All About Jazz

Home » Articles » DVD/Film Reviews

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

DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Rediscovery
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Encore

Encore

ECM Records
2015

buy
Résumé

Résumé

ECM Records
2013

buy
 

Résumé

ECM Records GmbH
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining Culture DVD/Film Reviews
Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2018
Read The US Festival 1982: The US Generation DVD/Film Reviews
The US Festival 1982: The US Generation
by Doug Collette
Published: September 2, 2018
Read Lajos Dudas: Ein Künstlerportrait DVD/Film Reviews
Lajos Dudas: Ein Künstlerportrait
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2018
Read Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie DVD/Film Reviews
Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie
by John Kelman
Published: August 16, 2018
Read Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie DVD/Film Reviews
Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 8, 2018
Read BANG! The Bert Berns Story DVD/Film Reviews
BANG! The Bert Berns Story
by Doug Collette
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "La La Land" DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience" DVD/Film Reviews Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience
by Doug Collette
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars" DVD/Film Reviews Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2018