JJ 04/91: Dave Weckl – Master Plan

Thirty years ago Mark Gilbert found the Corea drummer's solo set extremely competent if rather anonymous. First published in Jazz Journal April 1991

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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.

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Like all GRP product, this is technically unimpeachable, both in terms of performance and pro­duction, if somewhat short on imagination and emotional depth.

Discography
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.
(GRP GRD-9619)

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