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DVD Review – Antonio Sanchez: Master Series

Antonio Sanchez, drummer for Pat Metheny does a master class and you get to be there even if you weren’t there!

That’s pretty much how all the Hudson Music Master Series products work. They film someone doing a master class and add some of their masterful camera work and other little things that are specific to the DVD. Some of those things include a foot cam and onscreen text that highlights some of the points that Antonio hits on.

Like the Gadd master class DVD Antonio starts the program by telling his story as a drummer and how he came to the USA and then he kicks off the master class by playing a track from his first (and so far only) record called migration. The track is called “One for Antonio” and was written for his record by Chick Corea. I’d just like to point out here that all the music in this DVD is really enjoyable stuff. He mostly plays tunes by other artists such as Chick Corea and Pat Metheny, but the second song “challenge within” is written by Antonio himself. After he plays the tune he takes questions from the audience. The audience in this case is a small group of people of around 15-25 people. This makes for a much more intimate setting then the Gadd master class which was a packed auditorium of several hundred people.

After the second song there is a long clinic kind of section where he give his thoughts on; playing over a clave, practicing, independence, motivic development, transitions, phrasing, posture and grip. One of the highlights of this clinic section is his explanation of how he practices playing music with a click track. Instead of having the click play quarter notes or some other small subdivision, Antonio has it play only on the one of every bar or even the one of every other bar so that you are keeping time yourself from bar to bar. The click merely reminds you where the one is every now and again so you can monitor your tendencies as far as speeding up and/or slowing down.

After that there are two more songs and some more questions and then he wraps up.

So here’s the breakdown.

For content I give it 2 stars, out of three. Antonio mostly let the questioners drive the show and their questions weren’t always very substanitive in my opinion. However the times that he did take the helm and covered specific topics indepth with practiced examples he really did extremely well.

For presentation I give it the full star. Antonio is a very good clinician and doesn’t have trouble addressing the crowd or telling stories. The Hudson guys did their usual best to make sure you got the best seat in the house when you watch this clinic.

For extras I’m not giving it anything, because it doesn’t have anything. There are downloadable pdf’s but I pretty much consider that part of the content these days. A gear tour would be an extra, an interview would be an extra, a commentary track would be an extra. This DVD has none of those things so no star.

So all in all that’s three mics. I grade harder then I used to do before my little summer break so keep that in mind if this seems out of place compared to my old DVD reviews.

All in all this is definitly worth renting and downloading the free pdf’s. Buying it wouldn’t be a bad deal either. Buying DVD’s isn’t my thing but if it’s yours you should definitly look at this one.

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