Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dave Weckl - 2000 "The Zone" [CD/DVD]

An unusual double CD set that contains a "best-of" audio CD to Dave Weckl's own choice of ten selections from the recordings of the Dave Weckl Band and a DVD that features excerpts from his ground-breaking instructional video set A Natural Evolution. Titles contained on the audio CD include: Wet Skin, Alegria, High Life, The Zone, Wake Up, and more. The DVD has excerpts from all three of the A Natural Evolution videos, How to Develop Technique, How to Practice and How to Develop Your Own Sound. Altogether this set makes a great introduction to the work of one of the most notable of contemporary drummers.

A too-good-to-be-true package for aspiring jazz drummers everywhere, this incredible product features one disc of the best selections of the legendary fusion drummer's last three Stretch Records releases, and a special DVD with highlights from his three instructional videos put out by Carl Fischer. The ten tracks arguably feature some of modern jazz fusion's most adventurous jams and give hope that the genre that's not either traditional or smooth jazz can still thrive. The funk-drenched "Wet Skin" is Weckl's retro-soul-minded tribute to James Brown, with Brandon Fields' sax doubling ensembling with Jay Oliver's sly organ harmonies and Buzz Feiton's crisp and punch-rock guitar licks. "Alegria" means happiness, and the tune with that title is in turn wild and optimistic, a honking jam featuring Fields on tenor, soprano, and alto flute. Steve Weingart's feisty Fender Rhodes improvisations also give off an old soul fusion effect. The same sort of powerfully electric, intensely rhythmic horn-section vibe pervades the disc, with Weckl experimenting with meters and bringing in outside percussion on occasion. Steve Tavalione is also featured in sax on a few cuts, as is guitarist Frank Gambale -- all the best Los Angeles fusion freaks. Disc two is a DVD video sampler containing highlights from Weckl's three instructional videos available from Carl Fischer, in which the drummer provides insights into how to play effortlessly and organically (or "In the Zone"), how to develop technique, how to practice, and how to develop an original sound. Weckl writes in his liner notes that to him The Zone is a state "in which everything appears to be working on its own, with no effort involved." That pretty much describes his natural ability with the skins, and this set shows that he's eager to pass on the legacy.

This is an interesting release because it features a CD and DVD. The CD is a kind of "Best Of" collection of the cuts from previous DWB CDs, plus a couple of cuts from the Japan releases. These are "Tee Funk" - although previously recorded on Dave's solo release "Heads Up" - it's fun to hear it done by the band. The other is Steve Weingart's "Serenalin" - if you don't have the imports, these are great additions.
The DVD is a so-called "sampler" of the brilliant trio of instructional videos released by Carl Fischer. As with Dave's previous videos, the information and performances are at once exciting and motivating. The view into Dave's new "body movement" style of play is a testament to his commitment to further development as a player and instructor. The segment with Freddy Gruber is funny and often surreal. It's a treat to hear and see this man that so many players look up to. The inclusion of the information on sound and miking is a rare glimpse into an art that is too often ignored. The DVD is well produced and has some production additions from the original videos. The DVD format is great for this type of instruction - you can simply skip to the section where you left off. 
Great work by a great musician and soul.

Audio and video doesn't get any better than this project from Stretch Records (Concord Records distributor), and thanks to Carl Fischer and Weckl...this one-of-a-kind 2-CD-Set is right on target...anyone thinking about taking up drums or is playing in a band, needs to pick "THE ZONE" up...Dave makes all of this look so easy, you'll be playing like him in no time.
Techiques that take years to develope will experience a short-cut after witnessing this album...the entire package is a must have...and once again, thanks to the insight of Weckl, Fischer and Stretch Records.

Track listing"

    Disc 1 Audio CD

1-1     Wet Skin     6:11
1-2     Alegria     5:33
1-3     High Life     7:47
1-4     The Zone     6:08
1-5     Wake Up     6:48
1-6     Lucky Seven     5:55
1-7     Tee Funk     7:03
1-8     Rhythm Dance     5:59
1-9     Serenalin     5:57
1-10     Amanecer     8:29

    Disc 2 Instructional DVD Sampler

2-1     Dave Weckl Drum Solo    
2-2     Band Excerpt−High Life    
2-3     How To Develop Technique    
2-4     What Comes To Mind    
2-5     How The Body Works    
2-6     The Grip    
2-7     Exercise #1    
2-8     Freddy Gruber    
2-9     Band−Angel's Flight    
2-10     How To Practice    
2-11     Time By Natural Motion    
2-12     Band Excerpt−Wet Skin    
2-13     Develop Your Own Sound    
2-14     Tuning The Drums    
2-15     Microphones    
2-16     Mixing Console    
2-17     Band Excerpt−High Life    
2-18     Dave Weckl Drum Solo    
2-19     Credits    


    Drums, Percussion, Tambourine [Hi-Hat] – Dave Weckl
    Bass, Electric Bass – Tom Kennedy (2)   
    Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Buzzy Feiten
    Keyboards – Steve Weingart
    Keyboards, Synth, Organ – Jay Oliver
    Lead Guitar, Guitar [Melody] – Frank Gambale
    Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Steve Tavaglione
    Tenor Saxophone – Bob Malach
    Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Flute, Baritone Saxophone, Saxophone, Keyboards [Additional] – Brandon Fields 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. but you got links that are the same on the DVD and the CD...hope it's OK
    BIG THX!...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. CD:

    1. Awesome blog man...keep up the good work ;)