Although this is essentially a solo bass date, Eberhard Weber's use of overdubbing and an echo unit turns his bass into an orchestra of sorts. Since he is a strong composer, covering a wide span of moods during this set of melodic originals and avoiding the use of his effects as gimmickry, Weber creates an introverted but accessible program whose appeal should stretch beyond just lovers of bass solos.
Eberhard Weber's first record remains his most well-known and influential. An ambitious work of what might be called symphonic jazz, The Colours of Chloë helped to define the ECM sound – picturesque, romantic, at times rhythmically involved, at others minimalistic and harmonically abstruse. Weber at various points combines strings, choir, synthesizer, and small jazz ensemble. It's a brew that can bring to mind some of the progressive rock and fusion of the era, although Weber's vision is a good deal more idiosyncratic than that.
In January 2015 musicians and listeners converged upon Stuttgart’s Theaterhaus for two consecutive nights to celebrate the 75th birthday of Eberhard Weber. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, with whom Weber had played and recorded back in the 1970s. Featuring Metheny, the SWR Big Band conducted by Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, bassist Scott Colley and Danny Gottlieb on drums, the composition was arranged around recordings of solos by Weber. Other performers during the two nights playing selections from Weber’s vast body of work were Weber’s longtime companions Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless and arranger Michael Gibbs, all drawing ovations from the packed house.
Encore is a companion volume to Résumé the widely-praised solo album issued in 2011. Eberhard Weber returns once more to the many live recordings of his tenure with the Jan Garbarek Group, isolating his bass solos and reworking them into new pieces with the addition of his own keyboard parts. “I became what you might call a composer of New Music,” says Weber, “with the proviso that I make use of old things.”This season’s special guest is veteran Dutch flugelhorn player Ack van Rooyen.
"Ein Klassiker von Eberhard Weber. Seine Colours fanden das ideale Verhältnis von minimalistischen Klavier- spiel, singendem Bass, klagendem Saxophon- spiel und nervösem Schlagzeug. Hohe Bewertungen für die Interpretation und Klangqualität." ~Audio
Stages of a Long Journey was recorded in Stuttgart in March of 2005, as part of a celebration of both the 20th anniversary of the Theaterhaus Jazzstage festival and as a 65th birthday celebration for bassist Eberhard Weber. Weber was asked to pick a number of his own compositions, rearrange them by writing new charts for the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and select his own band as well. Weber picked on former and current bandmates such as Gary Burton, Jan Garbarek, Rainer Bruninghaus, Marilyn Mazur, Wolfgang Dauner, Reto Weber, and human beatbox Nino G., and carefully chose material from his own catalog and pieces he had performed on in their initial recordings.
The absence of a drummer deprives "The Following Morning" of some of the drive and rhythmic shadings of other Weber releases. In some ways this is a more contemplative work, lingering longer upon the tones of the individual instruments. The title track opens with backwards piano and slides into a pensive rumination between the piano and Weber's bass. There is only the tentative presence of orchestral instruments, and the album is quite subtle and slow to unfold. You might not pick up this album as often as some other Weber releases, but it can reward close listening.
This is one of bassist Eberhard Weber's more stimulating ECM releases, due in part to his colorful sidemen: guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Lyle Mays (in a rare vacation from Pat Metheny), Paul McCandless (switching between soprano, oboe, English horn and bass clarinet) and drummer Michael DiPasqua. The quintet plays four of Weber's originals (including the 16-minute "Death in the Car Wash") and, although the music is sometimes introspective and full of space, Frisell largely keeps the proceedings unpredictable and adds some fire and otherworldly sounds.