Weckl's latest "Transition" might cause you to think you've found a "Weather Report" disc you'd never heard and even check the cover again to be sure. The music is all original and though not a tribute, this is a welcome influence.
One exception is keyboardist Weingart evoking (Stretch Records exec producer) Chick's presence on his solo and keyboard sound on "Braziluba" which winds its way into one of leader Weckl's patented percussion clinics backed by ensemble kicks. It's a great workout and everything is recorded and mixed great (mix by Dave). The cymbals are really there on this as is the personality of each shell and head.... yet not over the top, imaged just right for what's happening in the music. The drums do tend to have a specific, slightly compressed sound in the mix but there's a good balance and great tone.
"Like That" and "Mild Hysteria" are back to later WP circa Vic Bailey, even down to the keys sounds and extended endings. Saxist Fields is really happening on the later and Weingart shines on a solo Zawinal might even be proud of as well as on "Crossing Paths", where bassist Kennedy has his moments as well. "Passion" shows they really know how to develop a ballad and really keep the interest. "Amanecer" tries almost everything in its 8.5 minutes, even an unexpected Salsa finale, which concludes the disc.
Those expecting a sequel to "Synergy" need to keep an open mind. The absence of Feiten's guitar textures and Jay Oliver's influence causes this to be a different record altogether. But this is a great group with a lot of potential and one to be watched. Let's hope they bring us more.
Weckl keeps a strong, turgid flow happening behind and throughout the project. He keeps things interesting and intense, constantly throwing the players hooks to hang onto, feeding ideas and still developing every possible moment into something it wasn't, as only he can.
There are no weak moments. These guys make it come to life. The record grooves hard through it all and has a real soul of its own, and in any music (and life) that's what really matters.