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Eberhard Weber

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Eberhard Weber, The Colours ofChloe, ECM 1042. Weber is a Germán bassist notable for his work with then-expatriate American altoist Robin Kenyatta and with completely spaced keyboard magician Wolfgang (check out his album, also on ECM). His first solo effort is called The Colours ofChloe, and it has me baffled., Take "More Colours" for example. It begins with a deep thick, slow string chord that varies very little until Weber climbs in with his acoustic bass sound. Weber has a tendency to slide into and away from the notes he picks and that pitch rubberiness is pleasantly dizzying, very watery. The title cut also begins slowly but slips into a pied-piperish flute-led anthem that recalls to this human Kevin Ayers' "Joy Of A Toy Continued." Once again Weber is outstanding, but pianist Rainer Bruninghaus follows with embarassing, cocktail lounge piano. On "An Evening With Vincent van Ritz" all the assembled choirs and orchestra and synthesizers drop away and we get our first clear listen to the unadorned jazz quartet. It's basically disappointing-Ack van Rooyen's flugelhorn work is watereddown Freddie Hubbard-but then this isn't really a jazz album. After all that, I must report that I've just kept coming back to Colours for a solid three weeks and I'm not sure why. Weber's bass work is really the only outstanding feature and yet this is a peaceful, attractive album at times, it balances on a thin line between the banality of an airline commercial for a flight to the South Pacific and the bucolic, breezy impressionism of Debussy and Satie. Forced to conclude, Pil say that The Colours ofChloe is occasionally startling film music for a lazy movie on the back of your eyelids. If you dig, say, the Egyptian sonorities of Alice Coltrane you might just eat this up. Otherwise, try to listen first and decide for yourself whether or not to lay your money down.