on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 25 Apr

Eberhard Weber – „Rebell am Bass“ (documentary)

von: Brian Whistler Filed under: Blog | TB | 3 Comments



Perhaps my fellow Manafonistas have already discovered this wonderful hour long documentary on Eberhard Weber by Julian Benedikt. It has a lot of great footage from various stages of his career, including a number of things I’ve never seen before, even some casual backstage craziness dating back to his younger days.

I wish I could watch this with some of my German friends, because  the film is mostly in German, with the exception of  some words by Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, the late Michael di Pasqua, Jan Garbarek etc.

Because I have always been such a big admirer of the man and his music, I was very moved by this piece, even without understanding most of the dialogue. It’s a very personal film and covers a lot of ground in just about an hour. It’s been up on Vimeo for about a month. Looks like it was made fairly recently. Highly recommended.


This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 25. April 2018 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    First live experience: as freshman on Bass in Volker Kriegel‘s group, and Volker‘s smiling when Eberhard soloed. Happened in old domicil in Dortmund.

    Second one: as sideman in Gary Burton’s group, with young Pat M. on his side in Aschaffenburg

    Third one: Eberhard Weber Group in Münster.

  2. Jan Reetze:

    A very nice film, it was shown a couple of times on German TV. Not the first time I noticed Julian Benedikt, he made some more musician’s portraits.

    I think I saw Weber only one time on stage. It must have been in the early 1990s at Jan Garbarek’s Twelve Moons tour, in a church in Hamburg. I remember it as very atmospheric.

  3. Brian Whistler:

    First time was with Gary Burton’s group @ The Great American Music Hall SF. Oregon was the opener. Ralph and Gary played a duo in between sets.

    The second time was with Eberhard’s own band Colors. This was always my favorite Weber group. That performance, which included everything from Silent Feet (also @ The Great American Music Hall,) can be heard on YouTube. It blew my mind when I found it.

    3rd time was with Jan Garbarek group with David Torn, same venue. Great show.

    4th time was Russian River Jazz festival 1987 with Nana Vasconcelos and Lars Janssen. There was a limo strike at the last minute that year, so we got to pick them up at the airport in SF in my friend’s new van. We got to hang out with them on the way up but also afterwards, when we took them to the hotel. Garbarek and Weber invited us to have coffee with them by the pool. I was a young guy in total awe of these two greats – I mostly listened to their stories. They said they really didn’t like playing festivals because of the lack of attention from the audience: People talking, drinking, jumping in the river etc. Jan Garbarek said he played a note or a phrase and wanted some silence after he played, but there wasn’t any.

    At that point the Russian River Jazz Festival was a world class event (it has long since devolved into a wimpy smooth jazz event,) – Tony Williams band played that day, as well as Wayne Shorter’s and coincidentally, a rare duo performance by Towner and Burton. I will never forget that day.

    After we hung out by the pool at the hotel, we were about to leave and told them their equipment wasn’t safe there, as this hotel was in a bit of a rough neighborhood. So we drove the van to my country cottage and left it near my house. Later that evening I opened the van, gingerly took Weber’s bass out, and placed it on the floor of my studio. I thought, I’ll just take a look, but the case was locked. Still, Eberhard Weber’s one of a kind bass slept in my little funky cottage for a night.

    The last time I saw Weber was back with the Garbarek group 1990 (1991?), @ Davies Symphony Hall SF, this time with Rainer Brunninghaus and Marilyn Mazur. They played I Took Up the Runes in its entirety, uninterrupted – it was like witnessing a ritual. Unforgettable. I know Jim Bennett, an engineer with great ears, recorded that show, which was later broadcast on KPFA. Wish I could track down a copy. However, there is a very similar show posted on YouTube, Hamburg 1991, with the same lineup performing the same fantastic music:

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