Ron Francis Blake gets a weigh in on “Assimilation,” from WTJU Jazz! Rogers Says; Ron Francis Blake – Assimilation (Self-produced): Having played in support of Poncho Sanchez, Green Day, Ziggy Marley, and Ben Harper among others, Ron Francis Blake (trumpet, flugelhorn) has stepped out as a leader and dedicated his first release to his father who supported his love of many styles and encouraged him to follow his heart. Blake wrote or co-wrote five of the seven songs on the disc and describes his music as “inspired by Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue along with the latin rhythms and sound of Cal Tjader”. The result is an engaging and fresh delight. Participating musicians include Ron Hardt (tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet); Francisco Torres (trombone); Andy Langham and Joe Rotondi (piano); Rene Camacho and Dante Pascuzzo (bass); Nick Mancini (vibes); Jimmy Branly (drums); Joey De Leon (timbales, percussion); Steve Giraldo (vocals); special guests Poncho Sanchez (congas, quuada); Seamus Blake and Walt Weiskopf (tenor sax); Andy Abad (guitar) and Adonis Puentes (vocal); and a special brass ensemble featuring Wayne Bergeron and Javier Gonzales (flugelhorn); Lisa McCormick and Tawnee Lillo (French horns); Andy Martin (trombone) and Francisco Torres (bass trombone) on three songs. A fresh and engaging sound. “
Thank you to KZSU Stanford for the wonderful nod on Ron Francis Blake‘s album “Assimilation.” McCarter says; “Assimilation is a perfect title: this is modern Latin jazz beautifully played. There are nods to history but the music is fresh and vibrant in its own right. There are many guest artists and they come to contribute, not to stand out. All originals.”
Ron Francis Blake scores a 4.98/5 from Improvijazzation Nation. Zzaj says “Ron Francis Blake – ASSIMILATION: What an absolutely wonderful jazz set to wake up to… Ron’s trumpet work on this splendid seven-song collection will rock your morning – and your WORLD, folks! Tunes like the rousing opener, “La LLave (Zambiando)” are chock-full of the energy of life that makes living worthwhile. Five of the tracks are originals by Ron, and I’ve no doubt your ears will agree with mine – “Night Dream” will float your mind away (easily) into visions of wonderful things to come… the keyword for this tune is (without a doubt) “inspiring”! If you’re not 100% convinced yet, I want you to listen to my pick for personal favorite – “Northern Lights” (another original by Ron) has some absolutely haunting moments… the main attraction for my ears on this composition, besides Ron’s svelte horn of course, is the fine keyboard playing. I give Ron and crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98 for this release.”
Honored to have DJ Jose Rizo feature my album , Assimilation , on his long running show Jazz on the Latin Side!
After years of playing and recording with the legendary Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Green Day, Ziggy Marley, and Ben Harper, trumpeter Ron Francis Blake steps out of the sidelines and into the spotlight with his debut album, Assimilation. Nine years in the making, Ron Francis Blake meticulously puts together a fresh new sound combining the rhythms and sounds from America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Featuring fifteen of Los Angeles’ finest musicians along with several special guests, this music is sure to inspire listeners all over the world as well as instill new life into the Latin jazz genre. Vibraphonist Nick Mancini layers the nostalgic sound of 60’s and 70’s Cal Tjader, while drummer Jimmy Branly, bassist Rene Camacho, keyboardist Andy Langham, and percussionist, Joey De Leon lay down the core foundation that represents so many influences that interconnect the sound of this album. Some of the special guests featured are conga maestro Poncho Sanchez, saxophonists Seamus Blake and Walt Weiskopf, and guitarist Andy Abad. A six-piece brass ensemble layer their majestic sound on the album as well. This debut album launches Ron Francis Blake’s solo career into the realms of the greats of our time, an exhilarating tribute to many styles of jazz and is a must have for all music lovers.
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