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Dave Weckl: On Time

Dave Weckl:  On Time
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Dave Weckl hit the New York fusion scene in the early 1980s. It didn't take long for this talented drummer from Saint Charles, Missouri to get recognized and hired by artists like singers Madonna, Robert Plant, Diana Ross, and Paul Simon, as well as guitarist/vocalist {George Benson}}. Weckl toured with the keyboardist Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
's Elektric Band from 1985 to 1991. He then recorded and toured with guitarist Mike Stern
Mike Stern
Mike Stern
b.1953
guitar
. He currently tours regularly with guitarists Oz Noy
Oz Noy
Oz Noy

guitar
and Chuck Loeb
Chuck Loeb
Chuck Loeb
b.1955
guitar
, and bassist Chris Minh Doky
Chris Minh Doky
Chris Minh Doky
b.1969
bass
. Recognized by Modern Drummer magazine as one of the top 25 drummers of all time, this master musician shows no signs of slowing down.

All About Jazz: What kind of a year has 2012 been for you?

Dave Weckl: Honestly, the years have all melded together for quite some time now. My road travel has been over the top the last few years with no sign of letting up anytime soon, this year being no exception. I'm thankful for the work, but a bit tired. As my recently deceased, wonderful friend/teacher Freddie Gruber once said, "Get it while you can!" So, I've had three EU tours with different groups, USA gigs, lots of work in my studio, and we're only in July.

I've been on tour with Mike Stern and Oz Noy so far this year, so that has and is taking up most of my time. At home I continue to work on various things in the studio, both my own projects and remote recordings for other clients. I guess you could say I'm working on staying healthy so I can keep up this ridiculous schedule.

I have a drum camp (Drum Fantasy Camp), with some other great players/teachers, and a major drum event in Australia. In the fall I've had some down time with family as I continued to work on projects in my studio, , including a "Single Series" that I have for download on my website. . I currently have three songs there that can be downloaded, with choices of packages containing play-alongs for each instrument on the song. The plan is to do more of these projects, time permitting. I am also working on a possible new project with Jay Oliver, my longtime friend and the first keyboard player in my band. More to come on that. I also go racing a bit. I've been on tour most of the fall and a lot of December in the States and EU with the Nomads, a nice group with Chris Minh Doky on bass, George Whitty on keys, and Dean Brown on guitar. My web site tour page is a great source of info about me and what I'm doing, where I'm touring.

AAJ : What goes through your mind when you look back at where you started and where you are now?

DW : I take a deep breath, it's been a long, great journey that thankfully continues. I started playing drums when I was seven. I'm 52 and still at it, full on. I feel fortunate and thankful to have had and continue to have the career I have enjoyed, and still healthy and "young" enough to play the way I like to play.

AAJ : Who were your earliest musical influences?

DW : Besides my father (played piano as a hobby) and rock bands like The Monkees and some others, I was turned on to jazz at an early age from my dad. [Drummer] Jack Sperling
Jack Sperling
Jack Sperling
1922 - 2004
drums
(with [clarinetist] Pete Fountain
Pete Fountain
Pete Fountain
b.1930
clarinet
) was my introduction to swing, then my dad brought home a Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich
1917 - 1987
drums
record and he became an obsession, followed by Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
b.1945
drums
and other great drummers. I was turned on to the music of a lot of great artists because of the drummers playing with them, such as Chick Corea, Brecker Brothers, Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
, and all the big bands of the time; Maynard [Ferguson], [Stan] Kenton, Clark Terry
Clark Terry
Clark Terry
b.1920
trumpet
, Thad Jones Mel Lewis Remembered—and, of course, my favorite, Buddy [Rich]'s big band. During this time I was meeting kids my age with the same passion, like Tom and Ray Kennedy, Jay Oliver and others. Together we sort of influenced each other to learn, play and progress.

AAJ : How did your musical influences grow and or change over time?

DW : As I was exposed to more things in life, and different musicians, I was exposed to different music. I met musicians from different parts of the world as I moved around, both in a living and touring sense, which enlightened me to all the music the world had to offer. That still happens, by the way.

AAJ : What artists and bands do you enjoy listening to today?

DW : Well, I listen to a wide variety of music. I love Latin music, and I'm still a fan of older R&B, and the music I listened to as a kid. My 15 year-old daughter exposes me (not willingly sometimes) to all things current, from pop, rock, etc... but she has also been exposed from a very early age to a wide variety, so she also likes a lot of different things. I really don't specify too much what I listen to, and sometimes, because my ears are pretty much always on music for the job; "silence is golden."

AAJ : How old were you when you played your first musical instrument? What instrument was that?

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