Danny Weis’ bio will forever read that he was a founder of acid rock champions Iron Butterfly. But unfortunately for Weis, he bailed after the band’s debut album and missed out on residuals from Iron Butterfly’s sophomore effort. That record featured a 17-minute song you’ve probably heard one or two thousand times: “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” But Weis went on to record music for another supergroup of the era, albeit one whose blues-rock is now largely forgotten: Rhinoceros.
It’s 2006 now and Weis, who was born in Southern California but now lives in Canada, returns with an invigorating solo effort. Although being pitched somewhat to smooth jazz audiences, the overall sound is more in tune with Weis’ rock-based blues roots. He even has a 43-second interlude of Rhinoceros’ best-known tune, “Apricot Brandy.” Weis’ electric guitar wails on tunes like “Sweet Spot” and “Turn It Up,” but he also lays down some pretty smooth licks on the grand rock-blues ballad “What Would It Take.” Weis proves he’s smooth-jazz worthy with “It’s About Time” and “Dinner at Nine,” perfectly crafted pop numbers with light rock riffs. Weis certainly has it in him to create a tasty all-smooth jazz CD if he desires.