Drum Dialects, Demonstrations and Discussions on DVD: Eric Harland, Ralph Peterson and Ari Hoenig
Eric Harland's entry may be the most broad, and Ralph Peterson's disc is easily the most universally helpful and well-rounded, but melodic drumming pioneerand Peterson protégéAri Hoenig wins the prize for most specific and focused educational feature. While most drummers of note would agree to the importance of playing and soloing with a melodic approach, few if any of them can sit down behind the kit and play the melody of a Charlie Parker head on the drums. While this specific skill set makes Hoenig unique, it comes out of the idea of playing with a focus on the art of melodic, solo drumming, which is explored to its full potential on this DVD.
While Harland and Peterson have some help in their presentations, in the form of accompanying musicians and/or pre-recorded tracks, Hoenig relies on interviewer/facilitator/drummer Jerad Lippi to help flesh out the different aspects of his artistry. Playing melody with pitches and without pitches, improvising in a compositional manner, and using form as the basis for soloing are topics that come into play. Hoenig discusses how he tunes his drums in triads (i.e. CEG or FAC), and demonstrates how he alters the pitch with his elbow and fingers to attain different pitches, but the important message behind all of this comes early in the disc. Hoenig touches on the idea that, if you can't make music as an individual, you might not be fully equipped to create music with other people, and that thought stays with the viewer throughout the disc.
Early on, Hoenig demonstrates how he twists Max Roach's classic "The Drum Also Waltzes" into his own feature in five, but actual melodies become the topic of concern as the lessons develop. Hoenig takes what he teaches and uses these techniques to perform a variety of tunes, from "I've Been Working On The Railroad" and ""The Little Drummer Boy" to "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Tequila," and these examples provide a well-rounded picture of largely unexplored avenues in the art of melodic drum set playing. While some drummers may not be interested in investigating the pitched percussion potential of their set, every performing drummer can benefit from more melodic intentions in their drumming output, and that's what makes Hoenig's message so important.
Personnel and Production Notes
The Yin & Yang Of Jazz Drumming
Personnel: Eric Harland: drums; Joe Martin: bass; Aaron Parks: piano.
Production Notes: Director/Producer: Falk Willis. Cinematographer: Greg Harriott. Camera Operator: Mike Doyle. Video Editor: Todd Nilssen. Audio Engineer: Dan Stringer. Interviewer: Falk Willis. Audio Mix/Master: Dan Stringer. Still Photography: Mike Doyle. Original Artwork: Zoe Matthiessen. Graphic Design: Vince Perretti. Transcriptions: Deepak Gopinath.
Jazz Drumming Demystified
Personnel: Ralph Peterson: drums, trumpet; Melissa Aldana: saxophone; Michael Palma: piano; Dezron Douglas: bass.
Production Notes: Director/Producer: Falk Willis. Cinematographer: Mike Doyle. Camera Operator: Greg Harriott. Video Editor: Mike Doyle. Audio Engineer: Dave Ahl. Interviewer: Falk Willis. Audio Mix/Master: Dan Stringer. Still Photography: Mike Doyle. Transcriptions: Deepak Gopinath and Tyler Scott.
Personnel: Ari Hoenig: drums.
Production Notes: Director/Producer: Falk Willis. Cinematographer: Greg Harriott. Camera Operator: Mike Doyle. Video Editor: Greg Harriott. Audio Engineer: Dave Ahl. Interviewer: Jerad Lippi. Audio Mix/Master: Dan Stringer. Still Photography: Mike Doyle. Original Artwork: Zoe Matthiessen. DVD Presentation: Vince Perretti.