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NOTES FROM THE COAST

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's Elektric Band from 1985 to 1991. He then recorded and toured with guitarist Mike Stern. He currently tours regularly with guitarists Oz Noy and Chuck Loeb, and bassist Chris Minh Doky. Recognized by Modern Drummer magazine as one of the top 25 drummers of all time, ...

INTERVIEWS

Dave Weckl: Rhythm Talk

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When any jazz enthusiasts start talking about drummers, one of the first names that comes to mind is sure to be Dave Weckl. This major innovator of modern jazz drumming has grooved with more players since he started playing in the New York club scene in the early '80s. His most notable stint started in 1985 when he was asked to be a part of the then-forming Chick Corea's Elektric Band, which he revived in 2004 after a break of over ten years.Weckl has also made himself known on an array of solo projects and recordings, including Multiplicity, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Multiplicity

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Sometimes it's best to take things on face value. A solid collection of engaging compositions, plenty of infectious grooves, and strong soloing/interplay can go a long way to making an album worthwhile, even if it doesn't demonstrate any kind of specific characteristics that give it a distinctive personality. Sometimes an album is just plain fun, nothing more, nothing less.

Over the course of his 25-year career, drummer Dave Weckl has created an almost unparalleled reputation in fusion circles as a player with staggering chops and the ability to navigate the most complex of charts--the latter arguably most visible during his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Live (And Very Plugged In)

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Dave Weckl makes contemporary jazz sizzle with the heat and intensity of artists who’ve grown up with caffeine in their veins and restless anticipation on their minds. The combination of a rumbling electric bass, a gyrating set of keyboards, and a powerfully propulsive set of drums comes naturally to our generation. We’ve been shaking to their textures since before we were even tall enough to ride the beginner roller coaster at our local carnival.

Weckl combines smooth ballads and hectic, turn ‘em loose joyrides on this 2-CD session that was recorded late last year at Catalina Bar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Perpetual Motion

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Just about anyone who has followed jazz and jazz-fusion should be familiar with drummer Dave Weckl’s enviable talents. The artist came to prominence back in the '80s, performing with pianist Chick Corea’s electric (fusion) and acoustic (mainstream jazz) bands. Since then, Weckl has issued several solo outings amid guest spots with various ensembles. He’s released instructional videos/DVDs for aspiring drummers out there who need to know either the mechanics behind his technical faculties or to simply pick up a few tips. However, most of Weckl’s solo efforts skirt the boundaries of contemporary, radio-friendly jazz in concert with in-the-pocket grooves, spanning ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Transition

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Drum master Weckl continues to hawk the muscular brand of fusion that he began dealing with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band over a decade ago. This album seems a catharsis for Weckl, having just come off a divorce and other personal problems. He’s in better form drum-wise than we have heard in some time, and the music on this disc is more engaging than his prior efforts.

It would be hard to find a better environment for Weckl’s style than this present quartet. Brandon Fields offers the ideal blend of soulful jazz sax tradition and contemporary flair. Keyboardist Steve Weingart accentuates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Synergy

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Dave Weckl is one of today's most versatile and technically accomplished drummers. In tandem with keyboardist Jay Oliver, he's also a proficient composer. After a year of touring, the band (which includes veteran guitarist Buzzy Feiten, saxophonist Brandon Fields, and bassist Tommy Kennedy) is cohesive and tight. . This is definitely a band project--all members contribute compositions; some songs are credited to four or all five members of the band. There's a lot more than just head-solos-head over a standard funk rhythm going on here. The compositions are intricate and the chord voicing are often interesting and complex. The opener, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Synergy

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Explosive drummer Dave Weckl leads a talented ensemble that sounds a bit like his old group, the Chick Corea Elektric Band, minus the venerable Mr. Corea. This second release from the Weckl Band is an energetic mix of improvised fusion and pop-jazz.Spunkier than Spyro Gyra and more rock-oriented than the Yellowjackets, the Weckl Band is best when it gives in to its jazzier tendencies -- as on the cuts “Swunk," a fiery track that combines funk and bebop, and “Cape Fear," a sinister groover with a Turkish-like melody.Weckl and company move dexterously through a variety of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dave Weckl Band: Synergy

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Although drummer Dave Weckl and his sidemen (I assume that this is his working quintet) know exactly where they want to go and how to get there, the kind of Jazz they play simply doesn’t interest me in the least. I’m sure they must think it swings; with some exceptions (“Swunk,” parts of “Synergy,” for example) I couldn’t agree with any such assertion. It sounds to these admittedly unschooled ears like a hybrid that embodies rock, smooth Jazz, New Age and other ingredients. While the music is almost surely far more difficult to compose and perform than it sounds, what ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl Band: Synergy

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When Dave Weckl decided to have a “band writing day, rehearsal kind of jam session” while touring with his present ensemble, he couldn’t have made a wiser decision. That day ended up yielding the foundation for almost half of the material on Synergy, his latest release on Stretch Records. The band, Brandon Fields on tenor sax, Jay Oliver on keyboards, Buzz Feiten on guitar,Tommy Kennedy on bass and Dave Weckl on drums, is captured having fun and being spontaneous with music that is written for both live and studio performances. As one of modern jazz fusion most rhythmically eclectic drummers, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Weckl: Synergy

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Contemporary jazz offers featured roles for electric guitar, electric bass, horns and keyboard. And then there’s the drummer. No longer a timekeeper, the drummer sits amid his extended set of percussion instruments and propels his band with a variety of tools. Dave Weckl employs practiced rudiments on his large set to create patterns that interact with the other band members. He stretches out occasionally, but prefers to share in each track’s creation instead. Guitarist Buzz Feiten breathes fire in a hard rock tradition. Pianist Jay Oliver chooses from the hundreds of distinct electronic keyboard sounds available to him and stretches ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dave Weckl Band: Rhythm of the Soul

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One interesting fact about the Dave Weckl Band's Rhythm of the Soul is that it will soon be available in five different music-minus-one play-along formats: one each for drummers, keyboardists, bassists, guitarists and saxophonists. So if you want to strike a monster groove like the Davemeister himself, now's your chance.

Rhythm of the Soul is muscular keyboard-based funk (featuring the tickled plastics of Jay Oliver) that no doubt will inspire hordes of aspiring funksters to plug in and play along in the garage. Bob Malach is along on tenor sax, soloing gamely in a neo-Arnett Cobb mode and pitching in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dave Weckl Band: Rhythm of the Soul

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Pop-jazz tributes to adult-contemporary artists usually scare me off, but this one's different. Yes, Rhythm of the Soul is a tribute to drummer Dave Weckl's favorite R&B and pop artists. But it features 11 original compositions co-written by Weckl and his longtime pal Jay Oliver. Weckl and company merely borrow a few stylistic tricks from favored artists Sting, Ringo Starr, Clyde Stubblefield and Stevie Wonder, but there are no covers on this one.

The album has a bit of a pop sheen, but there's a lot of substance beneath its shiny surface. Weckl surrounds himself with players who can ...



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