COMPOSERS: Eberhard Weber
ALBUM TITLE: Hommage À Eberhard Weber
WORKS: Hommage À Eberhard Weber
PERFORMER: Pat Metheny (guitar), Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless (saxophones), Gary Burton (vibraphone) etc, SWR Big Band/Michael Gibbs & Helge Sunde
CATALOGUE NO: 473 2342
One might well approach this album with trepidation: a (mainly) big band programme, recorded live, with a bass player represented by a set of filmed and recorded extracts from previous pieces. These are knitted into new arrangements, an improvisation and one large-scale new work, all created by six different people. What could possibly go wrong?
The answer, of course, is everything. In reality, despite the unorthodox production process created to allow the now hors-de-combat Weber’s participation, the resulting music is some of the best I’ve heard on CD this year. Powerful, mellifluous and sophisticated, this set is a fine tribute to its subject. Central to the project is Pat Metheny’s suite, which roams assuredly across jazz into other areas including what may be the first ever example of big-band folk music. The mix is a bit odd in places and a DVD would have been nice, but who’s complaining? Roger Thomas