R&b jazz-funk pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer Don Blackman passed away Thursday after being hospitalized with stage four cancer.
Blackman’s neighbor as a child was Charles McPherson, and while still a teenager he played in McPherson’s ensemble.
In the early 1970s, he played with Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Roy Ayers, before becoming a member of Lenny White’s group Twennynine, for whom he penned songs such as “Peanut Butter” and “Morning Sunrise”. He released his self-titled debut solo album in 1982 on Arista Records, including the songs “Holding You, Loving You”, “Heart’s Desire” and “Since You’ve Been Away So Long” that became minor hits in Europe.
Blackman also worked as a session musician, appearing on many albums including, Kurtis Blow (Kingdom Blow), Bernard Wright, Najee,David Sanborn, Lenny White Roy Ayers, Sting (Brand New Day), World Saxophone Quartet, Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” (Remix) and Wayman Tisdale. He also composed “Live to Kick It”, which appeared on Tupac Shakur’s album R U Still Down? (Remember Me), “Dear Summer” which appeared on Memphis Bleek’s album “534” featuring artist Jay-Z, and “Holding You, Loving You” which appeared on Master P.’s album “I Got The Hook Up”.
Don Blackman Songwriter, Producer and Jazz Pianist Succumbs To His Battle With Cancer