Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

315

Dave Weckl: Synergy

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
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 out at will. Brandon Fields does better on the lively blues-derived numbers. That’s where he gets a chance to loosen up with his tenor sax, jump and jive, swing and sway; he’s having a good time.

The album contains both smooth jazz and fiery improvised jazz. "Panda’s Dream" and "A Simple Prayer" exemplify the lyrical nature of smooth jazz without spontaneity or swing. Several other pieces fall into the area between genres, and two-thirds of the album stands out as obvious contemporary jazz, smokin’ from start to finish. "Cape Fear" has an eerie quality, with solos from keyboard and guitar. The rumbling electric bass contributes to the track’s mystique. While "High Life" includes a lengthy drum solo with superb rudimentary techniques, the contrasting "Wet Skin" grows out of a loose R&B approach with gruff tenor sax interlude. Weckl performs "Cultural Concurrence" alone with snare drum, tom-toms, bass drum, smaller overdubbed specialized drums, and a few other primitive percussion instruments. It’s a place for the leader to show his skills; Weckl’s a clinician’s clinician.

The title track combines a melodic smooth jazz approach with fiery rhythms, as it changes shape several times throughout its arrangement. Synergy means working together; a combined action from two or more sources. Usually, the parties represent unlike quantities. On the one hand, there are lyrical melodies that float along on repetitive rhythms with predictable outcomes: smooth jazz. And on the other hand, there is music that swings while allowing the artists a chance to stretch out: jazz. Contemporary is added to the description to indicate when electronic instruments and rock-inspired techniques are employed. "Synergy" begins with a lyrical electric bass solo before jumping off into a rocking Latin affair with a few tasty solos. It’s an apt title for an album that combines smooth jazz with fiery rock-influenced contemporary jazz. Dave Weckl’s web site includes photographs and is located at http://www.daveweckl.com/indexdw.htm .


Track Listing: High Life; Panda

Personnel: Brandon Fields- tenor sax, soprano sax, keyboard, baritone sax; Jay Oliver- keyboards; Buzz Feiten- guitars; Tommy Kennedy- electric bass; Dave Weckl- drums, percussion.

Title: Synergy | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Baby Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Baby Talk
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017