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Dave Weckl In Europe With Guitar Great Mike Stern

Playing Sold Out Dates to Promo Live New Morning – The Paris Concert CD and DVD

Germany, July 10th, and tonight’s Mike Stern (with Dave Weckl on drums) show is already sold out. But hours prior to the doors opening, I’m chatting with Dave during soundcheck, who I last spent time with on clinic dates in 2008. "The tour is going very well," says Dave, with one of his slight smiles suggesting that what he really means is the tour is going great!The band, with Tom Kennedy on bass and Bob Franceschini on sax, recently returned from playing the Blue Note in Japan, with this leg of the tour taking them to Italy, Germany, France, Hungary, Sweden, and Tunisia.Gigging with Stern is different from playing his own music, so Dave has added 14" Vault Artisan Hats. Their rich darkness blends nicely with his HHX Legacy and Evolution crashes. To get strong stick definition he’s playing his 22" HHX Legacy Heavy Ride… with rivets (actually it’s not that heavy at all except by comparison with his other Legacy Ride).For effects and colors he includes an 18" HHX Evolution O-Zone Crash, a stacker consisting of an18" HHX Evolution Crash topped with a 14" HHX Evolution Mini Chinese, and his 17" HHX Evolution Effects Crash with three rivets. (NOTE: You can order any SABIAN cymbal with rivets at no extra charge.)With the club packed (many of the audience surprisingly young… late teens and twenties), the band kicks off their set of jazz/blue tunes and improvisations. Stern’s guitar leaps from soaring melody to searing solos, while Dave’s drumming locks in and colors the grooves laid down by Kennedy. This is a really tight band… one minute funky, the next stepping outside the time, then letting go into ambient space. Dave’s approach here is quite different from his own band… but when he launches into one of his solos, his creativity takes the audience to a different space. On the quiet, ambient tunes it is very apparent why Dave likes the Evolution and Legacy designs: these cymbals are very responsive and sound extremely musical, even at such low volumes.Some friends commented that ‘Dave Weckl isn’t playing like Dave Weckl.’ But we agreed that this was another sign of just how musical Mr. Weckl really is. His ability to deliver world-class drumming in very different settings and sound as great and energetic as what we heard tonight says it all. After the tour, Dave takes on the role of teacher (as does another fine drummer, Dafnis Prieto) at the Drum Fantasy Camp in Cleveland, Ohio, August 15th – 19th.

Report by: Christian Koch

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