A Tenor Saxophone Player: Ron Blake

Written By Sonny Akbar Sembada

Hi, my name is Sonny Akbar Sembada and I welcome you to my blog, The Uncle Jazz. The main topic of my blog is everything related to jazz music.. 

We’ve got this cool duo – A tenor saxophone player Ron Blake and guitarist Bobby Broom. They’ve been rocking the stage together for quite a while, starting with Broom’s 1997 album, “Waitin’ and Waitin’.”

This musical friendship kicked off not long after Ron Blake wrapped up his college days, and it’s a big deal in the jazz world. The vibe between these two is what makes “Mistaken Identity” special – it’s Blake’s comeback with his first solo album in 15 years.

Jammin’ Dynamics A Tenor Saxophone Player

Backed by Nat Reeves or Reuben Rogers on bass and Kobie Watkins on drums, “Mistaken Identity” is not just about these guys showing off their mad skills. They’re putting their heart and soul into classic jazz tunes that have shaped Blake’s journey.

Tunes to Groove On

Check out Benny Golson’s soulful “Stablemates.” Then there’s Johnny Griffin’s sweet ballad “When We Were One,” where Blake does his magic on the tenor sax. Oh, and let’s not forget “Allison,” a tribute to Blake’s hero Sonny Rollins, with Broom adding his groovy touch.

Tunes to Groove On
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Making it Personal

A tenor saxophone player Ron Blake drops a couple of originals too. “Beyond Yesterday’s Tomorrows” brings in some postbop energy, while “Grace Ann” is a chill duet with Rogers. Broom jumps in with “No Hype Blues,” a track that’s got some real history between these two.

Nods and Vibes

“Mistaken Identity” doesn’t forget the legends. Duke Pearson’s “Is That So?” takes us back to the golden Blue Note era, and there’s a cool calypso vibe in “St. Thomas” by steel pan artist Victor Provost.

Youtube video by thejazzonline 

Ron Blake: Jazzy Roots

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on September 7, 1965, Ron Blake grew up on the sunny vibes of St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands. His dad, an architect and jazz enthusiast, passed on the love, and at 10, Blake was already jammin’ on the alto sax. He took it up a notch at the National Music Camp in Michigan and later at the Interlochen Arts Academy with sax maestro Dr. Frederick L. Hemke.

Read also: A Visionary Drummer: Elvin Jones Post Bop Drummer with Poly-rhythmics

Keepin’ it Educated

Hemke convinced Blake to hit up Northwestern University near Chicago, where he added baritone and tenor saxophones to his repertoire. After graduation, A tenor saxophone player Blake kicked off his pro journey in Chicago, hooking up with Broom for some serious jazz action.

Big City Vibes

New York City became Blake’s playground. He jammed with big shots like Roy Hargrove and Art Farmer, dropped solo albums, got into all kinds of jazz projects, even rocked with the SNL Band, and bagged a bunch of Grammy Awards. Beyond the tunes, Blake’s spreading the love in music education back in the Virgin Islands and Maine. “Mistaken Identity” is the latest proof of his jazzy genius still going strong.

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