Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dave Weckl - 1992 "Heads Up"

On drummer Dave Weckl's GRP set the rhythms are funky but complex and intelligent, Weckl's sidemen are very complementary and the grooves are quite infectious. Altoist Eric Marienthal and tenor saxophonist Steve Tavaglione get to blow up a storm twice apiece over vamps, Jay Oliver's synth spot recalls Chick Corea on "Tomatillo" and there are strong cameos by trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jeff Beal. Listeners who hate the sound of electronics would best avoid this date, but within its genre Heads Up is a superior effort.

"Heads-Up" was the follow up recording to "Master Plan. A lot had changed for Dave, as he had recently moved to California.

This record was the first recording completed in his home studio. Like all the GRP-era recordings, "Heads Up" was a "project record," with no band concept in mind. Jay Oliver and Dave used the computer quite a bit for composition and production, and most of the bass on this record was programmed.

However, Jimmy Earl made an appearance on a few tunes, as well as Gary Novak (the drummer!) also playing bass on a tune Dave co-wrote with him!

I thought that this was a great cd for al drumers that want to hear some seriously good druming. Weckl shows off his awsome chops in his solos, and weavs intricate beats that fit perfectly with the groove. I got bored of the backup music and wanted to hear more weckl almost imediatly. I would rather have less synth also, but that's just me. I wouldn't pass this one up.

Dave Weckl is a fantastic drummer and he really shines on this CD. The recording quality is great the drums are mixed "out-front." Dave has great chops!


1. 7th Ave. South (5:15)
2. Heads Up (6:42)
3. Taboo (5:23)
4. Tomatillo (5:36)
5. Peripheral Vision (5:13)
6. Tee Funk (5:34)
7. Against the Wall (5:46)
8. Full Moon (5:39)
9. Trigger Happy (3:58)

Total Time: 49:12


- Dave Weckl / drums, percussion, bass (track 2)
- Jay Oliver / keyboards, synth programming, piano (track 2)
- Jimmy Earl / bass (tracks 1, 3-6)
- Eric Marienthal / soprano sax (tracks 1 and 2), alto sax (tracks 3 and 6)
- Randy Brecker / trumpet (track 1)
- John Patitucci / bass (tracks 3 and 8), keyboards (track 8)
- Steve Tavaglione / tenor sax (tracks 5 and 8)
- Jeff Beal / muted trumpet (track 5)
- Gary Novak / bass, keyboards (track 7)