Enrico Rava and Ran Blake: Duo En Noir

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Enrico Rava
LABELS: Between the Lines
PERFORMER: Enrico Rava (trumpet, flugelhorn) Ran Blake (piano)


It could almost be the setting of a film noir – two unlikely musicians meeting at a train station to record a live concert. There’s no Hitchcock cameo here but his – and other classic thriller directors’ – music is very much in evidence. In 1999 accomplished jazz pianist Ran Blake, who has been obsessed with film noir soundtracks since seeing The Spiral Staircase aged 12, met up with Italian trumpet virtuoso Enrico Rava to record this intriguing disc.


The result is as suspenseful as any noir thriller, with eerie and brooding takes on film tunes as well as standards like ‘Nature Boy’. My only gripe is the sound: considering it was recorded at Frankfurt South Train Station the noise is generally fine but the early chatter in the spellbinding ‘Vertigo’ is as annoying as it would be in a cinema. That aside, this welcome release captures so much from this one-off performance. Neil McKim