Toss into the musical blender the spirits of Stevie Wonder, Crusaders, Van Halen, Sting, Dr. John, and Chick Corea; turn on the fire, low for easy simmering blues-rock at times, high for a fiery intensity that busts the borders between R&B and fusion. The result: the Dave Weckl Band's hard-to-categorize adventure, Rhythm of the Soul. Here, he celebrates his liberation from Corea's Elektric fold with a vengeance. The ensemble ventures into a variety of decades: the 70s, with Steve Tavaglione blowing percussive sax over Buzz Feiten's wah-wah over Jay Oliver's Fender Rhodes Crusaders feel; to the 60s, where, on "101 Shuffle," Weckl and Tom Kennedy lay a throbbing foundation based on Booker T's "Green Onions" for the playful interaction of saxman Bob Malach and Feiten; and even the 80s, where Gambale does his best Eddie Van Halen power guitar to drive the rockin' blues of "Access Denied." Weckl's skin and high-hat energy jumps out at every turn, most notably on the jams but also on the more subtly rhythmic "Mud Sauce" and the dreamy ballad "Song for Claire." Those tunes are the cool oases in the midst of the piping gumbo.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran