NEC's Jazz Orchestra dedicated a December Jordan Hall concert to the celebration of composer and pianist Ran Blake, who has shaped NEC in pivotal ways over his 45 years at the conservatory.
The moment arrived during the third number, Ran Blake’s “The Short Life of Barbara Monk,” when the decorated composer of half a century began his piano solo.
The phrase “the laying on of hands” immediately came to my mind, as with the old healers.
The 17-piece band playing with him was tight, especially for a student ensemble...If you had closed your eyes and just listened, it would not occur to you that these were very young adults.
But so much as a bar from Blake—a mere cluster of notes—revealed what a different level we’re talking here.