1 September 1953
11 April 2013 (aged 59)
Pianist/singer/writer Don Blackman, born 1953 in Queens, NY, grew up surrounded by jazz influences; a cousin was McCoy Tyner's friend and saxophonist Charles McPherson — a Charlie Parker disciple — was Blackman's neighbor. Blackman played with McPherson's group in 1968 alongside Sam Jones and Louis Hayes when he was 15 years old.
He switched to electric piano and toured with Parliarment/Funkadellic in the early '70s. He later became an original member of Lenny White's Twennynine ("Peanut Butter"), a key piece in Jamaica Queens' '70s' jazz-funk explosion. A deal with GRP/Arista birthed the solo LP Don Blackman (1982), a good set saddled by poor promotion.
His extensive resumé includes Kurtis Blow sessions and singing "Haboglabotrin" on Bernard Wright's 'Nard album. A fixture in New York studios, he has worked on sessions for a long list of artists including Nagee, David Sanborn, and Roy Ayers. And his composition "Live to Kick It" graced Tu-Pac's R U Still Down (Remember Me) release.
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