Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012

Cinematic Duets

By David Luhrssen
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  A love and deep knowledge of film informs some of the selections on Aurora, the second album by pianist Ran Blake and singer Sara Serpa. Discordant and wordless in its angst, the duo’s “Dr. Mabuse,” based on Konrad Elfer’s melody for Fritz Lang’s 1922 thriller Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, is both a tribute to a cinematic classic and a slightly daring gesture toward expanding the jazz repertoire. The old chestnut “The Band Played On,” chosen for its inclusion in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, is playful and a tad rye. Serpa’s pure tone and Blake’s sensitive accompaniment registers with the retro-modern feel a nightclub act in an Art Deco skyscraper. 

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