Eberhard Weber

Selected Recordings (Rarum XVIII)

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The Eberhard Weber volume in the ECM :Rarum series is another one of those revelatory spotlights on a player and composer whose entire identity has been shaped by his association with the label. The revelation is that Weber's bass playing and rainbow sense of harmonic interplay has in turn been perhaps more integral to shaping the sound and identity of the label. This collection of ten tracks showcases Weber's contributions as the leader of his fine, longstanding band Colours, his solo projects, and his contributions to the recordings of Gary Burton, Pat Metheny (who could forget his elegant, expressionistic bass playing on Watercolors, Metheny's sophomore ECM effort?), Ralph Towner, and Jan Garbarek. The most noteworthy of the tunes here is his contrapuntal engagement with Burton on "The Whopper" from the latter's Passengers album from 1976, with a glorious solo by Metheny as well. In addition, there is the original recording of "Silent Feet," one of Weber's most noteworthy compositions, where his sidemen include Rainer Bruninghaus, Charlie Mariano, and drummer John Marshall. The most mystifying thing here is the title track from Fluid Rustle, with vocalists Norma Winstone and Bonnie Herman, Burton on vibes, and guitarist Bill Frisell. Given that this is a mid-priced recording, this cut is worth the entire price of the album. There is no language to describe accurately its sense of haunting beauty, or its out of space and time languor. Because of its surprise, vision, and dignity, the Weber volume ultimately becomes one of the more essential purchases in this series.

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