Dave Weckl is the latest member of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band to produce his own showcase album on GRP. It follows a predictable formula, juxtaposing model renditions of funk (Tower), reggae (Here) and ersatz samba (Ritmo) with a modern piano trio (Softly), an Ivan Lin-like wordless vocal (Auratune) and a typically intriguing Chick Corea suite (Master Plan) without demonstrating either originality or consistency of style.
There are highlights, such as the opener, where Weckl displays an uncanny ability to rock and swing simultaneously, maintaining a continual flow of punctuations from the snare drum while marking regular time only with the hi-hat, and where Hey and Reichenbach’s dubbed horn sections are full of punching brassy brilliance.
Chick Corea’s suite is also appealing, evolving, like so many of his compositions, in a deceptively compelling manner; funk drummers will find a special attraction here in Weckl’s meeting with Steve Gadd. And lovers of a good bottom end will no doubt feel drawn to a number of appearances by electric bass individualist Anthony Jackson.
Like all GRP product, this is technically unimpeachable, both in terms of performance and production, if somewhat short on imagination and emotional depth.
Tower Of Inspiration; Here And There; Festival de Ritmo; In Common; Garden Wall; Auratune; Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise; Master Plan; Island Magic (48.11)
Weckl (d/pc); Jay Oliver (kyb/syn); Tom Kennedy (b/elb); Jerry Hey, Scott Alspach (t); Bill Reichenbach (tb); Anthony Jackson (elb); Eric Marienthal (as); Michaei Brecker (ts); Peter Mayer (elg/v); Chick Corea (p/syn); Steve Gadd (d); Ray Kennedy (p). Recorded St Louis and Los Angeles. c. 1990.