Edward Blackwell (1929 – 1992) was one of the pioneer of the free jazz drumming, born in New Orleans he was know for his extensive work with Ornette Coleman. His musical roots, however, were extremely different, from New Orleans second line drumming to the Blues, Big Band swing, music of the Mardi Gras Indians, Caribbean music and Rhythm & Blues. During his career, Blackwell performed and recorded with various artists such as John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Charlie Haden, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry and many others.
Here’s the transcriptions of the drum solo played by Blackwell on “Complete Communion” by Don Cherry from the album Complete Communion (1966). Here below the PDF file with the drum notation key.
In this solo there are several rhythmic/timbral ideas which reflect his affinity for bebop/hardbop drumming, as well as his New Orleans roots. There are so many references at language of drummers such as Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Philly Joe Jones. The structure of this particular solo is organized in five eight-measure phrases (40 measures). He develops his phrases on variations of the rhythm patterns of the tune, breaking them up, putting them back together, superimposing others… Blackwell’s drum solo on Complete Communion is a perfect example of motivic development, repetitions and call response technique, which create a melodic statement on the intrument.
Here’s the audio, the solo starts at 3:20.