Re: Dave Weckl
Where to start with Weckl...
Well, without a doubt, Weckl was probably my biggest inspiration on the set when I was first starting out. My band director gave me "Hard Wired" when I was about 10 and it blew my mind. I'd never really spent much time listening to the legends of drumming at that point, all I'd really heard from drums and drumming was the music on the radio. What a complete shock!! Once I got past the intense synth sound, what I heard was incredible. The band was incredibly tight, superbly musical, and the epitome of what I considered "musicianship" at the time. Granted I was really young and hadn't experienced much of the "great" music I have now. Weckl's playing opened me up to a whole new WORLD of drumming. I bought "Master Plan" and heard Steve Gadd for the first time..then it just went from there.
As for his playing itself...I can see his earlier playing might have left a lot of people cold. He played everything with incredibly clean and powerful precision on a set that sounded like drums SHOULD sound, obviously in my opinion. To hear someone with that kind of monster like control and technique is a lot different experience that hearing someone from a classic rock band or pop band and I think it takes a while for it to set in. That's just how someone that practiced for 10 hours a day with drums that are completely studio eq'd to sonic perfection sounds!
What I don't understand...is how people can STILL call him a robot. After his time with Gruber, Dave came out with a completely new sense of groove and pocket. If you listen to his last few cds, they sound like a different drummer. He's playing loose, he grooves, and when he lets those chops fly, they sound better than ever. I remember buying Dave Gruisin's version of the West Side Story Suite and being completely floored that it was Weckl playing with such a hard swing and such finesse.
Not a week goes by where I don't look to Weckl for inspiration. He's a continous inspiration to the drumming community with not only his playing, but he sense of grace and professionalism. Thanks Dave, for keeping us all inspired to practice and be better musicians!