Eberhard Weber: Rarum XVIII: Selected Recordings (2004)
After checking my LP collection, I learn that I have seven Eberhard Weber albums from 1973 through 1980. I'm pretty sure that Colours of Chloë was the very first ECM album that I purchased, and it was simply on an aesthetic basis. The album was a complete tabula rasa with clean yet austere packaging, unknown musicians and the promise of a new musical experience. All of the above clicked and I was a stalwart fan of ECM for many years afterwards.
Bassist Eberhard Weber is a musician who might have gone on to become a valued member of a jazz group and perform with them for years without any public recognition. He seemed like a true team player in that sense. However, his association with some of the most influential musicians in the latter half of the 20th century ensured his success. This collection, chosen by Weber, represents his recordings from 1974-2000.
He appears as a leader and, on some tracks, a member of groups led by Gary Burton, Jan Garbarek and Pat Metheny. Although there is a difference between the respective groups the only real departure from this is the recording, "Closing Scene" in a bass solo performance from Pendulum in 1993. Weber worked effectively with soprano sax and the difference between the cooler, new-agey Paul McCandless or the more heated style of Jan Garbarek or Charlie Mariano produced quite a different result.
His work with guitarists Ralph Towner and Pat Metheny always seemed to draw the best out of both artists. Metheny's 1976 "The Whopper" seemed to herald the arrival of a new guitarist that challenged anyone else of that day. My own preference for the Gary Burton group performances on his Passengers or on Weber's Fluid Rustle still hold up today. On the latter, Norma Winstone and Bonnie Herman offer an ethereal vocalese that adds to the mystical quality of the title track. Another engaging performance is "Her Wild Ways" from a 1998 Garbarek album, Rites.
An appreciation of Eberhard Weber based on these ten selections is a reminder of the haunting beauty that he has created as a composer, performer and bandleader.
Track Listing: Nimbus, The Whopper, Oasis, Silent Feet, Fluid Rustle, Maurizius, Gesture, Closing Scene, Her Wild Ways, French Diary.
Personnel: Aggregate Personnel:Eberhard Weber,bass,cello; Ralph Towner,12 string guitar; Jan Garbarek, tenor and soprano sax,flute; Jon Christensen, Dan Gottlieb, John Marshall or Marilyn Mazur,drums; Michael DiPasqua,drums,percussion; Bill Frisell or Pat Metheny,guitar; Gary Burton,vibraphone,marimba; Steve Swallow,bass; Rainer Bruninghaus, piano,keyboards; Charlie Mariano,soprano sax; Paul McCandless,soprano sax, English Horn;Lyle Mays,piano; Bonnie Herman, Norma Winstone,voice.