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 among the performances, John touches on topics including grooving/playing in the pocket, foot technique, and showmanship, along with extensive commentary 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 the song and groove evolved along with the specific techniques that are involved in the performance, he demonstrates the patterns at normal and slow speeds to provide students with a deeper, fuller understanding of the parts and their musical context.
The second part of the program covers topics such as playing musically, grooving and embellishing the groove without over-playing, fills and solos, showmanship and independence as well as 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.