Eberhard Weber (musician)

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Eberhard Weber (2005) with his electric double bass
Eberhard Weber - portrait of Gert Chesi, 1980s

Eberhard Weber (* 22. January 1940 in Stuttgart-Hedelfingen ) is a German jazz - bassist and -komponist . He is considered an outstanding personality on the German jazz scene and enjoys international recognition. Along with Jaco Pastorius, Weber is one of the few bassists who have greatly expanded the bass playing in jazz. His unique style is immediately recognizable through the tone and phrasing and is described as lyrical, floating and warm.

life and work

Eberhard Weber grew up with his sister in Esslingen as the son of the cellist Hans Weber, who holds a doctorate in Berlin, and his wife Hildegard in Stuttgart . Weber had a musical family where a lot of music was played and heard. The most haunting musical experiences of his childhood were the monthly chamber music evenings between his father and his colleagues. To his great regret, he was regularly sent to bed early by his parents, but he stayed awake and listened to the house music with one ear against the wall. The filtered low frequencies, which he mainly perceived as a result, would have shaped his later sound ideal, as he explains in his autobiography. At the age of six, Eberhard Weber began to play the cello , and later also in the school orchestra of the Georgii grammar school in Esslingen . Then, at the request of his music teacher, the double bass was added, through which he got to know not only classical music but also jazz and its specific ways of playing.

After an apprenticeship in photography , he worked alongside his music career in various fields in radio and film, before devoting himself exclusively to music. In 1968 Eberhard Weber married the painter Maja Weber (d. 2011), from 1973 she designed the covers of all of his music albums.

Early jazz years

From 1962 he recorded numerous albums with the pianist Wolfgang Dauner . He was also involved in other productions, such as George Gruntz ' Noon in Tunisia (1967). With the band Et Cetera, founded in 1970 (with Wolfgang Dauner on piano, Sigi Schwab on guitar, sitar and tarang, Fred Braceful on drums and vocals, Roland Wittich on drums and Eberhard Weber on bass) he approached the style of the Bill Evans Trio on the one hand with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian , but on the other hand it was the beginning of a successful jazz-rock formation. The collaboration with Dauner did not stop completely, but both went their separate ways since 1973 (the year of Weber's successful album The Colors of Chloë ). They only met occasionally for joint projects, especially in the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble .

1973 - musical breakthrough

In 1972 Weber bought the wooden body of an old double bass in an antique shop . He had it restored by a violin maker and installed an additional, high C-string and an electronic pickup. Gradually, he eliminated the inherent resonance of the bass, which made the sound of the instrument clearer and made the bass sound longer.

Weber also gained international recognition with his album The Colors of Chloë (1973) with Rainer Brüninghaus . Following on from this success he soon founded the band Colors with Rainer Brüninghaus and Charlie Mariano as well as the drummer Jon Christensen . After his departure, the drummer John Marshall replaced him . In the meantime Weber also worked with Pat Metheny , Gary Burton , Ralph Towner ( Solstice , 1974) and Volker Kriegel ( Biton Grooves , 1974).

Colors dissolved in 1981. In 1982 Eberhard Weber became a permanent member of the band of the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and worked with him until his stroke in April 2007. In the early 1980s he began working with the British singer and composer Kate Bush . On four of their albums (including The Dreaming ) he can be heard as a bass player on individual tracks.

Since 1985 Weber has repeatedly given solo concerts in which he used electronic sound amplifiers to record his bass live and play it back - sometimes in a modified form. In this way he could accompany himself live.

In 2000 he recorded the album Endless Days under his own name , on which Rainer Brüninghaus again participated. He can also be heard on several albums by the guitarist Andreas Georgiou .

2007 - stroke

In April 2007, shortly before a concert with the Jan Garbarek Group in the Berlin Philharmonic , Weber suffered a stroke from which he only slowly and not fully recovered. As a result, he was paralyzed on one side and is therefore unable to play. His album Résumé is therefore based on arrangements of solos that he previously played in Jan Garbarek's quartet and that had been recorded.

Eberhard Weber published his autobiography in January 2015 under the same title - with the addition of a German jazz story . On the occasion of his 75th birthday, two concerts in honor of Weber were performed in the Theaterhaus Stuttgart on January 23 and 24, 2015 . In the first part, the SWR Big Band with Weber's musical companions Pat Metheny , Jan Garbarek , Gary Burton , Scott Colley , Danny Gottlieb , Paul McCandless and Manfred Schoof played his compositions in arrangements for an orchestra. The second concert, called Inspired or Hommage, was designed by Pat Metheny with solo videos by Weber, for which Metheny wrote compositions for the Gary Burton Quintet (with Scott Colley in place of the prevented Steve Swallow ) and the SWR Big Band . The ARD television station SWR recorded the concert performance. On this occasion Weber received the honorary award of the state of Baden-Württemberg for his life's work.

He was a member of the artistic advisory board of the Union of German Jazz Musicians.

After retiring from active musical life, Weber lives mainly in his holiday home in a village in the south of France.

Weber's sound

In addition to the double bass and the cello , Eberhard Weber mainly, and later exclusively, played on an electric double bass, which has a reduced solid wood body compared to a classic double bass. Weber's concern was to establish the bass as an equivalent solo instrument, which initially met resistance from his colleagues.

