“Résumé” is a ‘live album’ with a difference. The twelve concert recordings include here, made at locations from Amsterdam to Santiago, provide the source material from which Eberhard Weber has sculpted something new. The innovative bassist played more than a thousand concerts while a member of the Jan Garbarek Group, and each of them included an extended feature for him alone, characteristically transcending jazz definitions of the bass solo. For “Résumé”, he has returned to recordings of these solo sequences and reworked them into a unique album with its own sense of flow.
Originally the unaccompanied solos had a double function. As Weber recalls in his liner notes, “they were conceived as transitions to join two compositional blocks of various keys, colours and tempi as the group’s programme progressed. They were also intended to add another colour to the multifarious ones in the programme – a personal one, as it were: my own. The plan was to be inventive after leaving the key of the initial piece, to lead into the next one after an extended number of minutes enriched by my own ideas...” For the needs of “Résumé”, the pragmatic ‘transitional’ elements were eliminated, replaced by “aphorisms, small surprises and colours with the addition of other instruments.”
There are guest appearances by two old friends. We hear Jan Garbarek then and now, playing selje overtone flute on “Bath” back in the day and adding contemporary saxophone overdubs to “Amsterdam” and “Bochum” (all tunes being named after respective original recording locations). Michael DiPasqua (who previously partnered Weber in an early 80s Garbarek Group - see “Wayfarer” and “It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice” – and played on Eberhard’s own projects including “Later That Evening” and “Endless Days”) contributes drums and percussion to “Bochum” and “Lazise”. Mostly, however, we hear the unmistakable sound of Weber’s customized electrobass:
“Those who have been following my activities over the years are aware that I used a delay, an echo device, to obtain a larger colour palette for the solo bass playing. I used the “reverb unit” to record my bass live, to reproduce it, to create my own spontaneous playback, so to speak, over which I could play solo improvisations. Those playback loops could not be stored in my effects device; thus they applied for one spontaneous solo, at one concert, for those few minutes.”
“My special instrument, a five-string electric double bass, is capable of striking sonic effects, which happily can be further enriched by such additional reduplication; that was the only way I could successfully sustain long solo recitals. I am not concerned about whether what I originally played is still recognisable – using the delay effect already produced astonishing overlays per se. Now, after completing the individual solo excerpts, not even I can always spontaneously hear what I originally played and what I added later on. Wracking my brain about which (jazz) pigeonhole fits this type of music-making has always been an alien concept to me.”
Based on live recordings made between 1990 and 2007, “Résumé” was mixed at Studios La Buissonne in the South of France by Weber, Manfred Eicher, Michael DiPasqua and Gérard de Haro in 2011.
Eberhard Weber was born in Stuttgart in 1940. He made his first ECM appearance in 1970, as bassist with Wolfgang Dauner’s trio on “Output.” His first leader date, “The Colours of Chloë”, was an immediate critical and popular success, winning the Grosser Deutscher Schallplattenpreis in 1975. Through the 1970s Weber played with many other ECM musicians. He was a member of Ralph Towner’s “Solstice” group with Jan Garbarek and Jon Christensen. He recorded with Pat Metheny on “Watercolours”, and with Gary Burton on “Ring” and “Passengers”, also touring internationally with Burton. After leading his own band Colours, with Charlie Mariano, Rainer Brüninghaus and John Marshall, he joined the Jan Garbarek Group in 1982 and over the next quarter-century helped to define its sound. In 2005 the City of Stuttgart honoured Weber with a 65th birthday concert with musicians including Garbarek, Burton, Dauner, Brüninghaus and Marilyn Mazur plus the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra. The concert was documented on the album “Stages Of A Long Journey”. In 2009 the German Jazz Musicians Union awarded him the Albert Mangelsdorff Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz, and ECM issued a triple album box set of the “Colours” records in its Old & New Masters series.