Album Reviews: Rob Silverman — Drumology Vols. II and III

These two releases offer a fascinating array of musical styles. The unifying characteristic is the involvement of drummer Rob Silverman, but beyond that, it’s a dazzlingly varied collection. Wholly instrumental, the music touches on progressive rock, jazz fusion and straight-ahead rock. If your tastes run toward Dixie Dregs, Kansas’ earlier work, Jeff Beck’s 1970s fusion forays and the like, you’ll find these two discs full of thrilling, compelling and engaging music.

Silverman has enlisted quite a few A-list musicians for these projects, proceeds from both which will benefit the Neil Peart Fund for brain cancer research at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Béla Fleck, violinist Jerry Goodman, guitarist Dweezil Zappa, bassists Victor Wooten and John Patitucci are among the artists who lend their considerable skills to the projects.

And Silverman is joined by some of the best drummers in the business, too. Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Gavin Harrison, Billy Cobham and Kenny Aronoff are just some of the top-flight drummers on board for the sets (and sometimes they’re playing at once, in a good-natured drum battle setup).

Of course all of that – big names, a worthy cause – wouldn’t matter a whole lot if the tunes weren’t strong. But they are. The players a certainly showing off their impressive chops, but they’re doing so within the context of accessible musical pieces. For fans of instrumental prog/fusion, both of these discs are well worth exploring.