JJ 03/94: Eberhard Weber – Pendulum

Thirty years ago, Michael Tucker thought the German bassist's loopy, multi-tracked solo album an essential buy. First published in Jazz Journal March 1994


Produced by Weber himself, Pendulum differs from his previ­ous release Orchestra (reviewed JJI, May, ’89) by dropping the occasional brass arrangements of that album to become a totally solo affair – albeit executed with a multi-tracked orchestration of the sort of digital delays and loops which he has made such a feature of his solo sets over the past five years.

Like Orchestra, Pendulum is distinguished by an ennobling synthesis of improvisation and composition: of resonant, dream­like sound, song-oriented melody and sophisticated structural logic. Weber’s on-the-edge yet always conceptually thorough aesthetic here embraces both light flurries of ostinato urgency and deep, spacious counterpoint (Bird Out Of Cage), classical, Asian and Celtic-inflected arco meditations of an essentially elegiac nature (Notes and Closing Scene), lul­laby reveries (Children’s Song) and ecstatic, driving lines (Delirium and Street Scenes), post-Cage ‘sound’ aspects of the European avant-garde (the near-slow motion Self-Portrait) and deeply traditional jazz rhythms (the exquisitely balanced Pendulum, the latter aspects of which conjure echoes of the cake-walk).

A beautifully played, intelli­gently programmed, superbly recorded – and essential – album.

Bird Out Of Cage; Notes After An Evening; Delirium; Children’s Song No. 1; Street Scenes; Silent For A While; Pendulum; Unfinished Self-Portrait; Closing Scene (53.44)
Eberhard Weber (b). Munich, spring 1993.
(ECM 1518)