DVD Review – John Blackwell: Master Series


     John Blackwell is the third in the HMMS (Hudson Music Master Series) line-up and unfortunately it’s much the same as his first DVD. Like I said last time, John Blackwell is one of the best drummers of his kind today, but he is not a good teacher or clinician. It pains me to say this but if you watched his first DVD then you pretty much have already seen this DVD. This DVD has more and longer music and it has special guest Marcus Williams. It has more stories about touring with guys like Prince, it has more printable pdfs (which are very nice) but for all intents and purposes it’s the same DVD. It covers the exact same topics as his last DVD but the thing is that he doesn’t cover it much better then he did the first time around. 

John is a funny guy. He’s not a great public speaker but he’s definitely entertaining to listen to. He’s got some funny stories about how he got his gig with Prince. He’s much more comfortable talking to an audience than a camera, so it’s easier to watch then its predecessor. I’ll definitely give it points for that.

Like I said, the topics covered in this DVD are almost Identical to the ones he covered in his first DVD and his answers are still roughly the same. He talks about grooving, he talks about technique, and he talks about showmanship. If those sound familiar it’s because those were the three main subjects of his last DVD. In fact the only area of the DVD where you get new information in a well presented manner is when John’s mentor, Marcus Williams, takes the stage. Marcus Williams goes through some cool illusionary foot patterns. By Illusionary I mean they are patterns that when done by themselves they aren’t that complicated, but when done with the other four limbs they seem much more complex/faster then they really are. After that they play a song together and then they continue the clinic as usual. Marcus Williams bows out right before they play the next song. John aswers more questions and there is even a question for the bass player Gary Grainger. One more song and they are done.

Now before my break down I want to make it clear that this DVD IS BETTER then its predecessor. If you were planning on getting or watching both, don’t bother, just watch this one. It’s a more condensed version of the one prior. There’s less filler and more content in this one and its almost identical in terms of what they cover. In my humble opinion this DVD is superior but that’s not saying much because the last DVD set a very low bar to hurdle.

Now the breakdown.

For content 1.5 mics

For presentation 1 mic

for extras 1 mic

The extras include 3 drum solos and PDFs of stuff demonstrated during the clinic. If nothing else then download the PDFs.

So the total is 3.5 mics.

I leave it up to you wether you want to buy or rent this thing. It’s a slightly better version of the one that came before… and that really isn’t saying much. I would have given it a lower score but I grade more harshly then I did back when I wrote the other review. It would be kind of weird to give it a lower mic score then the first one but say that it’s better.

it’s worth watching if you haven’t seen the other one but it really isn’t if you have. That’s really all the guidance I can give as far as wether youwanna check it out or not.

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