Artist/ Band: Carl Palmer
Title: Drum Solos DVD
Label: MVD Visual
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Carl Palmer was the first drummer I ever heard who just knocked my socks off. Oddly enough, the band he was in at the time, was also the very first official progressive rock album I ever heard. That would of course be Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP) who were a 3 piece powerhouse of elite musicians with much higher skills than your regular rock and roll band. Needless to say I was pleased to see a drum solo DVD appear with three major drum solos of Carl’s all presented. The first few seconds of Drum Solos really takes me back. It made me miss the old days when drum solos (and music too, as far as this goes) were breaking all types of barriers and going in many directions. It soon became clear that there would be no comments, no interview, or spoken word from Carl at all, which was just a huge disappointment to me. I can live with it, but I just couldn’t believe this was released as a drum instructional type DVD, and not have any talking on it. Not from anyone. (well I did hear Greg Lake in the back ground say “Carl Palmer” to the audience as he finished his first solo. *l*).

The three solos you get multiple formats of are from Karn Evil 9 (ELP- Cal-Jam 1974), The Heat Goes On (Asia- Live 2008), and Fanfare for the Common Man (Asia- Live - 2009) . Hands down, the Karn Evil 9 at Cal-Jam is the best and most prized performance. I remember seeing that live on TV and was just stunned by the entire ELP show. Keith Emerson was raised up in the air spinning top over bottom on his grand piano while playing, and Carl Palmer was spinning around on a huge platform while playing part of his drum solo.

As for the instructional part, there are several speeds (and done with midi) you can chose to slow down the solos and practice them if you want. [75%, 50% etc). The real surprise on the DVD is a clinic that Carl was giving and although it’s an armature video, it shows him playing the snare drum only, and doing tricks with the sticks that anyone would be amazed by. He also performed on just a hi-hat with some stick tricks. Back in the 70's I had not seen anyone use the drum sticks the way he did. Not content on just playing the huge drum set brilliantly, he also had an array of stick tricks that really got the crowd going. For those readers who play drums or are familiar with them, it should be noted that Carl Palmer was one of those that used the traditional grip verses the matched grip (and still does to this day as far as I know). He got some of the one hand rolls and speed by using a blend of free bounce and the Joe Morello method (Joe recently deceased and will be missed by the drum world).

So all in all, this is a DVD of famous drum solos that even a non musician or non drummer would be able to enjoy. It’s more entertainment, as they show the actual footage of the drum solos from the real performance, as it happened. So you get the real deal. The one thing I really was bugged by, they cut off 2 out of the 3 solos before he finished them. Bad editing also did a cut out on his snare drum solo at the clinic. I understood why they cut the Kain Evil solo short as he was making the intro to the music as they did it. But surely the other 2 solos with ASIA was just crappy editing. I expected more from this long time coming DVD from Carl Palmer. Something tells me Carl did not have much a say so here, and corporation stupidity decided how to edit and what to include here. That’s all the negatives. The other extras you will get is loads of PDF files with the note for note transcription of all Carl’s solos. Also some pictures and magazine material thru the years. So although you only get 45 mins of actual drum solo to watch, you get a lot of other things to check out on your computer. Carl Palmer was the most exciting drummer I have saw back in the 70's. He was a huge influence on me as a drummer. I’ll always have a great memory of his skills and what he brought to the progressive rock world. This DVD is worth the price for the 3 solos and especially for the snare drum clinic (in bonus section). He was a unique innovator on the drum set.

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on May 8th, 2011


01. Karn Evil 9 Drum solo - ELP - Cal Jam 1974
02. The Heat Goes On Drum solo - Asia 2008
03. Fanfare For The Common Man Drum solo - Asia 2009

Bonus Features:

  • Snare Drum Only solo - "3" (with Keith Emerson & Robert Berry)
  • Photo Gallery - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, ELP, 3, Asia and the Carl Palmer Band

Reviewed Discography

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