Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Eberhard Weber

Eberhard Weber (born January 22, 1940 in Stuttgart, Germany) is a German double bassist and composer. As a bass player, Weber is known for his highly distinctive tone and phrasing.  Weber's compositions blend chamber jazz, European classical music, minimalism and ambient music, and are regarded as characteristic examples of the ECM Records sound.
He began recording in the early 1960s, and released his first record, The Colours of Chloë (ECM 1042), as a leader under his own name in 1973. In addition to his career as a musician, he also worked for many years as a television and theater director. He has designed an electric-acoustic bass featuring an extra C-string.
His music, often in a melancholic tone, follows simple ground patterns (frequently ostinatos), yet is highly organized in its colouring and attention to dramatic detail.
Weber was a notable early proponent of the solid-body electric double bass, which he has played regularly since the beginning of the 1970s.
From the early 1960s to the early 1970s, his closest musical association was with pianist Wolfgang Dauner. Their many mutual projects were very diverse, from mainstream jazz to jazz-rock fusion to avant-garde sound experiments. During this period he also played and recorded with (among many others) pianists Hampton Hawes and Mal Waldron, guitarists Baden Powell de Aquino and Joe Pass, The Mike Gibbs Orchestra and violinist Stephane Grappelli.
Starting with The Colours of Chloë, he has released 10 more records under his own name, all on ECM. The ECM association also led to collaborations with other ECM recording artists such as Gary Burton (Ring, 1974; Passengers, 1976), Ralph Towner (Solstice, 1975; Solstice/Sound and Shadows, 1977), Pat Metheny (Watercolors, 1977), and Jan Garbarek (9 recordings between 1978 and 1998).
In the mid-1970s he formed his own group, Colours, with Charlie Mariano (soprano saxophone, flutes), Rainer Brüninghaus (piano, synthesizer), and Jon Christensen (drums). After their first recording, Yellow Fields (1975), Christensen left and was replaced by John Marshall. The group toured extensively and recorded two further records, Silent Feet (1977) and Little Movements (1980), before disbanding.
Since the early 1980s, Weber has regularly collaborated with the British singer-songwriter Kate Bush, playing on four out of her last five studio albums (The Dreaming, 1982; Hounds of Love, 1985; The Sensual World, 1989; Aerial, 2005).
During the 1980s, Weber toured with Barbara Thompson's jazz ensemble Paraphernalia.
Since the early 1990s his performing and recording activity has decreased considerably—he has had only two new recordings under his own name since 1990. Nevertheless his 2001 release "Endless Days" is perhaps the most elemental fusion of jazz and classical yet realized, the true epitome of chamber jazz. His main touring activity during this period has been as a regular member of the Jan Garbarek Group. His latest releases are Stages of a Long Journey and Colours, both collections of live recordings made in March 2005 on the occasion of his 65th birthday, including collaborations with Burton, Dauner, Garbarek and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.
As of June 2007, reports have surfaced that Weber has suffered a stroke and is currently unable to perform.  In a January 2010 interview with Die Welt, he spoke about his medical condition and future projects. 
Weber was awarded the prestigious Albert Mangelsdorff-Preis in November, 2009. A box set of his 1970's works with Colours was released by ECM Records the same month.


As leader
The Colours of Chloë (1973)
Yellow Fields (1975)
The Following Morning (1976)
Silent Feet (1977)
Fluid Rustle (1978)
Little Movements (1980)
Later That Evening (1982)
Chorus (1984)
Orchestra (1988)
Pendulum (1993)
Endless Days (2001)
Stages of a Long Journey (2007)
Works (1985)
Selected Recordings (2004)
Colours (2010) (reissue of 'Yellow Fields', 'Silent Feet' and 'Little Movements')
As sideman
With Gary Burton
Ring (ECM, 1974)
Passengers (ECM, 1976)
With Kate Bush
The Dreaming (1982)
Hounds of Love (1985)
The Sensual World (1989)
Aerial (2005)
With Jan Garbarek
Paths, Prints (ECM, 1981)
Wayfarer (ECM, 1983)
It's OK to Listen to the Gray Voice (ECM, 1985)
All Those Born With Wings (ECM, 1987)
Legend of the Seven Dreams (ECM, 1988)
I Took Up the Runes (ECM, 1990)
Twelve Moons (ECM, 1992)
Visible World (ECM, 1995)
Rites (ECM, 1998)
With Pat Metheny
Watercolors (ECM, 1977)
With Ralph Towner
Solstice (ECM, 1975)
Solstice/Sound and Shadows (ECM, 1977)
With Mal Waldron
The Call (JAPO, 1971)
With others
See "External Links" below for a complete discography
Wolfgang Dauner, Dream Talk (1964), Free Action (1967), Output (1970)
Hampton Hawes, Hamps' Piano (1967)
Baden Powell, Poema en Guitar (1968)
Joe Pass, Intercontinental (1970)
Stephane Grapelli, Afternoon in Paris (1971)
The Singers Unlimited with Art Van Damme, Invitation (1973)
Benny Bailey Islands (1976)
Manfred Schoof Orchestra, Reflections (1983)
Graeme Revell, Body of Evidence: Motion Picture Soundtrack (1993)

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