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Ran Blake & Christine Correa: Down Here Below

This well-meaning tribute has its moments, but ultimately emerges as disappointingly lackluster.

Ran Blake & Christine Correa

Down Here Below

Label: Red Piano
US Release Date: 2012-03-09
UK Release Date: 2012-03-13

Down Here Below is the second pairing of pianist Ran Blake and vocalist Christine Correa. It's also a tribute LP to the recently deceased Abbey Lincoln and draws its impressive tracklist from songs Lincoln was closely associated with. The title track gets things off to a promising start until it quickly succumbs into bland repetition.

The majority of the LP finds Correa repeating the same vocal tricks and runs with the only moments where it genuinely connects being the only moments where the duo halts for a while. In those slowed moments, the emotion is genuine and the focus is clear. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. Down Here Below's saving grace is Ran Blake's inspired piano playing, which is as en pointe as it's always been. It's sad to see a project with so much in its favor not reach or even realize its full potential.


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