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Audio CD (October 17, 2000)
Original Release Date: October 17, 2000
Label: Stretch Records
Format: single file.Ape
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1. Wake Up 6:49
2. Braziluba 9:50
3. Like That 6:39
4. Mild Hysteria 6:07
5. Group Therapy 6:49
6. Passion 7:30
7. Crossing Paths 7:11
8. Alegria 5:32
9. Just For The Record 5:04
10. Amanecer 8:30
Dave Weckl, drums and percussion;
Steve Weingart, keyboards;
Brandon Fields, tenor and soprano saxes, alto flute;
Tom Kennedy, electric bass.
For more than 20 years, Dave Weckl has developed and maintained a reputation among fans, peers, and the international music community as one of the great living drummers. For this, he has received numerous accolades and honors; Modern Drummer inducted Dave into their Hall of Fame and named him "one of the 25 best drummers of all time."
But these honors, in addition to many more bestowed by the music community, are the product of Dave's undying commitment to making great compositions. Dave's incredibly dynamic and diverse drumming, which has inspired musicians worldwide, is built on a solid foundation of knowledge and respect for music.
Born in St. Louis Missouri, January 8th, 1960, to a mother who loved music and a father who played the piano as a hobby, Dave started playing drums around the age of 8.
During his high school years, Dave received many awards from the NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators) for outstanding performances in his high school's competition-winning jazz band. He was involved with numerous local groups from a very young age while studying with St. Louis-area teachers Bob Matheny and Joe Buerger.
At age 16, Dave began to work professionally with local pop and jazz groups. In 1979, he moved to the East coast to study music at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. At just 19 years of age, Dave was getting recognized.
While playing the club scene in New York City with a band called Nite Sprite, Dave started to receive accolades from established studio musicians such as Steve Kahn, Michael Brecker, and especially drumming great Peter Erskine. It was Peter who recommended Dave for his first 'big gig' in town with a group called French Toast, forerunner to the Michel Camilo band, which has been recorded quite extensively over the years.
From this group, legendary bassist Anthony Jackson recommended Dave for the prestigious Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour in 1983. After this tour, it was not long before Dave was regularly being called for radio and TV jingles, sound track sessions, and top recording dates with such artists as George Benson, Peabo Bryson, Diana Ross, and Robert Plant, to name a few.
In 1985, Michael Brecker suggested to Chick Corea that he look into Dave's services for his new Elektric Band. That was the beginning of a seven year relationship with both the Elektric and Akoustic Bands, where nine recordings and three videos were produced, including a Grammy for the first Akoustic Band release.
The Elektric Band showcased Dave's cutting-edge drumming and innovative use of electronic and acoustic drums, bringing him world-wide recognition. Though the Elektric Band went on a 10-year hiatus in the early '90s, the band is once again touring from time to time. It also released a 17-part conceptual album entitled "To The Stars" in mid-2004.
As a solo artist, Dave has recorded and produced nine recordings to date, including GRP/MCA solo releases Masterplan, Heads Up, and Hardwired. In 1998, Dave realized his long-time goal of forming a world-touring band. To date, the Dave Weckl Band has released five studio records, including: Rhythm Of The Soul, Synergy, Transition, Perpetual Motion, and Multiplicity. The band also released its hot live album, LIVE (and very plugged in) and a compilation of DWB and instructional videos entitled The Zone.
The DWB keeps Dave very busy, but he still enjoys sideman work. Dave regularly joins guitarist Mike Stern, among others. When off the road, Dave keeps busy with session and production work at his home studio in Los Angeles. He also accepts a limited number of private students - and offers classes through the Virtual Drummer School. Additionally, Dave has many instructional video/DVDs and play-along packages on the market (see the "instructional" dropdown menu at the top of the page).
A constant student of the art of drumming and music, Dave gives back every chance he gets through clinics and classes all over the world. Of teaching, Dave says:
"It is my goal to inspire as many young (and not-so-young) people as possible to want to play music, whether it be on drums or another instrument. With all the negatives in the world today, I feel this is my way of contributing a positive action toward spiritual happiness, which music can be a big part of, if you let it. So parents, if your child has a talent for music, please allow them the opportunity to develop that talent!"
Drum master Weckl continues to hawk the muscular brand of fusion that he began dealing with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band over a decade ago. This album seems a catharsis for Weckl, having just come off a divorce and other personal problems. He’s in better form drum-wise than we have heard in some time, and the music on this disc is more engaging than his prior efforts.
