All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

23

Eberhard Weber: Hommage à Eberhard Weber

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Hommage celebrates the 75th birthday of bassist/composer Eberhard Weber. His distinctive custom-built, five-string electro-acoustic upright bass sound has been the foundation of many ECM recordings, almost right from the beginning: as leader of his own groups; longtime sideman for saxophonist Jan Garbarek; and other ECM recording artists including Ralph Towner, Gary Burton, Wolfgang Dauner, Pat Metheny and the Frankfurt Jazz Ensemble. He has been unable to perform since a 2007 stroke, but the first two selections in this live concert recording feature his playing through the use of old tapes.

So he is well-represented as both player and composer. And the group of musicians assembled is like "Old Home Week" for longtime ECM fans, with Weber bringing, in addition to guitarist Metheny, saxophonist Garbarek and vibraphonist Burton, past collaborators Paul McCandless and Danny Gottlieb back to the label for the first time in years.

The program opens with a very familiar sound: Garbarek's soprano saxophone, improvising over Weber's bass on music drawn from Resumé (2012), which Weber assembled using solos recorded during Jan Garbarek Group tours across a quarter century; so, in a way, this performance completes a circle. For "Hommage"—the longest piece on the program, commissioned by the SWR Big Band—Metheny took a similar approach. He used video recordings of Weber's solo improvisations to make him a virtual member of the ensemble (which Metheny describes as "visual sampling"), and based his composition around those improvisations.

Gimmicky as that description may sound, when Weber's bass enters (after a brief textural introduction) it's clear that he is present in the music much as he would have been if playing live. Over the course of just over half an hour, Metheny's composition moves from one musical idea to another, like a suite. Gottlieb's shimmering cymbals are like a time machine recalling Metheny's early years with the label, and Metheny and Burton both contribute elegant solos. One memorable section finds bassist Scott Colley in a virtual bass duet with Weber, a completely natural sounding call-and-response. Weber's taped performance has the last word, closing the piece in a gentle coda.

The rest of the album is devoted to imaginative big band arrangements of Weber tunes drawn from several recordings in his ECM catalog. Weber says "I let them surprise me with choices of pieces they considered usable and inspiring." "Touch" comes from Yellow Fields (1975), with solos from Burton and SWR trombonist Ernst Hutter. "Maurizius," first heard on 1982's Later That Evening, is arranged and conducted by Michael Gibbs and features solos from Burton and McCandless (who appeared on the original recording). The same soloists grace Resumé's "Tübingen," while "Notes After An Evening," from Weber's 1993 solo bass album (albeit with real-time looping) Pendulum, closes the set with its memorable theme reminiscent of the Scottish folk song "The Water is Wide." A lovely ending, it features solos from Burton, McCandless and SWR saxophonist Klaus Graf.

Rarely does a living musician receive such a beautiful tribute. Although there are opportunities lost—Garbarek and Metheny both play only on their own compositions, for example—it's hard to imagine any ECM fan who would not enjoy this recording.

Track Listing: Resumé Variations; Hommage; Touch; Maurizius; Tübingen; Notes After an Evening.

Personnel: Pat Metheny: guitars (2); Jan Garbarek: soprano saxophone (1); Gary Burton: vibraphone (2-7); Paul McCandless: oboe and soprano saxophone (4-7); Scott Colley: double bass (2); Danny Gottlieb: drums (2); SWR Big Band (2-7); Helge Sunde: conductor (2, 3, 5-7); Mike Gibbs: conductor (4).

Title: Hommage à Eberhard Weber | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

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 Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor" CD/LP/Track Review Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor
by Chris May
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "A Humdrum Star" CD/LP/Track Review A Humdrum Star
by Phil Barnes
Published: February 8, 2018
Read "The Bowels Of Jupiter" CD/LP/Track Review The Bowels Of Jupiter
by Don Phipps
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "What What" CD/LP/Track Review What What
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Live in Lisbon" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Lisbon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 13, 2018
Read "Rhapsody" CD/LP/Track Review Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018