JoeL Angelo Margolis; Robert Knight; Andrew Lepley/RedfernsAcclaimed drummer and Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Narada Michael Walden reveals that he’s working on a variety of interesting projects, including new albums by Journey guitarist Neal Schon and Santana drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos‘ wife.

Walden says he’s about halfway through producing a new Schon album that will “showcase Neal as a virtuoso instrumentalist in a new way.” Walden also reports that he’s “written six or seven songs [for the project], and the rest will be covers.”

He adds, “It’s really powerful music.”

Walden also is writing and producing tracks for a forthcoming solo album by Blackman. One of the songs on which they’re working is called “Fun Party Splash,” which he envisions as a possible summer smash.

“It’s a real Sly Stone meets Lenny Kravitz meets ‘right now’ kind of song,” Walden maintains. “It’s rocky, funky and tough.” He adds that he’s really enjoying collaborating with Blackman, whom he says is supremely talented.

“Cindy plays the hell out of the drums and she sings great,” Walden notes. “She’s got so much energy, and she’s so gorgeous — it’s a pleasure to be around her.”

Walden’s list of current musical endeavors also includes playing drums for Aretha Franklin at a star-studded concert saluting Clive Davis. It will take place April 19 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall following the premiere screening of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.

Walden’s connection with Franklin runs deep, since he co-produced and co-wrote most of the songs on her 1985 album Who’s Zoomin’ Who?, including her smash “Freeway of Love.”

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