Richard Blake | Midtown at Midnight

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United States - New Jersey

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Jazz: Cool Jazz Easy Listening: Lounge Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Midtown at Midnight

by Richard Blake

A guitar, electric bass, and drums instrumental ensemble playing cool songs that are reminiscent of musicianship in venues with sophisticated listening audiences; smooth playing with a bebop edge.
Genre: Jazz: Cool Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lollipops and Roses
5:24 album only
2. Norwegian Wood
3:37 album only
3. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
3:59 album only
4. Get Your Kicks on Route 66
3:35 album only
5. Some Day My Prince Will Come
3:56 album only
6. Harlem Nocturne
5:05 album only
7. SS Cool
2:07 album only
8. Desafinado
4:07 album only
9. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
3:36 album only
10. Transfer Station at 3 AM
2:06 album only
11. Vaya Con Dios
4:05 album only


Album Notes
Richard Blake plays guitar and bass in the New York tri-state area and he plays both instruments on these recordings. These recordings represent flawless guitar technique in terms of positioning of the fingertips on the fingerboard and delicate picking with a small pick and the fingernails of the remaining fingers. When just using the pick, the right hand remains on the pickguard for stability and control.

Richard's technique is immediately recognizable. There is virtually no movement of the right hand above the wrist (with the exception of a portion of the final track). This technique is then applied theoretically to the algorithms inherent in the songs and then played smoothly and with passion.

The songs on this album are eclectic yet held together by Richard's unmistakeable style. The recordings were made by laying the tracks for guitar and drums first, followed by bass and percussion effects where desired. All songs are played with a bebop edge, with the exception of the final track, "Vaya Con Dios", which is played with dedication to the melody and without any percussion. Richard arranged ten of the eleven songs. The arrangments are unique and creative; often taking the listener by (pleasant) surprise.

The listener will encounter smooth musicianship. The songs have been orchestrated such as to respect the composers; entertain those who enjoy guitar and smooth playing; and inspire those up and coming guitarists who wish to learn more about control, playing with feeling, chord melodies, and subtle bebop.

This is Richard's second cd release. His first, "Richard Blake Plays Heartbreak Guitar", is a compilation of well-known love songs played on solo guitar chord melodies and has been positively reviewed. This type of playing is Richard's primary performance venue in addition to trio gigs with drums and either bass or piano.



to write a review

Mike Ruane

Great cool, jazz Guitar
Richard Blake brings his guitar magic and experience to his collection entitled “Midtown at Midnight”. A set of eleven songs filled with cool jazz and impressive key and chord changes, this disc would be a great addition to anyone’s CD collection or MP3 player.

The disc is comprised well known songs, each recorded with and affected by Richard’s skill and experience. Each of the songs evokes specific scenes to the listener. ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams‘ brings to mind a cool retro lounge, eyes meeting furtively across the bar, and hopes of an exciting night to come.

‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66’ brought to my mind a vintage Detroit muscle car cruising down America’s highways and byways. And ‘Harlem Nocturne’ brings to mind scenes out of a Dashiell Hammett novel, but with a slightly upscale twist.

My favorite, ‘Transfer Station at 3AM’ conveys the images of a crowded, moving but not hectic train platform with the passengers heading purposefully to their trains, making that last train home, and collapsing into the seat as you leave the station. Anyone who has ever gone into town for a night with friends has share in this experience

Richard paints these pictures for us with his guitar, and you can tell he’s good at it; he is an accomplished artist. I look forward to his next album.