DVD Reviews
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Groove  Alchemy DVD

Hudson Music and Stanton Moore release Groove Alchemy DVD, a complete method for developing a massive vocabulary of grooves in various funk-based styles, along with a historical overview of some of the key grooves in the development of funk. Says Moore, "Groove Alchemy reflects the program that I have put myself through to improve my own funk and groove playing. It s a groove boot camp that will vastly increase your knowledge of classic grooves and more importantly, will also ignite your imagination and make you a funkier and more creative drummer."

On the 3-hour Groove Alchemy DVD, Stanton presents a historical overview of some of the most important drum grooves in history, showing the basic elements and conceptual development of each groove. He then shows you how to learn from the past and develop your own complete vocabulary for creating new funk grooves and patterns on the drumset. Starting with an in-depth study of the James Brown drummers (especially Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks) and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste of the Meters, Groove Alchemy goes far beyond a mere history lesson by applying Stanton s concepts for making your own playing more creative, musical, and funky. Topics include using variation and style combination to create new grooves, using rhythmic structures and clave ideas for advanced drum set vocabulary, hi-hat concepts, getting creative with backbeat grooves, a look at how to develop swing and shuffle grooves, and more. Intercut with the educational segments, Stanton's trio also performs new tracks from their latest CD (also called Groove Alchemy, Telarc Records), showing how many of the grooves discussed are applied directly to the music. Bonus features include slow-motion segments of key grooves.

REVIEW

On the Groove Alchemy DVD, Stanton Moore starts out by introducing legendary James Brown drummers, Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks, by actually going back and analyzing the drummers that Clyde and Jabo were listening to and influenced by, such as Clayton Fillyau, who played drums on the 1962 James Brown tune, "I've Got Money". Stanton takes it a step further by actually going back and analyzing those drummers that Clayton was listening to and influenced by, then shows and explains how this all sparked what would later become the funk style that we all attribute to James Brown. Besides giving a wonderful history lesson and demonstration of these immortal grooves, Stanton shows how these grooves can (and were) combined, altered and permeated to create new groove concepts.

Stanton then moves to focus on one of his biggest drummer influences, Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), and some of Zig's most famous drum grooves, such as the one on "Cissy Strut". Continuing with his in-depth analysis, Stanton shows how Zigaboo came up with this groove through influences from yet another New Orleans drummer, Stanley Ratcliff.

In the third part of the DVD, Stanton discusses his concept and thoughts on "playing between between the cracks", more specifically as how Clyde, Jabo and Zigaboo did this.

The DVD continues with Stanton taking all of these monumental grooves and creating new variations, improvisations, style combinations and feel juxtapositions. Interspersed throughout Groove Alchemy DVD are six killer tunes by Stanton's trio. Bonus footage includes slow-motion examples and photos.

Stanton Moore has truly done an excellent job with the Groove Alchemy DVD. He is articulate and has really done his homework when it comes to the historical background of Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks and Zigaboo Modeliste ... and their legendary grooves. Another huge plus is the fact that Stanton has a number of anecdotes from his own personal first-hand knowledge and experiences with each of these legendary musicians.

I HIGHLY recommend this DVD to every serious student of the art of drumming. The contents found on this 3-hour disc is priceless, and something that you'll want to come back to and watch again and again. Excellent sound and video quality; a great investment and a 'must have' for every drummer's library. I also recommend that you pick up the companion to the DVD, Groove Alchemy Book/CD, for further in-depth study.