Dave Scheffler is a pianist/keyboardist, composer and producer living in Joshua Tree, California. The son of an aerospace engineer who worked on the Saturn rocket at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama in the 1960s, Scheffler grew up predominantly in Charlotte, North Carolina. After high school, he played keyboards in a local fusion band called Spectrum, which opened for such names as Ramsey Lewis, Hubert Laws and the Dregs (formerly the Dixie Dregs), before attending the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he graduated with honors.
Relocating to Los Angeles in the md-’80s, he found work in the commercial music world – arranging, producing, and recording a diverse range of artists encompassing R&B, hip-hop, pop and world music. His successful production music library, Drama King, licenses music worldwide. Since moving to the otherworldly desertscape of Joshua Tree in 2014, Scheffler has returned to his jazz roots, channeling this meditative existence into an album of original compositions influenced by the cool modal jazz of the late ’50s/early ’60s (Miles Davis, Bill Evans) and fusion greats of the ’70s (Weather Report, Return to Forever), and on into the solo work of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. His modal approach to melody and harmony compositions falls under the rubric of 21st Century Modern Jazz.
Says Scheffler, “When my father was subcontracted to NASA on the Saturn rockets, working as a mechanical engineer under Wernher von Braun, he was part of a team tasked with managing the vibrations of the rockets on liftoff. I like to think of myself as following in his footsteps, somehow engineering these harmonic intervals of sound, forged in the vastness of space, that impact all of us, body and soul, consciousness and core. We are made up of vibrations after all.”
Yamaha CP88, Roland Integra-7, Mini Moog
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson