15

Eberhard Weber: The Jubilee Concert

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Eberhard Weber
Eberhard Weber: The Jubilee Concert
Naxos
2015

German bassist Eberhard Weber's 75th birthday celebration has already been documented in audio form on Hommage à Eberhard Weber (ECM, 2015). This video document more fully captures the celebratory tone of the event, includes a bit of bonus material, and perhaps most importantly, presents Pat Metheny's composition "Hommage" as the multi-media event it was created to be.

Weber was both the honoree and the guest of honor for the concerts in Stuttgart on January 24 & 25, 2015. After coming onstage at the beginning of the show, he then acted as Master of Ceremonies, announcing the guest musicians joining the SWR Big Band, as well as commenting on the performances and telling brief stories (in German). The guests embraced him as they come onstage, giving the whole proceeding a warm personal touch that is not conveyed by audio alone.

The video includes Libor Sima's big band arrangement of "Street Scenes"—a piece from Pendulum (ECM, 1993), Weber's "solo" album which utilized overdubbing and echo effects—previously only released on the download version of Hommage à Eberhard Weber. It features solos by Paul McCandless on English Horn and vibraphonist Gary Burton, and was surely left off of the CD purely for space reasons.

The other bonus track is the jazz standard "Killer Joe," composed by Benny Golson and arranged by Michael Gibbs. Not an obvious choice, but it gives Weber the chance to participate as a performer, now that he is unable to play bass. He shares the vibraphone with Burton in a kind of piano four hands fashion, playing the treble end with a single mallet in his right hand. He's responsible for playing the head, and also plays a brief solo. The other soloists are trombonist Helge Sunde, trumpeter Manfred Schoof, and Paul McCandless playing a rare straight-ahead jazz solo on soprano sax. Not the strongest selection musically, but a charming reminder of the purpose of the night.

Pat Metheny's "Hommage" is the centerpiece of the program. If ever a jazz composition deserved to be filmed, this is it. Metheny couldn't imagine a Weber tribute without the distinctive sound of his bass playing, so he found live Weber solo bass performances on video from 1986 and 1988. He based his big band piece on this music, incorporating Weber's video performances into the structure of the piece via a large projection over the stage. I was present for the Detroit performance that followed these, and there is certainly no substitute for the power of a live big band, coupled with the awesome presence of a larger than life Weber via projection. But the video comes much closer than audio alone. It makes the interplay between the recorded bass and the band much easier to see (literally).

This is especially true of bassist Scott Colley's role throughout, a virtuosic performance in which he constantly moves between doubling Weber's recorded lines, accompanying, or soloing himself. Among the other striking recorded/live interactions are a Weber solo accompanied by the guitars and a section after Metheny's guitar synthesizer solo with call and response between the horns and Weber's bass. It's a thrilling performance—also featuring exciting contributions from vibraphonist Burton, drummer Danny Gottlieb, and of course composer Pat Metheny on guitar—made immersive by the multi-media experience.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Who At The Isle of Wight Festival 2004 DVD/Film Reviews The Who At The Isle of Wight Festival 2004
by Doug Collette
Published: June 3, 2017
Read Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie" DVD/Film Reviews Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2017
Read I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017 DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 4, 2017
Read I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin
by Christine Connallon
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Bill Frisell: A Portrait DVD/Film Reviews Bill Frisell: A Portrait
by John Kelman
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home" DVD/Film Reviews Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary  Edition" DVD/Film Reviews Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary ...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Bill Frisell: A Portrait" DVD/Film Reviews Bill Frisell: A Portrait
by John Kelman
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Man of the World: The Peter Green Story" DVD/Film Reviews Man of the World: The Peter Green Story
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi" DVD/Film Reviews The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi
by Marc Davis
Published: December 16, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.