Great video, but fire that drunken cameraman
Brennan | Oakland, CA | 03/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I felt compelled to write a review for this video because I am very annoyed by a recent trend in instructional drum videos. I'll get to that in a moment, but first the good stuff.
If you want to learn about R&B drumming, or even R&B in general, Zoro is an excellent teacher. He takes the viewer through the history and evolution of the genre, introduces the notable artists, and demonstrates the key drumming styles. Interviewer Russ Miller does a good job in discussing the subject and engages Zoro in a relaxed, conversational style. The video is also a great companion to Zoro's excellent book of the same title. The thing I like about both of them is they teach you things that are very useful in real world band/performance situations, and clue you in as to what a lot of bands are looking for in a drummer.
Now the bad stuff. Whenever Zoro plays live, the camera work and editing suddenly launches into a frenetic display of spastic camera moves and rapid-fire cuts. I guess this is supposed to make the video more exciting, but all it does is draw attention to itself and away from the subject. This is all the more maddening when you try and look closely at what Zoro is doing. It's nearly impossible to focus on the nuances of his technique while the camera is jerking around or it continually cuts to another angle. As I hinted before, I have seen this MTV approach in other recent drum videos, and apparently the people behind it haven't figured out that most people are watching these videos to learn something, not to be pandered to with gimmicky video tricks.
If not for this glaring problem, I would give this video 5 stars. But despite this problem, Zoro's playing and expertise on the subject still warrant 4 stars."
The Commandments of R & B According to Zoro
R. J. O. trey | California, USA | 09/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Delivering a historical backdrop of R&B that rivals any previoulsy published, the book is perhaps a little short on performance exercises it more than makes up for it with an indepth look at stylistic differences that occured over time in the genre and gives a representaion of development and progress through the 20th and into the 21st century. Again more quantity of different grooves for comparison and practice purposes. Otherwise Z could have easily turned the book and accompanying DVD in as an ethnomusicological grad project and probably recieved an honorary doctorate. Well done Z man!"