Another Lifetime

Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman’s day job is drumming for Lenny Kravitz; she has deep jazz chops, though, and her new release pays tribute to her mentor, Tony Williams. The original Tony Williams Lifetime was a groundbreaking fusion band, featuring John McLaughlin on guitar, Larry Young on organ and, later, Jack Bruce on bass. On Another Lifetime, Blackman is joined on most tracks by guitarist Mike Stern, who blazes throughout; bassist Benny Rietveld (Miles and Santana alum); and seldom-heard Doug Carn on organ. Three different versions of Carla Bley’s “Vashkar” take the music further and further out, culminating in the aptly titled “Vashkar The Alternate Dimension Theory.” Joe Lovano’s melodic tenor sax duet with the leader on Williams’ “Love Song” provides an intriguing break from the ripping electric jazz. The disc closes with the insistent title song from the still-unreleased 1974 record Wildlife. Boppers can safely pass on this, but lovers of vintage fusion, and of Tony Williams, will find this a worthwhile addition to their collections.