PASIC (Percussion Art Society International Conference) attendees were treated to a double helping of Stanton’s down home “Groove Alchemy.” On Friday, November 12, Stanton performed an afternoon clinic and then again at an evening concert with his trio (featuring Wil Blades on B3 organ and Scott Metzger on guitar). The clinic performance hall was packed full with a standing room only crowd and was among the most highly attended PASIC clinics of 2010. For both the clinic and concert, Stanton used a Gretsch USA Custom kit in Twilight Glass Glitter, a new finish that will be released in 2011. The kit included a massive 14″x26″ auxiliary bass drum that Stanton incorporated when he wanted access to maximum tonal impact. He also extensively used his signature 4.5″x14″ solid birds eye maple snare drum for both performances. When not in use by Stanton, PASIC show goers were able to check out the complete drum set and snare drum at the Gretsch drum booth in the PASIC product hall.
The clinic performance included Stanton’s trio and focused on Stanton’s ability to distill classic funk patterns with sticking pattern breakdowns. He then demonstrated how those basic sticking patterns are applied to the drum set and morphed to create further beat evolutions. “Groove Alchemy” printed materials with graphic drum set beat notation were provided to all in attendance. Stanton’s beats were supported by full band performances, which allowed the audience to experience how the beats are used in a full-band context.
The Friday evening clinic was an all out groove assault that showcased the drummer’s prodigious musical talents. Stanton’s trio performed a collection of instrumentals that ranged from straight-up funk to a traditional New Orleans dirge to swinging shuffles. While the emphasis was on the overall musical interplay, each musician applied a liberal amount of solo time. It was during these moments that Stanton inspired the drum-centric crowd with his press rolls, angular, syncopated rhythmic patterns and bombastic, over-the-bar fills. After the last note had been played, the audience demonstrated their appreciation for Stanton and his trio by responding with a standing ovation.