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Superb drum skillsCindy Blackman - Music for the New Millenium
(Sacred Sound Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2008
Review by Wade VonasekThough most well-known for recording and touring with Lenny Kravitz, Cindy Blackman is an accomplished jazz drummer, with a bio that includes albums under her own name, as well as performing with artists such as Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Buckethead, Sam Rivers, Bill Laswell and others. On her latest release Music For The New Millennium, she shows that she knows her way around the kit, showcasing superb drum skills.
Throughout the release, the drums are usually at the forefront of the songs, but still falling back enough to gel with the other musicians, except for the rock-ish "The Drums and Me" which gives Blackman two minutes to show off. Other stand out tracks include "Seven," with some nice tenor sax work from JD Allen; the driving drum feel of "For Wayne (Shorter that is)" with sweet Rhodes from Carlton Holmes; "Insight (the future)," with synth that gives this track a funkier feel than most of the album, and fitting bass from George Mitchell; and the melancholy but hopeful outro "I Come To The Garden Alone," which actually has no drums.
Though the compositions are for the most part pleasing and the musicianship more than competent, the album does suffer from a lack of variety to the pieces. Being a 2-CD set, this can present some problems, though at the same time, if someone digs one song, they will probably enjoy most of the album. But overall, Music For The New Millennium is a fine offering from Blackman.
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