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


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.
(GRP GRD-9619)