387

Dave Weckl Band: Multiplicity

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
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 tenure with keyboardist Chick Corea's Elektric Band, which reconvened last year for a new record and tour, after a fourteen-year hiatus. But along with his reputation as a virtuosic player was often an undercurrent that his playing always felt somehow cold and sterile.

While Weckl has been releasing solo albums since '90's Master Plan, it's really been over the past five years that his Dave Weckl Band has emerged with a combination of deep funk grooves and hints of rhythmic influences from farther afield that lay waste to the claim that Weckl is a skilled but clinical player. Multiplicity is a high-energy but never bombastic session that gives everyone plenty of chance to stretch out, all within the context of some attractive and upbeat compositions, most being collaborations between Weckl, reedman Gary Meek, and keyboardist Steve Weingart, with three tracks by Weingart alone. But, most important, the album feels good.

The precedents are all there. Weckl's time with Corea can be heard in some of the charts' complicated and unexpected rhythmic twists and turns, but Yellowjackets and Jaco-era Weather Report are the clearest foundations. Weckl and his long-time rhythm section partner, bassist Tom Kennedy, seem joined at the hip on tunes ranging from the bright opener "Watch Your Step, the Latin-informed "Vuelo, and the 7/4 mover, "Mixed Bag. But Weckl is equally connected to bassist Ric Fierabracci, who plays on four of the nine tracks, most notably on the Weather Report-inflected shuffle of "Elements of Surprise and the visceral, behind-the-beat funk of "What It Is.

Weingart and Meek are capable soloists, but if there's any criticism, it's that, while everything is delivered with complete commitment, no originality distinguishes the players. The generic nature of the playing, despite its high level, is what stops the record, clearly an enjoyable one, from being great.

There's no doubt that, in the area of funkified fusion, Weckl and his band represent some of the better players around. And in that regard, for fans of the genre who want to hear vivid playing that avoids its almost inherent excesses, one could do far worse than check out Multiplicity. Still, if Weckl wants his band to get to the next level, he needs to find a way of giving it a clear identity.

Visit Dave Weckl on the web.

Track Listing: Watch Your Step; Elements of Surprise; Vuelo; Inner Vision; What It Is; Chain Reaction; Cascade; Mixed Bag; Down on the Corner

Personnel: Dave Weckl (drums, percussion); Steve Weingart (keyboards); Gary Meek (tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute, bass clarinet); Tom Kennedy (bass on

Title: Multiplicity | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Stretch Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

SoCal Jazz
Interviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

School of the Arts

Magnatude Records
2008

buy
Multiplicity

Multiplicity

Stretch Records
2005

buy
Live (And Very Plugged In)

Live (And Very...

Concord Music Group
2003

buy
Perpetual Motion

Perpetual Motion

Concord Music Group
2002

buy
 

Transition

Concord Music Group
2001

buy
 

The Zone

Milestone Records
2000

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Nov6Wed
Oz Noy Trio Featuring Dave Weckl And Hadrien Feraud
Bop Stop
Cleveland, OH
$30

Related Articles

Read Terra Incognita Album Reviews
Terra Incognita
By Karl Ackermann
July 22, 2019
Read Bedroom Tapes Album Reviews
Bedroom Tapes
By John Bricker
July 22, 2019
Read Calenture and Light Leaks Album Reviews
Calenture and Light Leaks
By Don Phipps
July 22, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Mike Jurkovic
July 22, 2019
Read Down & Dirty Album Reviews
Down & Dirty
By Jack Bowers
July 21, 2019
Read Sublunary Minds Album Reviews
Sublunary Minds
By Troy Dostert
July 21, 2019
Read Peace Planet & Box of Light Album Reviews
Peace Planet & Box of Light
By Don Phipps
July 21, 2019