John Blackwell brings his R&B/funk/pop drumming mastery to this enlightening educational DVD. Filmed in front of a live audience, John demonstrates the musical skills that have made him the drummer of choice for artists such as Prince, Patti LaBelle, and Justin Timberlake. John performs his original compositions with a burning band: Gary Grainger on bass, Mike Scott on guitar, and Corey Bernhard on keyboards. Interspersed a number of the performances, John touches on topics including grooving/playing in the pocket, foot technique, and showmanship, at the side of extensive observation and demonstrations of the grooves and concepts that have influenced him. The three-hour DVD is divided into two main sections. In the first section, Blackwell performs with the all-star band and then explains and demonstrates the drum parts. Not only does the master drummer discuss the way in which the song and groove evolved at the side of the specific techniques which can be involved in the performance, he demonstrates the patterns at normal and slow speeds to supply students with a deeper, fuller understanding of the parts and their musical context. The second one a part of the program covers topics such as playing musically, grooving and embellishing the groove without over-playing, fills and solos, showmanship and independence in addition to Blackwell s Jazz, R&B and Hip-Hop roots. Also featured is special guest Marcus Williams, John s teacher, who leads an extensive master class segment on his amazing foot technique and soloing concepts. ALSO INCLUDED: A PDF ebook containing transcriptions of John s grooves, in addition to other educational material.
Running Time: 2 hours, 53 minutes
Choice of Discs: 1