COMPOSERS: Eberhard Weber
WORKS: Colours: Yellow Fields • Silent Feet • Little Movements
PERFORMER: Eberhard Weber (bass), Charlie Mariano (sax), Rainer Brüninghaus (keyboards), Jon Christensen, John Marshall (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ECM 271 9638
The re-release of his mid-career music in a tidy box set coincides with Weber receiving a lifetime achievement award in Germany – the prestigious Albert Mangelsdorff prize. The three albums collected here date from 1975 to 1980 when the Colours group was breaking new ground with its atmospheric and melodic electronic jazz. Weber, with his customised upright electric contraption, was honing a new approach to the bass as a frontline instrument that would soon lead him (and Brüninghaus) to a long partnership with Norwegian saxist Jan Garbarek.
It is easy to see why: these lucid, thickly flowing and moody sessions are the essence of runic North European jazz. Weber even told US saxist Mariano – a former Mingus sideman – to leave his alto at home in order to suppress any residual blueness. It worked and instead Mariano’s soprano contributes a fittingly icy and almost anguished dimension. What a treat for Weber fans and a fascinating diversion for Garbarek group followers too. Garry Booth