Quick Thoughts – Stanton Moore, ‘Groove Alchemy’ DVD

Stanton Moore, 'Groove Alchemy' cover picture

Just when I thought I’d studied the James Brown stuff, along comes Stanton with a kick in the ass to show me that I only ever half knew it.

Having put an obviously substantial amount of time (we’re talking years of study and refinement processes) into tearing apart the beats of the JB drummers, Stanton has come up with what I believe is possibly, THE defining DVD for decrypting the code of Stubblefield, Kendrick, Starks, Fillyau & Parker.

Now I’ve studied the DVD ‘Soul of the Funky Drummers’, the Zoro DVD, the Jim Payne transcriptions and ‘The Funkmasters – the Great James Brown Rhythm Sections’ book and despite all of this, something was still lacking in my understanding, due my own inability to fully digest what was being communicated. Thanks to ‘Groove Alchemy’, I am now closer than ever to fully grasping the concepts of how those beats came together.

It still remains to be seen whether or not I’ll be able to replicate the originals (almost definitely not), but due to the meticulous nature of Stanton’s personal commitment and study of this defining point in the history of music, I am now even closer to getting on top of the grooves and channeling the spirit of what they achieved into my own playing. This time, there really is NO excuse for getting it wrong!

If you are truly committed to groove playing and have an insatiable hunger for learning about the history of black American music, then this DVD is one you simply cannot afford to be without. (By the way folks, I haven’t even got to the Zig section yet, but the forecast is set for another personal kicking…)