Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Drummer Dave Weckl gained such a cultlike following playing with Chick Corea's Elektric and Akoustic bands in the 1980s that he could probably release an album of solo wood-block tapping and have it sell enough copies to m... more »
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Drummer Dave Weckl gained such a cultlike following playing with Chick Corea's Elektric and Akoustic bands in the 1980s that he could probably release an album of solo wood-block tapping and have it sell enough copies to make the effort worthwhile. So it's a pleasant surprise that Synergy is a decidedly group effort that thrusts the varied compositional talents and versatility of Weckl and his bandmates to the forefront instead of merely showcasing the leader's drum chops. Not that Weckl has been letting those chops sag; his solo percussion odyssey "Cultural Concurrence" and his ferocious soloing over the Latin groove of the title track are enough to give air drummers everywhere a workout. But what makes Synergy more listenable than some of Weckl's other efforts is the inspired group interplay that finds him and his longtime touring ensemble--saxophonist Brandon Fields, keyboardist Jay Oliver, guitarist Buzz Feiten, and bassist Tommy Kennedy--locking in on grooves that push beyond his normal jazz-fusion terrain. From the West African feel of "High Life" to the Cajun-tinged "Swamp Thing" to the swanky James Brown funk of "Wet Skin," Synergy is an inspired and varied outing. --Ezra Gale
A wonderful example of top-flight musicians in their element
Daniel R. Smith | Denver | 05/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Dave Weckl Band returns with their second release, "Synergy", to find a more diverse and exciting forray into instumental soundscapes. If the first release, "Rhythm of the Soul", gave you a thrill, this album will blow you clean out of your chair. Of course, this album will be snatched up by musicians, due to the impressive lineup, but the general jazz afficionado will also be stunned at the level of playing and compsition this release has to offer. "Highlife" starts out the album with a joyus 12/8 stomp that preludes the fun to come. "Panda's Dream", a composition offered from guitar legend Buzz Feiten, soars with beautiful tones and melodies. Another happy musical brawl, "Swunk" is a fast-paced mix of (of course) funk and swing. Rapidly changing through paces, it's nearly 5 minutes are over just leaving you wanting more. Finally, a lovely reprieve with another Feiten composition, "A Simple Prayer". "Cape Fear" is an ominous jam leading off with Tom Kennedy on bass and Dave chugging like a demented carnival train. That should give you an idea of this moody jam. A song that would do ol' JB proud, ("Say it Loud!") "Wet Skin" is a tribute to the sound that Dave grew up to. The aptly title track, "Synergy", is a wonderful showcase of a myriad of different styles from latin, jazz, and funk. The jazz ballad, "Where's My Paradise", (God, that man Buzz can write!) is a beautiful example of the maturity that this band has come into. Now, what's a drummer's album without an odd-time groove? "Lucky Seven", a Brandon Fields composition, is the tricky meter 7/4 that we as musicians have come to love. Back it up with such funky sax, a person could almost dance to this. Then watch them start snapping their fingers. (Giggle here!) One of my personal favorites, "Swamp Thing", incorporates the New Orleans funk with purposeful melody lines that drive this tune. Just sit there. I dare you. Ahh, the last bastion; the drum solo. "Cultural Concurrence" is a dizzying display of ethnic percussion and drum set mastery. Beginning with tribal triplets, it quickly spins on one heel into a slamming 4/4 of an onslaught of Dave's latest bag 'o' tricks. Just about laid down the sticks after this track. (Naaaaaah!) The only tune performed from Dave's past albums, "Tower '99" is a return visit to "Tower of Inspiration" from his album "Master Plan". Revamped, and giving the indelible stamp of the whole band, this send-up to the Tower of Power influences Dave grew up with, is a fitting transition from the past to the bright future this collective has in front of them. All in all, this is a album that doesn't sacrifice groove and feel for the technical wizardry. Challenging as well as fun to listen to makes "Synergy" a shining gem in any music lovers collection."
Joey Jimenez | Chino Hills, CA | 12/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dave has finally come full circle. His previous projects have always showcased him as the lead musician with his rudimentally monster filled, hard driving chops... and rightly so, playing in intricate meters that seem mind blowing to other drummers. But this CD displays the group effort that allows his bandmates to showcase their varied musical talents. A refreshing, exciting change. But make no mistake, when Dave gets to solo, he definitely reminds you that "Hey... I'm Dave Weckl"..."
More drum mastery
richard hamlett | Raleigh, NC | 10/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I much prefer acoustic jazz to electric; but being a drummer, I buy ever new Dave Weckl CD that comes out. The guy is just so smooth it's ridiclous. Although every aspect of his drumming is nearly flawless, his combo tom/splash fills are just the best. Additionally, Buzz Feiten plays some great guitar solos on this record, particularly track 2. Unfortunately, he won't be on the new release. Jay Oliver has left the band too. Personally, I love over-the-top drums, and could listen to Dave's earlier solo-fest recordings all day. That is why this recording and the first Weckl Band release were a little disappointing to me at first. I wasn't expecting so much in the pocket playing from Dave. They grow on you though. All of the songs are inventive and well crafted. After repeated listening, you become more and more in awe of what the best of the best can do. Can't wait for his new one. Check out the live mp3s downloadable from Dave's website. They will blow your head off!"