Saxophonist Ron Blake Set to Launch Album, “Mistaken Identity,” Scheduled for Release on October 13

by Madonna

RICHMOND, Calif., Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — After a hiatus of 15 years, saxophonist Ron Blake makes an eagerly anticipated return to the recording sphere with the unveiling of “Mistaken Identity,” slated for release on October 13. Collaborating with his longtime friend and creative partner, guitarist Bobby Broom, Blake crafts an immersive musical experience, underpinned by a quartet of unparalleled chemistry, which features Nat Reeves or Reuben Rogers on bass and Kobie Watkins on drums. Beyond the melodies, the album carries a sentimental tribute to jazz legends who have significantly impacted both Blake’s personal life and illustrious career, encompassing luminaries like Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, Duke Pearson, and Bobby Broom.

Redefining the Landscape

Ron Blake’s return to the recording studio is marked by a union of musical minds. He joins forces with acclaimed guitarist Bobby Broom, who not only takes on the role of a producer but also co-creates a captivating musical canvas. The quartet, brimming with synergy and intuition, features the expertise of Nat Reeves or Reuben Rogers on bass and Kobie Watkins on drums. This collaboration fuels a sonic odyssey that amalgamates original compositions, timeless standards, and odes to jazz legends who have indelibly shaped Blake’s trajectory.

A Melodic Tapestry

Captured over two recording sessions in 2018 and 2021, spanning the pre- and post-pandemic eras, “Mistaken Identity” encapsulates Blake’s re-emergence into the jazz world. Notably recognized for his enduring membership with the Saturday Night Live Band and his contributions to the Grammy-winning Christian McBride Big Band, Blake’s artistic identity belies the underrepresentation he has experienced. Bobby Broom eloquently underscores this phenomenon in the album’s liner notes, igniting a call for transformative recognition: “This album makes for an almost undeniable suggestion that all this should finally change.”

A Multifaceted Journey

The album unfolds as a multifaceted journey, characterized by Blake’s masterful interpretation of various compositions. The opening track, Duke Pearson’s “Is That So?,” unveils a sublime slow burn, whereas Broom’s “No Hype Blues” exudes soulful nuances. Johnny Griffin’s “When We Were One” and Blake’s own “Grace Ann” evoke elegant tenderness, with the latter resonating on the baritone saxophone. Benny Golson’s classic “Stablemates” is rendered with seasoned sagacity, while the album pays homage to Caribbean roots with the calypso-infused title track, authored by fellow Virgin Islander Victor Provost. Further, a nod to Sonny Rollins transpires through the rendition of “Allison.”

A Nexus of Musical Kinship

The collaboration between Ron Blake and Bobby Broom burgeons from over 25 years of shared musical ventures, attesting to an unparalleled understanding of each other’s artistic visions and techniques. A stellar rhythm section accentuates their synergy, propelling Blake’s role as a bandleader to the forefront.

A Reverent Creative Odyssey

Ron Blake’s musical expedition traces its roots to his upbringing in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His journey encompasses formative experiences, from attending Michigan’s renowned Interlochen Arts Camp to his pivotal encounter with Bobby Broom in Chicago. Following his trajectory, Blake’s contributions span a diverse spectrum, including his tenure with the Saturday Night Live Band, the Christian McBride Big Band, and a multifaceted educational journey. The culmination, “Mistaken Identity,” serves as a testament to his resilience and musical prowess, carving a distinctive niche in the contemporary jazz landscape.

Blake’s album release event is slated for Wednesday, November 1, at Dizzy’s in New York City, featuring Bobby Broom on guitar, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Kobie Watkins on drums. The concert promises to be a triumphant showcase of the cohesive energy that propels “Mistaken Identity” and Ron Blake’s enduring impact on the world of jazz.

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