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R.I.P. Don Blackman

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Jazz-funk pianist and songwriter Don Blackman passed from Cancer yesterday in his native New York. Blackman is mostly known for “Holding You, Loving You,” “Heart’s Desire” and “Since You Been Away So Long” from his 1982 Arista solo album. He started his career as a teenager playing with jazz saxophonist Charles McPherson before briefly working with Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire and Roy Ayers. As a member of Lenny White’s Twennynine he wrote “Peanut Butter” and “Morning Sunrise.” Blackman later worked as a session musician for Sting, Tupac, David Sanborn, Bernard Wright, Najee and Janet Jackson. The musician was recently filmed talking about the upcoming album from Detroit jazz artist Brandon Williams.




Throwback: Don Blackman-Heart’s Desire

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Don Blackman is a singer/songwriter/keyboardist from Queens, New York. He played with Parliament and was a founding member of Lenny White’s Twennynine. Bernard Wright recorded his song “Haboglabotribin” in 1981 for his Nard album. Blackman’s self-titled solo album came out in 1982 and despite its lack of commercial cred it has proven to be one of the best examples of jazz/funk. “Heart’s Desire,” “Holding You, Loving You,” “Since You’ve Been Away So Long” and “Never Miss A Thing” are considered classics of the UK’s rare groove scene. The whole album has been prodigiously sampled by hip-hoppers. As a session musician he has worked with Sting, Kurtis Blow, Chaka Khan, Roy Ayers and Janet Jackson. In 2002 he released the album Listen on the Expansion label. Blackman has also written music for TV, commercials and film.