His music is often presented in a melancholy tone with simple basic patterns ( ostinati ), but with a highly differentiated tone color. By using electronic aids , his instrument sound stood out from that of other bassists.

Awards (selection)


As a band leader or soloist

  • The Colors of Chloë (1973)
  • Yellow Fields (with Rainer Brüninghaus) (1975)
  • The Following Morning (1976)
  • Silent Feet (as Eberhard Weber Colors) (1977)
  • Fluid Rustle (1979)
  • Little Movements (1980)
  • Later That Evening (1982)
  • Chorus (1984)
  • Orchestra (1988)
  • Pendulum (1994)
  • Endless Days (2000)
  • Stages of a Long Journey (2007)
  • Résumé (2012)
  • Encore (2015)

Tribute albums


  • Eberhard Weber: Résumé - A German Jazz Story. sagas.edition, Stuttgart, 2015, ISBN 978-3-944660-04-2 , autobiography.

Films (selection)

  • Eberhard Weber - rebel on bass. Documentary, Germany, 2016, 60 min., Script and director: Julian Benedikt , production: avindependents, SWR , first broadcast: December 14, 2016 on SWR TV , synopsis by SWR, online video available until January 13, 2017.
  • Eberhard Weber - The Great Jubilee Concert. Concert Film, Germany, 2015, 59:22 min. Director: Michael Maschke, Production: SWR , Row: culture matinée , first broadcast: August 2, 2015 at SWR, Summary of SWR, with series of images and online video (6:51 min. ).
  • Eberhard Weber Jubilee. Rehearsals for 'Homage'. Documentary and concert film, Germany, 2015, 45 min., Script and direction: Michael Maschke, production: SWR, first broadcast: September 20, 2016 on 3sat , synopsis by ARD , online video by SWR.

Radio (selection)

  • Eberhard Weber - About the person. Conversation with music, Germany, 2015, 114: 37 min., Script and direction: Günther Huesmann , production: SWR2 , series: Zur Person , first broadcast: August 30, 2015.
  • “Homage” - Pat Metheny and the SWR Big Band. At the Eberhard Weber Jubilee Concert in the Stuttgart Theaterhaus in 2015. Concert recording, Germany, 2015, 30 min., Moderation: Günther Huesmann, production: SWR , series: ARD Radiofestival 2015 , first broadcast: September 7, 2015, synopsis by ARD .
  • The jazz bassist and composer Eberhard Weber. Radio-Feature , Germany, 2015, 6:03 min., Written and directed: Karin Gramling, production: SWR2, series: Cluster , first broadcast: January 22, 2015, audio file available until January 22, 2020.

Film music (selection)

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Mirko Weber: The musician Eberhard Weber. Talk to yourself with double bass. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung , January 23, 2015.
  2. Joachim-Ernst Berendt , Günther Huesmann : The Jazz Book: Continued by Günther Huesmann , S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 2009, ISBN 978-3-10-003802-9 , p. 666. ( Preview in Google Book Search)
  3. Martin Klein: Summit of Jazz: Gala for the bassist Eberhard Weber. In: Kunscht! Culture in the Southwest , January 29, 2015, online video , (4:51 min.).
  4. ^ Julian Benedikt : Eberhard Weber - Rebel on the bass. In: SWR , December 14, 2016, from 10:09 min.
  5. Peter Kümmel: The heart of jazz. In: Die Zeit , issue No. 6 of February 5, 2015.
  6. Press release: Baden-Württemberg State Jazz Prize: Special prize for life's work goes to bassist Eberhard Weber. In: Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg , September 15, 2014, (PDF; 3 pp., 126 kB).
  7. ^ John Kelman: Eberhard Weber: Positive Pragmatism. In: All About Jazz , February 4, 2013, p. 2.
  8. Eberhard Weber. In: last.fm , accessed on December 20, 2016.
  9. a b chapter The blow hits me in: Eberhard Weber: Résumé - A German Jazz History , sagas.edition, Stuttgart, 2015, autobiography.
  10. Josef Engels: Nothing clever comes out of the blues. In: Die Welt , December 30, 2009, interview with Eberhard Weber.
  11. Michael Rüsenberg : Gladly in the wrong film. In: Frankfurter Rundschau , January 22, 2010.
  12. Josef Engels: Bassist Eberhard Weber: I can't play bass, but I know how to do it. In: Die Welt , January 21, 2015, review of Weber's autobiography.
  13. 75 years of Eberhard Weber - The Great Jubilee Concert. In: Theaterhaus Stuttgart , January 2015, accessed on December 19, 2016.
  14. Sebastian Scotney: Eberhard Weber Jubilee Concert, Stuttgart, review: 'magical'. In: Daily Telegraph , January 25, 2015.
  15. Thomas J. Krebs: "75 Years of Eberhard Weber: The Great Jubilee Concert" impresses with great musicians. In: jazzzeitung , January 27, 2015.
  16. Press release: "Eberhard Weber - Rebell am Bass". In: SWR , December 8, 2016.
  17. Thomas Miedaner: Neckar suburbs. Jazz with a view. In: Stuttgarter Wochenblatt , December 9, 2015.
      Press release: Field maple planting in honor of Eberhard Weber in Hedelfingen. In: City of Stuttgart , November 24, 2015.