"In the Style of Wawau Adler" DVD review

BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
edited May 2009 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 1,379
I just got this and watched it all in one sitting with my guitar.
Man! There's a lot of stuff in there!

First, this is an instructional dvd that demands the viewer to work, there's no tab, you're left on your own to figure out the playing by ear and by watching and rewinding until you get it down. This is a great thing! You really get to work your ears and as you progress it gets easier and quicker to figure out Wawau's mind boggling phrases (I think I'll be spending many moons doing that), you can use the slow motion feature on your dvd player if something's too fast.
Denis Chang made it easier by including an alternate camera angle which focuses on Adler's hands close up, great view of his incredible picking technique and fingerings, on the regular angle you see both Wawau and Denis in front view.

As I said there's a lot in this dvd, on the first part entitled "The Songs" you get 2 hours of Wawau improvising on over 30 tunes. Amazing! Full of imagination and a beautiful warm, woody, Selmery tone, there's several versions of each tune in various tempos.

Imagine that! 2 hours of back to back guitar solos on Jazz Manouche favorites by one of the top players alive in the world, just for you to watch over and over at home as many times as you like. Even if I wasn't up to the task of working out what he's doing I'm enough of a Gypsy Jazz nerd to appreciate that.
Plus with the front angle you are able to see the voicings Chang plays and how he accompanies this great master, so it's also like 30+ chord charts in video, with gypsy approved chord voicings.

This first section of the DVD alone is well worth every cent at least two times over... Funny I was just preparing to take some lessons with a well know player and teacher in Holland and he charges what this video costs for one 1 hour lesson!

And there's more!!

On part 2 "The Lessons" Mr. Adler talks about rhythm guitar, demonstrating do's and don't s with the help of two "guinea pig" players, his advice is invaluable, made me want to chain my band's rhythm player to a chair with his eyes pinned open Clockwork Orange style to watch this, until it's permanently etched in his brain!

Wawau also talks about tone "colors" to make your playing come alive, he also shows, first slow then fast, a big bunch of really cool intros and awesome Wowow patented licks.

You can buy it here:

and Michael Horowitz also has it at the Djangobooks store.

For me the best thing about this dvd is that it provides an exceptional chance to exercise your ears and develop the ability to learn on the spot.
As Wawau himself says "books are fine but the ears are the most important".
I'm sure every hour spent working with this video will greatly increase my hearing abilities and my technique, tone, rhythm and phrasing will also be greatly enhanced.

This review may seem overly enthusiastic to some but honestly there's nothing about it that I didn't like other than it not being available five years ago and the fact that it doesn't come with an Eimers antique guitar like the one Wawau plays 'cause watching him left me aching to have one of my own... anybody has 4,000 Euro they want to donate to the BluesBop Harry fund?


  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    A great DVD! Or should I say another great DVD...Denis is really cranking out some phenomenal teaching material, and his love for the music really comes through--especially when it would be all too easy to produce half-assed materials for an under-served genre of jazz. Instead, this globe-trotting, multilingual musical dynamo is pumping out 3-hour discs of masterclass lessons with people like Wawau, Kliphuis, and Stochelo. Amazing! We're lucky to have him.

    I've also posted a review of the Wawau disc here if anyone is interested in the in-depth viewing.

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