Commenting on the upcoming clinic tour, Bittner said, “The clinic tour will feature play alongs, free-form playing, educational content, and fun. I’m hoping to have a few Shadows Fall tracks from my new record to share with fans on the tour. Zildjian cymbals are featured in these new recordings. They’ve already become a part of my sound. It’s really been a seamless transition for me.”
Mon, May 9th - World of Music – Erie, PA
Tues, May 10th - Ken Stanton Music – Atlanta, GA
Wed, May 11th - Drum Headquarters – St Louis, MO
Thur, May 12th - Memphis Drum Shop – Memphis, TN
Fri, May 13th - Midwest Drum & Percussion – Wichita, KS
Mon, May 16th - West LA Music – West Los Angeles, CA
Tue, May 17th - Donn Bennett Drum Studio – Bellevue, WA
Mon, May 23rd - Parkway Music – Clifton Park, NY
In another masterstroke, photographer/drum luthier/webmaster Ronn Dunnett of Drumsmith.com took a trip to Cindy Blackman’s clinic in Vancouver, Canada a couple years back. He brought his camera. What resulted is nothing short of mastery. There’s really nothing more I can say. Just enjoy.
I’ve reviewed all three current editions of the HMMS and doing so has made me realize something. Letting the audience drive the clinic can be a really bad idea.
It would seem that people are prone to ask certain question of clinicians just for the novelty of it being explained live. Jojo Mayer still gets questions about hand technique even though he has an entire DVD dedicated to the subject. Steve Gadd still gets questions about that groove that he did with that guy’s band even though there are transcriptions and videos of what he played all over the internet. And Bernard Purdie will still get asked about the Purdie Shuffle no matter how well documented it is. Continue..
Here it is … our final clinic of PASIC 2008. It’s been a wild ride!
5:01 They are still setting up the kits on stage. A tune from Nightmare Before Christmas is playing (the “Sandy Claus” one). I hope this isn’t idicative of this last clinic. It seems like an odd choice for the show closer. In the past, this slot has been Peter Erskine, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckly and Steve Smith. Not a lot of folks here. The huge ballroom is not even 1/4 full.
5:05 The PAS guy comes out again and one final time insists on calling it pa-sic as in “classic.” Sabian rep introduces Seven.
5:08 Seven takes the stage and plays track. Stick twirls and 3 foot stick heights abound! Continue..
3:02 Waiting to start
3:06 Pearl rep out to introduce the performers. Plugs gear. All three guys endorse different cymbals: Sabian, Zildjian, and Paiste. He’s talking way too much of the Reference kit. They are in the shimmer of Oz finish. Now bios about the players.
3:08 Players take the stage and launch into an up trading drum solos piece. Ameen and Carballo trade licks. Flores is obviously the director as he uses conga licks and roll-offs to send the trio into different directions. Wow! Hoe does someone play that fast on the congas?! He directs both players to play diferent clave patterns and he solos in between them. Each player takes turns soloing in between the claves. They trade 32nds between each other – drum kit to congas to drum kit. Ameen has kept a rhumba clave with his left foot (on a cowbell)under the solo this entire time! Carballo, being the youngest, seems to be about heat and double kick around the kick.
3:22 They slow down the groove into a swing-style piece. Ameen and Carballo trade 4s. Ameen is more about taste than Carballo seems to be . Flores steps in with a fast, melodic conga solo as the drummers swing under it.
3:26 From the mic, Flores directs them to play a straight-ahead, funk thing. Ameen swings but superimposes a backbeat funk groove. It seems like they don’t really know what’s going on. Flores is trying to direct Carballo to do something, but I don’t think he gets it. The thing sounds like it’s about to fall apart. The settle into a full on funk groove while stopping time at the end of the phrase before punching back in.
3:29 While still continuing the groove, Carballo takes a solo. It’s mad chops. Flores waves Ameen off and Carballo is free to solo untimed. More double bass chops. He lays down a fat groove in 7 before launching back into heat around the toms or kick. Flores now directs Ameen to take a solo. He keeps foot ostinatos going while blowing heat. Flores enters with conga heat. Carballo comes back in and and keeps groove. All take turn playing solos. It seems most of these solos consist of going as fast you can up and down the instruments. Now the players and bouncing bursts of 32nds between each other and end with a unison lick.
3:37 Ameen takes the mic
Ameen: We’ve never actually played together except last night on tables … until they told us to stop! With Afro-Cuban and Latin music you can keep layering things on top of it. What were doing was really playing off of the clave. We were using the clave as our basis, as a time shifte to get to different tempos and feels.
Flores: Can I explain to about Salsa music? (Demonstrates different salsa paterns on the conga and adds triplets and double time to the pattern. He then splits up up among 2, 3, 4, and 5 congas.)
Carballo: This is the first time I get to perform with 2 drummers in one setting. It’s a lot of fun, and a lot of chemistry to have to keep time.
Q: For Carballo, where did you learn to play? The street?
Carballo: I learned a lot in the street. I also have a church background, but it’s definitely a lot from the street.
3:44 Play another piece. Starts with huge syncopated, unison licks before setling into a 6/8 Afro-Cuban-esque groove. There is so much happening on stage, it’s really hard to comprehend it all. Ameen is laying down another clave cowbell and going on top of that, Flores is going berserk on the congas, and Carballo is hammering away on the HH. The piece ends with a unison lick that obvioulsy Carballo doesn’t know ad he is reigned to sitting quietly as Flores and Ameen bash away.
3:50 Thank yous and it’s over.
11:11 PAS guy out and introduces DW rep. Thanks sponsors
11:12 Rabb and Minneman take the stage. Johnny takes the stage and gives some live to Marco. Gives Mrco a lobster pot holder and a kitchen towel.
JR: We’re gonna start with some improv. Marco’s gonna wear the potholder while he plays! (laughter)
11;14 Begin to play. Launch into a DnB piece. JR has a drumbal on his snare. They trade licks and are tearing it up! Lots of one handed rolls and free-hand technique. They take turns trading licks in DnB grooves. Marco leaves the stage and Rabb takes an extended solo. Rabb is a real ham when he performs! Lots of stick tricks and a smile always on his face. Liberal use of the drumbal and techno/DnB grooves. Piece ends with “Shave and a Haircut.” (laughter)
11:31 Second piece. More of a straight ahead groove played to loops from an SPD-S. Rabb leaves the stage and Marco now takes an extended solo. Ripping kick chops! Superimposing different meters over feet patterns. The gong bass adds a nice texture to the solo! I like the way he’s incorporating it into his grooves. Lots of textural exploration with sounds burtsing from all over the kit. Now, he’s playing as fast he can to the big finale! Or was it? Fakie ending into more chops! Also ends his piece with “Shave and a Haircut.” (applause)
11:45 Marco and Rabb take the mic. Thank yous.
JR: He’s a little improv going into one of our favorite tributes. Hopefully you’ll recognize it.
11:46 Starts off with blazing swing ride and DnB style licks. Marco starts it off as Rabb gets set. Rabb plays groove on V drums. The sub frequencies in the kick are eating through my skull! Rabb cues the SPD-S again with DnB hits and Buck Nelson vocal samples! Rabb plays with the vocal hits and Marco imitates them on the kit. He makes grooves out of samples from the video. HYSTERICAL! “Francis Ford Coppola! Buck Nelson!”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCzW4fVRViI[/youtube]
11:59 Standing ovation! Fantastic performance. Not so much a clinic.