Styles: Crossover Jazz, Post-Bop, Fusion
Dave Weckl is one of fusion's most acclaimed drummers, making his name during a six-year stint with Chick Corea. Weckl was born in St. Louis (January 8, 1960) and grew up listening to soul and jazz; he received his first drum set at age eight and developed his playing by listening to drummers like Buddy Rich, as well as R&B grooves. He majored in jazz at the University of Bridgeport, but left after two years to become involved in the New York jazz scene, also touring Europe with various bands. Weckl joined a fusion group called Nitesprite, where he attracted the attention of drummer Peter Erskine; Erskine helped him get a gig with French Toast, a band also featuring pianist Michel Camilo and bassist Anthony Jackson.
From French Toast, Weckl branched out into session work, playing on numerous early-'80s sessions with the likes of Bill Connors (Return to Forever), the Brecker Brothers, Tania Maria, Paquito D'Rivera, Eliane Elias, and George Benson, as well as pop and soul albums for Diana Ross, Madonna, and Robert Plant. In 1986, Chick Corea saw Weckl performing in New York with guitarist Connors and invited the drummer to join his new Elektric Band. Weckl spent a total of seven years with Corea, performing on numerous albums and also appearing with Corea's Akoustic Band; his skills received considerable esteem, and he augmented his work with Corea by continuing his session work and appearing often with the GRP All-Star Big Band. Weckl also released a series of instructional videotapes, and in 1990, he led his first solo date, Master Plan, for GRP. Heads Up followed in 1992, as well as Hard-Wired in 1994.
Upon leaving Corea, Weckl's primary focus was recording and touring with guitarist Mike Stern; he also continued his work as a sideman. In 1998, Weckl led the R&B-oriented date Rhythm of the Soul, a return to his other boyhood musical love. Synergy followed in 1999, and Transition in 2000.
He was also known as the "Triplet King."