As many of you know, drummer Cindy Blackman and guitarist Carlos Santana were married yesterday in what must’ve been an amazingly beautiful ceremony in Hawaii. Now, I think we can all agree that Carlos Santana is a legend. But Cindy’s no joke either. Here’s what Drum Magazine had to say about her:
Most people think of Cindy Blackman as the hard-hitting, high-styled beat goddess for Lenny Kravitz. While the work she does under that bright spotlight is undeniably impressive, dig deeper into the career and craft of Blackman and you’ll find a highly trained, super-skilled veteran of the jazz world with all the technical chops and historical perspective necessary to earn whispers of the title virtuoso .
A long-time staple of New York’s downtown jazz scene, Blackman has studied under Alan Dawson, and her friendship and tutelage with Art Blakey runs deep enough for her to refer to him as Papa. Conjure up a list of top jazz artists and odds are Blackman has held the throne for them at one time or another or included them somewhere on her string of acclaimed solo works.
But, seeing is believing. Here’s a clip from Cindy’s solo during the Bitches Brew tribute that took place this summer as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn series in Prospect Park. Cindy backed a killer group–Graham Haynes, James “Blood” Ulmer, Melvin Gibbs, DJ Logic and a few others. When I say they ran the voodoo down, I mean they. Ran. The voodoo. Down.
Former WKCR DJ Charles Blass recently moved to Zurich and was able to catch up with Cindy during her time there. The two of them had a wide ranging conversation, including discussions about the impact of Alice Coltrane and that of her idol Tony Williams, who inspired her recent album Another Lifetime. Here’s a short clip where she talks about Carlos and the whole “stardom” thing.
The entire interview is 45 minutes long, and you can check it out (and download, I believe) here at Charles’s blog.