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INTERVIEWS

Eberhard Weber: Positive Pragmatism

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There are plenty of positives about getting older: wisdom, maturity and a more balanced outlook are just three of them. But it would be unrealistic to suggest that there aren't a few negatives thrown in there. When bassist Eberhard Weber woke up in his hotel room on the morning of April 23, 2007, in Berlin, Germany, where he was to perform with the Jan Garbarek Group--having played in numerous groups with the Norwegian saxophonist since Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof (ECM, 1979)--little did he know that the smallest sign of something amiss would ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Résumé

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Composer/bassist Eberhard Weber has been one of the heritage artists to define and exemplify the standards of Manfred Eicher's ECM Records. Résumé continues the tradition of both the label and Weber with an unusually structured collection of live performances culled from more extended pieces. This global collection of bass solos, culled from live Jan Garbarek Group performances between 1990 and 2007, has been edited and engineered into a natural and flawless flow; each track takes its title from the host city in which it was performed. Twenty years ago, Weber released his ambitious Pendulum (ECM, 1993), a solo ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Eberhard Weber: Resume

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You've got to admire German-born, France-resident bassist Eberhard Weber. Suffering a major stroke while on tour with Jan Garbarek in 2007--an association that went back more than 30 years, the two first collaborating on American guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner's Solstice (ECM, 1975) and Weber becoming the Norwegian saxophonist's bassist of choice beginning with Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof (ECM, 1978)--to this day Weber's left side remains too weak for him to play his unique, custom-designed 5-string electric double bass. Still, as early as 2010, as he turned 70, Weber revealed that, while on tour ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Eberhard Weber: Colours

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Eberhard WeberColoursECM Records2009 As the jazz-rock fusion movement gained ground from its early years in the late 1960s through its glory days in the early-to-mid-1970s--blending the more sophisticated harmonies of jazz with rock music's rhythmic power and high volume--all too often it was about muscular chops and complex writing for the sake of it. Little attention was paid to nuance and understatement. While guitarist John McLaughlin's high octane Mahavishnu Orchestra and keyboard player Chick Corea's guitar-centric incarnation of Return to Forever were tearing up the charts around the word, in Europe a ...

INTERVIEWS

Eberhard Weber: Please Don't Play Jazz

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It's impossible to tell the story of European jazz without mentioning bassist/composer Eberhard Weber. One of the true virtuosos of the bass, the German-born Weber has an immediately recognizable, singing tone--even when he's not performing on his trademark, self-designed electrobass. Like his American counterpart Jaco Pastorius, Weber wasn't shy about making his instrument heard--his round, supple lines didn't tend to disappear into the background, nor was their role exclusively rhythmic or supportive.Weber made his name in Europe performing with pianist Wolfgang Dauner in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the music the two musicians played during their ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Stages of A Long Journey

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Bassist Eberhard Weber has had a long recording career with ECM Records, dating back to 1970. His first album as a leader, The Colours of Chloe (ECM, 1974), helped to define the sound and essence of the ECM persona. His series of absorbing and innovative albums has continued through to Endless Days (ECM, 2001).

In 2005, upon reaching his 65th birthday, Weber used the occasion to perform twice with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR). Weber selected a number of his more enduring compositions, rearranged them for the orchestra, also choosing a core quintet. ...

PODCAST

Eberhard Weber: Surveying A Musical Life

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Jason Crane interviews bassist Eberhard Weber. Weber's name is synonymous with the “ECM sound, because he's been the bassist of choice on classic ECM recordings dating back to the label's founding three decades ago. Since the early 1980s, Weber has played in saxophonist Jan Garbarek's band. To celebrate his 65th birthday, the city of Stuttgart, Germany, threw Weber a two-night concert party. He was joined on stage by an orchestra, Garbarek, vibraphonist Gary Burton, and others from his musical career. The resulting album, Stages Of A Long Journey (ECM, 2007), is Weber's first live recording and a wonderful ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Stages Of A Long Journey

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On the occasion of his 65th birthday, bassist/composer Eberhard Weber played for two evenings with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and some of his key contemporaries. Scheduling and financial constraints prevented the project from inviting a great number of other musicians including Pat Metheny. Nevertheless, this was a perfect marriage between classical and jazz. Most of the tunes were performed and recorded in the 1970s.A quiet orchestral opening to the majestic “Silent Feet eases into a folksy melodic beat with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and vibraphonist Gary Burton providing timely pauses with their solos. Burton leads Garbarek's tenor, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Stages Of A Long Journey

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The one thing that America can learn from other countries is that art in general, and jazz in particular, is supported in many ways. Jazz is recognized as a vibrant art form and funded at governmental levels and through popular support. Stages Of A Long Journey is a wonderful example, the result of the city of Stuttgart not only supplying the venue but its SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra for concerts held in honor of bassist Eberhard Weber's sixty-fifth birthday in 2005. Weber has never been known as “just" a bassist, but rather also as a composer of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Stages of a Long Journey

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Eberhard Weber has had a distinguished career as a bassist. He pioneered the use of electronics with the bass, and while that enhanced the dimension and the dynamic, he did not let it obscure the harmony and sensibility of his music.

Weber turned 65 in 2005. His birthday was celebrated in Stuttgart with two concerts, recorded for posterity, and for some fascinating and intensely pleasing listening.

Weber has played with several exemplary musicians over the years and so, it was not easy to choose those who would be on stage with him. The final choice of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Stages of a Long Journey

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If there's any lesson to be learned from Eberhard Weber's Stages of a Long Journey, it's this: just because you don't doesn't mean you can't. A career-spanning retrospective of his own most enduring compositions expanded, in some cases, to include a symphony orchestra, the bassist delivers more than a few surprises. Naysayers only cursorily familiar with Weber's ECM discography--largely defined by improvisation based firmly on defined structure living somewhere between the jazz vernacular and European classicism--often operate under the misconception that he lacks the ability to play “real" jazz. He can. Here, Weber tackles Carla Bley's classic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Rarum XVIII: Selected Recordings

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Endless Days

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In his long-awaited followup to his 1993 solo Pendulum, Eberhard Weber has turned the tables from studio-edit solo improv work to notated small-group composition. Weber's distinctive sound on the upright electric bass earned him a distinct following, especially among fans of understated projects like his late '70s group Colours. His sidemen on Endless Days include musicians he's played with for decades, so naturally there's a strong sense of cohesion. One has the sense that when Weber composed these parts, he had specific musical personalities in mind. Reed player Paul McCandless made his mark early on in the group Oregon; keyboard ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eberhard Weber: Endless Days

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To put it quite simply, this is a very important release and for many reasons. Foremost, it’s Eberhard Weber’s first date as a leader in some seven years. In addition, it’s probably his most realized group effort to date, taking advantage of his mature writing style and the past track record he shares with the musicians involved. Multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless is, of course, one of the founding fathers of the group Oregon, with pianist Rainer Bruninghaus a regular of Weber’s group Colours. As for drummer Michael DiPasqua, this marks his first recording in fourteen years, having been gone from the ...



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