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EBERHARD WEBER

Encore

MusicCD
ClassicalExperimentalJazz

[70/100]   
18/03/2015, Paul PLEDGER

Issued as a companion disc to 2012's much-acclaimed Resume, the German bassist's latest opus combines all the usual trademarks of pretty melodies, elegiac bass-lines a-plenty and intricate arrangements. This time though, without Resume saxophonist Jan Garbarek in place, these redefined compositions take on a new life with previous cohort, the flugelhornist Ack van Rooyan who breathes solemnity and serenity into these timely vignettes.

Encore is an altogether more intimate and downplayed affair all round with the tone being set from the opening Frankfurt onwards. The film-noir mood of this all-too-brief intro piece evokes deserted city streets, fizzing neons and a chill wind with the promise of a warm shelter by the time track two arrives. All tracks are named after unique European cities - even Bradford gets the nod - and all have been imagined with descriptive interplay between Weber and van Rooyen as they attempt to weave the very fabric holding these places together.

Apart from Frankfurt, no other piece stands out anymore than the next, but this matters little. Encore is an absorbing listen from end to end. It hardly sounds like the last weary passages from a man hinting that this may be his last ever recording (he turned 75 in January). And he can certainly still traverse a fretboard like a squirrel in a forest - Cambridge and Langenhagen show his nimble agility to its fullest while Bradford demonstrates Weber's cyclical, somewhat hypnotic, candour without resorting to type.

If indeed this is to be the very last Eberhard Weber release, it soon transpires that Encore is an understated joy of a musical trip across his favoured continent.

Paul PLEDGER
18/03/2015


 

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