The name of Dave Weckl’s band may be called “acoustic,” but the 100 minute set by the drummer’s team of Gary Meek/ts-ss, Makoto Ozone/p-B3 and Tom Kennedy/b sure didn’t seem lacking in electricity, as the band delivered material that swung as hard as Albert Pujols.
Focusing on material from their album (and dvd) Of The Same Mind, Weckl set the tone of the evening on “What Happened to The Good Shoes” with muscular drumming that rode the wagon train like Walter Brennan as Kennedy locked in with Ozone for a rivulet of rhythm while Meek’s tenor seared through with the melody. Ozone switched to the Hammond B3 for the smoke while Weckl supplied the thunder during the avalanche of “Stay Out, while Meek simmered things down with a lyrical soprano on “Koolz” which Weckl slowly allowed to percolate up into a wonderful V8 engine that hummed along the boulevard.
All through the evening, Weckl was strong, powerful and kinetic, but never flashy or showy for its own sake, every twitch had a purpose, as if he were playing with the butanes. On “Stella Of The Stars” he cantered while Kennedy loped and Meek table danced to the Latin groove, while he shuffled off to Buffalo on the bluesy back beak of “Something’s Happening” as Kennedy delivered the pulse of a 10K runner before sprinting out a frenetic, frantic and fretless solo that included Slam Stewart-like sounds emitting from his strings.
The set closed with an opus of “Agua De Musica” featuring Ozone’s intro on a romantically classic approach to the piano before the rhythm team oozed out volcanic lava which erupted during the improvisational interlude. Meek inherited the earth with a glorious and celestial aria during his spotlight, lonely and warm, just before Weckl performed a one man drum workshop for the audience (of which only 3 of the males were not drum students)before closing the evening by rounding up the quartet for a rousing four way samba on Kennedy’s “Songo Mikele.” The mix of intricate themes and far reaching melodies were delivered in a way that gave off more amperes than most “plugged in” bands. Electricity is truly conducted in different ways, and Weckl’s band made the currents flow!