It would be hard to find a better environment for Weckl’s style than this present quartet. Brandon Fields offers the ideal blend of soulful jazz sax tradition and contemporary flair. Keyboardist Steve Weingart accentuates the grooves without succumbing to tired synth cliches, and bassist Tom Kennedy’s unwavering, unobtrusive musicianship often carries the day. Weckl himself is a real treasure in the fickle ocean of contemporary jazz, conjuring exciting, unexpected polyrhythms on a consistent basis. Drummers who lead bands tend to run the risk of overpowering the general ensemble sound, but Weckl has a knack for navigating while keeping his ego in check.
The compositions on Transition are uniformly well-built and suited to the band’s character. There are liberal doses of funk, offbeat rhythmic structures, and no small wealth of solo spots for each performer. If there’s a quibble to be had with the disc, it might be that the production is a little too glossy and sterile. The overall mix glazes the album with a rather generic contempo-jazz sense when the music deserves better. Still, that hardly detracts from the enjoyability of the disc, which is Weckl’s best yet and one of the best entries in the Stretch Records catalog.
This is by far in my opinion Dave Weckl's best album. I would probably say (though I may be wrong) that this album is much more improvisationally based than "Rhythm of the Soul" and "Synergy". I much prefer the 4 piece band with Steve Weingart on keyboards who I much prefer to Jay Oliver. This is also Brandon Fields best album because he has a great tone. For some reason I wasn't all that impressed with Brandon's playing on "Synergy", but now, after hearing "Transition" I really love his playing. I like his choice of notes when he improvises and everything within his playing. Steve Weingart also needs a special mention because he is groovy and techinically brilliant who has brought a new dimension to the band.I think that one reason for this being my favourite Weckl album is the introduction of Weingart who has brought a new sound to the band, in my opinion.
I would prefer it if Tom Kennedy would slap bass like some of the slap bass masters (e.g.Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten) because with some of the Funk/R'n'B tunes (e.g "Like That"), I think that this style of playing is required. But he is a great player with a lot of technical ability who is solid and really locks in well with Weckl.
Some songs that are highlights for me are "Wake Up", "Brazilbuba", "Like That", "Crossing Paths" and "Amanecer" where we hear a bit of Salsa at the end which I didn't expect to hear! "Passion" is a beautiful ballad that shows another side to the Band's playing. Weckl plays percussion in this song with his bare hands and a mallet to strike the cymbal.
This is an absolutely brilliant album and I don't know why people criticise this album because there is great versatility on this CD and a great sound. Weckl is among the elite of drummers and he is my favourite drummer, to keep the groove going and play the percussion at the same time is mind boggling. I firmly recommend this CD. Especially drummers who want to have some inspiration, and Weckl consistently inspires me! He's not just an incredible drummer, but now an incredible musician.
As a drummer myself I've been a fan of Dave Weckl's since he first ventured out on his own after his time with Chick Corea. I've enjoyed every one of his solo albums but I think 'Transition' is by far his best yet. I've recently revisited his earlier work and although it's all classic stuff I can now hear the difference in his playing. He attributes this new way to the time he's spent with Freddy Gruber. Some songs on this new album contain sections that that you might think impossible to play unless you were a machine...'Transition' appears to be much more of a 'band' creation rather than just a bunch of fancy chops. I haven't stopped listening to it and it's kind of what I always wanted to hear from Weckl but never really got. The technical brilliance is still there but it's almost like, dare I say it, he's become more Gadd like. You get little tasters here and there rather than huge solos (although there are a few of them as well). Now we really get to hear just how good his co-creators are and believe me they are - It's not just Dave Weckl it's the whole band now. I think partnering with Tom Kennedy was a great move. I actually prefer Steve Weingart's style to Jay Oliver's and particularly his choice of sounds, more Rhodes and Hammond Steve!!!
Brandon Fields is a fantastic sax player and again I think this current setup is working brilliantly. I was a little apprehensive when they dropped Buzz Feiten on guitar after `Synergy', thinking it might go back to chops, chops and more chops. Dave has filled the gap admirably with percussion that he plays at the same time as the drums - an AWESOME sight to see.
Knowing when to play and when not to play is a wonderful ability to have and I think Weckl demonstrates this brilliantly on this album. The whole album has much more of a groove feel to it...Dave should be proud of his early stuff but it's clear to me that his current direction presents a much warmer/mature and enjoyable musical experience. Keep it coming Dave and well done to everyone involved.