Ed Blackwell

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Walls Bridges (1992), 5.5/10

New Orleans-born drummer Ed Blackwell (1929), who relocated to Los Angeles in 1951, became a member of Ornette Coleman's legendary quartet of 1960 with trumpeter Don Cherry and bassist Charlie Haden and moved with them to New York, an association that was going to mark the rest of his life. After backing Eric Dolhy (1961) and Archie Shepp (1965-67), Blackwell was with Ornette Coleman till at least 1979 (in the group Old And New Dreams), and with Cherry from Complete Communion (december 1965) till at least 1985, when they formed the group Nu. Blackwell was the natural link between the bebop drumming of Kenny Clarke, the hard-bop drumming of Art Blakey, the proto-free drumming of Elvin Jones and folk drumming from rhythm'n'blues to African and Asian music. Blackwell was a key personality in transforming the drums into a versatile instrument, away from the purely tempo-keeping role and back to the primordial all-encompassing function. Hardly a virtuoso in the old sense of the word, Blackwell was a master of shifting tempos and timbral texturing.

Blackwell died of kidney disease in 1992, weeks after recording his first true album as a leader: Walls Bridges (february 1992), with Dewey Redman on tenor and Cameron Brown on bass.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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