Personnel includes: Dave Weckl (drums, timbales, programming); Peter Mayer (vocals, guitar); Eric Marienthal (soprano & alto saxophones); Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Jerry Hey (trumpet): Bill Reichenbach (trombone); Jay Oliver (keyborads, programming); Chick Corea (piano, synthesizer); Anthony Jackson, Tom Kennedy (bass); Steve Gadd (drums).
Recorded at Studio 88, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dave Weckl's recording career as a leader was off to a decent start with Master Plan -- not a fantastic start, but a decent one. The drummer had made a name for himself playing with Chick Corea's fusion-oriented Elektric Band and his straight-ahead Akoustic Band, and his admirers greeted this CD with high expectations. But while Master Plan isn't the mind-blowing gem it could have been, it's a competent, enjoyable jazz-rock outing. Weckl has talented guests in keyboardist Jay Oliver, tenor saxman Michael Brecker and Elektric Band colleagues Corea and Eric Marienthal (soprano and alto sax), and he is in good form on pieces that range from the funky "Tower of Inspiration" to the Afro-Cuban-influenced "Festival de Ritmo" and the Brazilian-minded "Auratune." The CD's only hard bop offering is "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," which finds Weckl forming a trio with pianist Ray Kennedy and bassist Tom Kennedy. Master Plan isn't essential, but it isn't anything to be ashamed of either. ~ Alex Henderson