heart by way of the breath to the line." C. Olson In their intertwining roles as reciprocal accompanists, Mr. Blake and Ms. Correa, inspired by years of friendship and musical affinity, have created a testament of singular beauty and unique emotional clarity and candor. With the release of this recording their remarkable creative association will not remain "in the shadows" for much longer.