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Cindy Blackman: In the Now

Sometimes it takes the loss of a parent to bring about a heightened sense of maturity and clarity of purpose in oneself. In many ways, Tony Williams was Cindy Blackman’s spiritual father, certainly her biggest role model. His passing has inspired the drummer-composer to go deep within and reflect on Tony’s contribution as well as her own gifts. The result of that introspection is her most profound and heartfelt statement to date.

Tony’s influence looms large on her sixth album as a leader. There was a time, back in the early ’80s, when Blackman played like she had something to prove. She’s gotten well beyond that now. While her playing is still aggressive, her touch is more brisk and her ideas more organically integrated into the fabric of the compositions. Like Tony, she is a thinking, reacting drummer who propels the music forward while shaping and coloring it from measure to measure with well-placed tom and snare accents and cymbal splashes. In the Now features her most mature, interactive playing on record while also highlighting her evolving sophistication as a composer.

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