Don Blackman

Don Blackman

by Don Blackman


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Don Blackman

Don Blackman could never be accused of clogging the bins with his own records. Prior to this 1982 debut for GRP -- the songwriter/keyboardist/vocalist's lone LP until 2002 -- he was quite visible, though only as a desired touring and session hand, with connections to Parliament/Funkadelic, Lenny White/Twennynine, and Weldon Irvine. At this point in his career, he was riding high on the successes of Twennynine's "Peanut Butter" and Bernard Wright's "Haboglabotribin'," two monstrously funky cuts he penned and was spotlighted on. He seemed to approach the first opportunity to flex on his own as if he was on a mission -- his self-titled album is as phenomenal as anything else his contemporaries were producing at the time (George Duke in particular), elegantly merging styles and adding new dimensions with each passing track. Beginning with a call-and-response P-Funk-style roof shaker, Blackman and friends then roll into a pair of tender midtempo grooves, where the leader's sweet and easy voice shines as brightly as his tickling touches of piano and keyboard. (Do check Lenny White/Twennynine's "Best of Friends" for a precursor to these highlights.) The first side is closed out with one of the album's heaviest moments; neither kicking horns nor grinding guitar riffs are out of place. Side two is almost the equal of the first, bounding just as freely between gritty and smooth numbers. Blackman would continue to be valuable to others throughout the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, but this is his greatest achievement, a happy-spirited, genre-blending affair that can enrich the lives of those who hear it. Can you hear it, though? That's the question. The album has remained scarce, though intermittent bootlegs and reissues (including Expansion's legit 2006 issue) have popped up throughout the years. Nevertheless, many of its components have been sampled by producers of rap and downtempo house alike. So you've probably heard some of it, but not nearly enough, and you most certainly need the full effect.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/22/2006
Label: Expansion Uk
UPC: 5019421401421
catalogNumber: 14
Rank: 48227

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Don Blackman   Primary Artist
Ronnie Cuber   Horn Section
Jon Faddis   Horn Section
Alex Foster   Horn Section
David Nadien   Concert Master
Sekou Bunch   Hand Clapping
Poogie Bell   Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Errol Crusher Bennett   Percussion
David Blackman   Hand Clapping
Dave Grusin   Conductor
Larry DeCarmine   Hand Clapping
Kevin Grady   Bass
Ronald Dean Miller   Background Vocals
George Opalisky   Horn Section
Lloyd David Foster   Hand Clapping

Technical Credits

Weldon Irvine   Arranger,Composer
Don Blackman   Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes,Horn Arrangements
Dave Grusin   Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Larry Rosen   Producer,Engineer
Ollie Cotton   Engineer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Steve Ettinger   Engineer

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