Dave Weckl Band — The Rhythm of the Soul
(Stretch Records SCD-9016-2, 1998, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-11-01Back when I was in college, Weckl was God to every star-struck drummer who ever picked up a pair of sticks. His years behind the kit in both of Chick Corea's bands allowed him ample opportunity to display his surfeit drum chops and sky's-the-limit outlook - a sort of Steve Gadd pushed to greater technical extremes. Here he appears fronting his own ensemble, and though I know not how many previous albums he has completed, I no longer relish the thought of another slice of his music. To make my biases known: I prefer fusion with a sting of uniqueness that makes Brand X, Dixie Dregs, or Mahavishnu Orchestra so special. But Weckl's CD sounds like it could have been made by any random set of studio musicians you'd care to stick in a room together, at any time between 1982 and 1999. Eleven instrumental tunes, co-penned by Weckl and keyboardist Jay Oliver, make up the recording, which seems aimed at drummers wishing to study Weckl in detail, credits listing every piece of equipment, even down to his brand of sticks, heads, and shoes! If I had to capture the essence in one word, I would choose "orthodox." His band, consisting of guitar, bass, sax, and keys, plays in a commercial Tower of Power mode of 80s funk/fusion that leaves hardly a nook or cranny of room for originality. Behind the kit, Weckl usually keeps a steady supportive backbeat, complemented by the odd snare accent on an off-beat. At a certain point in each tune (almost without exception) you can expect that either he, or the bassist, will burst into a flurry of two or four-bar solo phrases. These highlights however are a sort of double-edged sword insofar as the flashy fills and soloistic drum breaks (impeccably executed though they are) inexorably serve to reveal the uneventfulness of the compositional substance. Furthermore, I had hoped a player of his stature would show a bit of cavalier, daredevil risk-taking, whereas here everything comes across as strictly calculated; as if every moment were rehearsed. Some of the quieter moments are perhaps more original, and more to my liking, but on the whole only those whose motive is to study how Weckl approaches a certain tempo or meter (how he works his fills and solos into these kinds of grooves) will benefit from a recording like this.
Related artist(s): Dave Weckl
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more