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 Latin, funk and fusion. With his latest, the drummer steers his quartet thru more of the same. But many of these works feature strong soloing endeavors by saxophonist Brandon Fields and keyboardist Steve Weingart.
The quartet benefits from a revved up horn section on selected tracks. The drummer institutes polyrhythmic beats that primarily serve as a launching pad for his associates' funkified choruses and shimmering solo spots. In addition, many of these numbers feature memorable hooks amid a few odd-metered time signatures and upbeat, acoustic/electric based frameworks. Weckl’s fifth recording for Stretch Records is a thoroughly happening engagement. No doubt, the drummer is a groove merchant extraordinaire. (Recommended)
World music pioneer Adam Rudolph and his groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra join forces with Brooklyn Raga Massive to create the monumental new album, Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records). Ragmala bridges generations, cultures and traditions in a deep-rooted, forward-looking sound born of 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. Epic in scale and ambition, the project features 40 world-class musicians including Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun, legendary drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, forward-thinking cornetist Graham Haynes, and tradition-blurring flutist...
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