Friday, March 4, 2011

Buster Williams at Blues Alley

Buster Williams

Patrice Rusen

Steve Wilson

Cindy Blackman

An incendiary jazz set at Blues Alley Saturday night with the Buster Williams group, Something More (Patrice Rushen - piano, Steve Wilson - Sax, Cindy Blackman - Drums, Buster Williams -Bass). As I like to do, I look up the players afterwards and always find nuggets of information about them that I didn't know. In this case it was Cindy Blackman who was not only a drummer for Lenny Kravitz, is married to Carlos Santana but also a Kundalini yogi. How awesome is that?

From Wikipedia - Blackman cultivates spirituality in her musicianship. "I believe that music is so sacred that once you're playing music you are doing the work of prayer, whether you're conscious of it or not, because you have a focused intent," says Blackman. "You transcend, because you're crossing barriers that a lot of people and even us as musicians don't normally venture to, because we don't think about it. When you can learn to move those energies, even if they're sad, into something that is of benefit, like focusing on bringing light to people who are listening, or just to the universe in general, then you can do something good with it. I don't keep that in mind 100 per cent of the time – I'm human – but I try to." Blackman keeps herself in shape for the physical demands of playing the drums by practicing yoga and karate.

From SFGate - Blackman says she does Kundalini yoga to help keep her body and mind in shape. "The other yogas I find are great for muscle building and the flexibility of the limbs, but for me the Kundalini exercises really, really help the spine," she explains. "It's also very good for setting the stage for you to really key in on your spirituality because it's very calming and it helps you focus."