In my opinion, one of the best albums of the great American fusion drummer Dave Weckl, is without any doubt the album Transition, which was released in 2000. On this album, the drummer takes this style of instrumental music and brings it to unknown perfection levels.
A very important aspect of his composition is the rhythm of the melodic lines, which show very clearly that this music is being composed indeed by a drummer.
A clear example of what I’m saying here is the track Wake Up, which is the first track of the album. On this track the melody stands up by itself… flowing gently at a medium tempo with amazing simplicity.
A wonderful taste for managing the art of the silence and when not to play is another of the characteristics that can be noticed on that track.
Rhythmic melodic patterns move fluently, and also amplification and simplification of the units are expressed in a masterly way. Countless syncopation everywhere show a superb melodic line focused on the use of the sixteenth notes that get to the point of even taking the attention of a bass player out of the electric bass line (it happened to me), even though it’s been played masterly by the great Tom Kennedy.
On the transcription that I prepared here, you’ll find the melody written for the electric bass; the original was written for the tenor sax. I compressed the general idea of the melody so to show as much information as possible, changing some notes so to fit the range of a 4-string electric bass, like in the case of the Db of the bass pattern that was written as a G.
Something very important to do here after learning the chart by heart is to work on the interpretation of the piece, adding nuances like bendings and vibratos, etc., in fact this is what the sax player does on the original recording so as to make it really happen.
I really consider this class an excellent exercise for any bass player that takes the art of grooving seriously… so I hope you like it… dig in!
See you in the next issue!