This week, StLJN salutes drummer and St. Charles native Dave Weckl, who celebrated his 61st birthday earlier this month on Friday, January 8. First gaining wide recognition in the mid-1980s as a sideman with Chick Corea, Weckl over the course of his career has become a very popular and oft-imitated drummer and bandleader, with fans all over the world.
So todayslightly delayed, as this post was bumped last week to make room for a tribute to the late David Red" Lehr- let's check out a sampling of just some of the music he's made, starting up above with Big B Little B," recorded at the Dave Weckl Band reunion show in the summer of 2019 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater. The reunion featured most of Weckl's band from the 1990s, including Buzz Feiten on guitar and fellow St. Louisans Tom Kennedy on bass and Jay Oliver on keyboards, with saxophonist Gary Meek completing the lineup.
You can see Weckl performing in an acoustic trio with Chick Corea, the man who gave him his big break back in 1985, and bassist John Patitucci, in a concert recorded in 2018 at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival (sometimes known as Jazzaldia) in Spain.
Next up, you can see a video that Weckl and Jay Oliver released back in 2014 to promote their album Convergence." The in-studio performance of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground" was arranged by Oliver and sung by vocalist Chrissi Poland, with a band including Dean Brown (guitar), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Brandon Fields (saxophone), Eric Jorgensen (trombone), and Michael McGuffey (trumpet), plus backing vocalists Nita Whittaker, Raffia Ford, and Abdul Hamid Royal,
THat's followed by a full set from Chick Corea's Elektric Band, recorded in 2003 at the Estival Jazz Switzerland. In addition to Corea and Weckl, that's Eric Marienthal on saxophones, Frank Gambale on guitar, and Michael Pope on bass.
The fifth video, recorded all the way back in August 1998 at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, features what some consider to be the classic" lineup of Weckl's band, with Oliver, Kennedy, Feiten and saxophonist Brandon Fields.
The final clip, which was recorded in 1996 at Festival Hamburg in Germany, features a trio of Weckl, guitarist Mike Stern, and bassist Jeff Andrews, and highlights what the title calls The Legendary Big Drum Solo" from that show.
This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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