DVD and Book Reviews Jan 2012
Gannin Arnold Project – Five World Class Drummers
This DVD has a very interesting and original concept. It’s based on having five different drummers play the same few songs to see the differences in how they interpret, hear, and overall approach the song. It''s an idea which I can’t believe hasn’t been done before. All the songs are original compositions by respected session guitarist Gannin Arnold and the drummers in question are chosen especially for their different approaches to the songs.
We start with Taylor Hawkins who pummels through his three tunes with his unmistakable Copeland-meets-Grohl style, the bass player describes his playing perfectly by saying it’s as though every note is played with an exclamation mark after it, a great way to start the DVD. In stark contrast is Jimmy Chamberlin’s section, Jimmy has a far more subtle approach as he flexes his jazz fusion muscles that don’t get much of an airing in The Smashing Pumpkins. Simon Phillips and Terry Bozzio both amaze and surprise with their wildly abstract and masterful ways and Gary Novak rounds things off with an approach not far off Taylor’s but with more ghost’s and graces and less exclamation marks. All versions work in their different ways and are so different you kind of forget you’re listening to the same songs over and over.
The most relevant song here is ‘Not From Here’, the only song that each and every drummer plays, with their own differences in tempo, feel and overall groove. As Simon Philips says, when he learns a new song that another drummer has played on he listens to the song as a whole, not necessarily what the other drummer has played, a concept which rings true on this DVD.
A very interesting DVD with much to learn from it. Highly recommended.
Drum Channel DVD
3 hours 20 mins
Peter Erskine – Everything I Know, A Work In Progress
The Drum Channel and Peter Erskine bring us his new educational DVD, a basic overview of everything Peter knows and teaches. Short of actually being one of his students for years on end, this is as close as you’re going to get for a chance to enter the mind of this great player and educator.
There are fifteen basic sections overall, including lessons on shuffles, waltzes, odd meters, comping, the blues, overall jazz, playing with brushes and playing slow with brushes, simple strokes, motifs, and the difference between pulses and beats. Peter is joined for some band performances on certain sections by Alan Pasqua on Piano, Bob Sheppard on Sax, and Darek Oles on Bass.
Peter’s subtle and disciplined approach to playing is wonderful to watch, without showing off he truly manages to prove he is a master of the instrument. This also comes across in his calm and easy going approach to teaching.
A joy to watch, and one of those DVD’s that will stay in many drummers collections for years.
Todd Sucherman – Methods and Mechanics Book
The Methods and Mechanics book serves as a companion piece to Todd’s DVD of the same name. The book is co-authored by drummer/educator/journalist Brad Schlueter and contains note for note transcriptions of some of Todd’s best performances on eight songs and five drum solos, including songs by Jerry Goodman, Styx, and Taylor Mills amongst others. All the songs were specifically chosen for their challenging drum parts.
Also featured in the book is a section on double bass playing and a very useful section which focuses on rudiments and hybrids, and how to apply them around the kit. On the accompanying CD are all the tracks featured in the book. Some have the option of with or without drums to make it that little bit more challenging without any other drums to follow.
Todd is a master of all styles and most are covered here but the prog rock stylings of his band Styx and on Jerry Goodman’s ‘Tears of Joy’ is where he really stands out and amazes. If you’re already a fan of Todd’s work then this is a must have, if you are new to his work it also stands as a great educational tool.
128 pages $19.99
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