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Dave Weckl Band: Transition

The mad mathematician of fusion drumming, Dave Weckl, offers more than just head-scratching, how-does-he-do-that? rhythmic combinations on Transition. Weckl leads an expedition into funk, Latin and blues territory that redefines form, busting through conventional genre lines. Rounding out the quartet, saxophonist Brandon Fields, bassist Tom Kennedy and keyboardist Steve Weingart are up to the task, whether pushing hard through the frisky, Spanish-textured “Alegria” or exploring the dark corners of the moody, powerful ballad “Passion.” Tough timing and hard-rhythmic hits mark “Mild Hysteria,” which finds Weckl at warp speed, pitted against Fields’ spiraling sax line, but “Wake Up” swings and rolls, leaving plenty of space to develop a cornered, funky melody. Other highlights include “Braziluba” (named for its Brazilian and Cuban influences), which boasts a swampy, hesitant rhythmic feel as cool as it is complex; and “Just for the Record,” a deceptively laid-back, New Orleans-flavored piece which features doubled sax and keyboard, and Kennedy’s warm singing bass offsetting Weckl’s rock-solid foundation.

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