Istanbul Cindy Blackman Signature Series Cymbals

Blackman is a new endorsee to the Istanbul brand and it seems that this new association has clearly given her every opportunity to spread her wings creatively. The full range to date includes 15” hats, 16”, 18” and 20” crash plus a 22” ride. Firstly, Jazzwise tested the 15” hats and the 18” crash in a 30-piece big band setting to see if they could really cut the mustard and hold their own behind a full sax and horn section. Needless to say, the 15” hats are larger than the more common 13” and 14” and we were expecting plenty of volume –we weren’t disappointed. But it wasn’t just plain unabashed volume, it was volume with character, colour and charisma. These hats have a nicely defined “click” and when played half closed produced a lovely dark sound not unlike that heard in the recordings of the big bands in the 1930s and 40s. The 18” crash also came up trumps – a real revelation. It has a very dark, subtle sound and is not too overpowering. It’s in no way an aggressive cymbal and has a quick response that fades fast, so there is no question of the sound getting in the way. We also tested the hats and crash in a small combo situation, just to see if they might be too heavy. We would have felt more comfortable with a 14” pair of hats but the crash was just fine.

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