By Bob Doerschuk | Published December 2018
Ran Blake and Christine Correa have cultivated a unique musical relationship through their frequent collaborations, first by acknowledging the traditional lead/accompaniment approach and then charting a path that departs from precedent, sometimes radically.
This is clear from the opening cut of Streaming, a bracingly original exploration of Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain.” Playing in a very flexible rubato, they each perform freely, with Blake alluding to, rather than replicating, the structure of the tune through clusters, dissonances and an occasional consonant voicing. His “solo,” if that’s the right word, floats around the composition in a way that honors it and keeps it in a clear, if abstract, light. And Correa’s vocal, crisply articulated but bitingly emotional, defines a space that’s parallel to Blake’s; when the piano drops out for a few bars, she sails on, buoyed on a silence that nonetheless evokes the foundation Blake already had laid for her.
The unique dynamic of this first track heralds all that follows. The point is that when combining knowledge of tradition with wide-open ears and fearlessness, the road opens to exhilarating possibility.
Streaming: Don’t Explain; Out Of This World; Lonely Woman; Stratusphunk I; Bebopper; All About Ronnie; Ah, El Novio No Quere Dinero; Stratusphunk II; Love Dance; Wende; Stratusphunk III; No More. (41:37)
Personnel: Ran Blake, piano; Christine Correa, vocals.