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Eberhard Weber - The Colours Of ChloŽ CD (album) cover


Eberhard Weber

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars THE COLOURS OF CHLOE is, without any doubt, Eberhard Weber's most visionary album. Strange to think this was Weber's first album for the ECM label, and he never again came up with anything so idiosyncratic.

Just look at the unconventional line-up. Weber himself plays a leading role on custom-built double bass (now sounding vaguely eastern, now powerfully rhythmical, now singing out freely), cello and ocarina. (The mournful sound of the latter plays an important role in the album's tour-de-force, the nineteen-and-a-half-minute "No Motion Picture".) Weber's old friend Rainer BrŁninghaus plays keyboards and provides "No Motion Picture"'s whirling, repetitive, somewhat TUBULAR-BELLS-like themes on synths and multi-tracked electric pianos. BrŁninghaus also provides some of the most limpid acoustic piano solos recorded during 1973! His playing contrasts beautifully with the massed forces of the cellos of the SŁdfunk Orchestra, Stuttgart, which lend the album some of its dreamiest passages. Two drummers appear on the album, and finally there's still Ack Van Rooyen on fluegelhorn, who provides a highly dramatic break on the magnificent title track.

If THE COLOURS OF CHLOE is anything, I suppose you can call it truly symphonic 1970s jazz, but without a trace of empy virtuosity or bombast. Unlike certain other ECM albums, the music is fascinating from start to finish. It never breaks down, and this is due, to a large extent, to Weber's knack for writing and arranging wonderfully mysterious and unforgettable melodies.

It comes as no surprise that the eight-minute title track was covered by Gary Burton on one of his own masterpieces, the 1974 album RING, featuring Burton himself on vibes, Bob Moses on drums, Weber AND Steve Swallow on bass, with Mick Goodrick PLUS Pat Metheny on guitars, all playing together. THE COLOURS OF CHLOE as a whole also made a strong impression on the then twenty-year old Metheny, since its influence (both melodically and structurally) can clearly be heard on Metheny's most ambitious album, THE WAY UP, where Eberhard Weber is explicitly thanked in the liner notes.

I cannot call THE COLOURS OF CHLOE 'a masterpiece of progressive rock' per se, but it is definitely one of the masterpieces of European jazz and of 'progressive music' in general. If you like intelligent, imaginative instrumental music, do not hesitate to get a copy! You'll enjoy it for the rest of your life.

Report this review (#258359)
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With The Colours of ChloŽ, Eberhard Weber confronts the listener with a curious sound that feels less like jazz-rock fusion and more like some strange breed of ambient jazz which regularly fades into and out of more conventional ECM-ish sounds. The absence of guitar, in particular, distances itself from the bulk of jazz fusion (can you imagine Mahavishnu Orchestra without guitar?), but the pulsating bass lines Eberhard lays down provides a foundation for some downright frenetic playing from the rest of the band. With driving rhythms on the title track reminding me at points of some of the more esoteric moments of the Canterbury scene - it puts me in mind of Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt in particular, and I've never heard anything which quite sounds like Rock Bottom - it's an intriguing album and a sorely underrated one at that.
Report this review (#1039721)
Posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The German bass player Eberhard Weber's second record "The Colours of ChloŽ" from 1974 is an interesting piece of music. I can't see which musicians who are playing but they seems to be more than one. The cover picture is very artistic with a pink background and a happy family standing on the green.

Jazz rock is quite new for me and I have met both bands I like and dislike.

So, let's enjoy this music. I would be exaggerating if I said it happens a lot here but what is happening is lovely. The best track is the long suite "No motion picture" with a melody line which is very pleasant and you can clearly hear the bass lines are sophisticated. This music over all is not easy achieved and it can be hard if you are used to short songs where it happens things all the time. This is a sophisticated soundscape to travell into. First track "More colours" consists of beautiful cello and not so much jazz and the title track "The Colours of ChloŽ" has a wobbly interesting sound and builds of a world of new atmospheres. "An evening with Vincent van Ritz" has a lovely trumpet.

When I counted my track ratings my over all review was 3,625 and I will higher it to four stars for a lovely piece of music. The music maybe lacks much melodies, it's my only but. It isn't what others have stated a masterwork but it's a great example of the variety of the progressive scene in the 70s. I will return to this music soon.

Report this review (#1055939)
Posted Monday, October 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Colours of ChloŽ is an understated thing of musical beauty. It does take some time to fully figure it out, though.

After I have listened to it once or twice, I rated it 4 stars, because I'd found it a pleasantly sounding, well played and listener-friendly album (despite a fairly high degree of musical sophistication). Then I had this strange sensation that I was "missing something", so I felt an urge to go back and play it again .. and again .. a few times.

It's like one of those advent calendars: every day you revisit it , you witness a another little door open, allowing you to discover a new facet, or to come up with a new interpretation.

As with all complex suites, the exact "(sub)genre of the Colours of ChloŽ is a little hard to define; it's advertised as "fusion", but I think it;s closer to symphonic.

Whichever way, it's a very tasteful, elegant, smoothly flowing and perfectly timed/measured album that doesn't seem to have any visible weak spots. I am a little surprised the Colours of ChloŽ hasn't attracted broader PA attention, but then again: so much music out there, so little time.

Report this review (#1300780)
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm always on the lookout for great intrumental records. I don't care if it's spacemusic, ambient, trance, new age, jazz/fusion, symphonic rock, classical or whatever.

Instrumental music has an enchanting and meditative character. That's why I came across this wonderful piece of fusion/sympho.

Great basswork, piano and synth work combined with cello's, fluegelhorn and heavy drumming. There is a lot going on, sometimes pastoral, quiet, beautiful and sometimes heavy, intricate and almost threatening. It's like watching a movie, with pictures. That's what instrumental music is all about. You can create your own daydreams to the music.

I have to search for more like this, because since discovering the band Uzva, I haven't heard something so great as this masterpiece.

Report this review (#1597945)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars All the colors of marbles.

An amazingly balanced 4 track release which is both traditional and yet way out of its time. Few musicians could actually bring on fresh as new alternate routes to these quiet walked Jazz/Fusion roads.

Eberhard Weber's "The Colours of Chloe", 1974, is full of daring surprises.

Track one "More Colours" has a symphonic melodramatic even cinematic quality as it also strips naked to solitary acoustic bass pluckings, as a runaway piano blends in to counterpoint the symphonic flow, which may also serve as a filter of the kind of Jazz/Fusion colors Eberhard Weber is talking about and these are not exactly mainstream ones. 3.5 stars.

Track two "The Colours of Chloe" is, for starters, the perfect blend between some Progressive Electronic elements which fit in with a more traditional Jazz/Fusion styling and its pertinent instumentation without submitting its electronic value but actually enhancing it as its true to the bone Jazz accomplice while the bass guitar provides really good dynamics and more than once one of the many highlights of the song at the time the piano structures the main theme line with colorful splendor and the strings built up the emotional mood. 4.5 stars.

The trumpet marks the melody and rhythm on track 3 "An Evening With Vincent Van Ritz" with complex drum beats building the dynamic tension while the obscure strings' melody monumentally cast a shadow subtly over the final theme's notes. 4 stars

Track 4 "No Motion Picture" the 5 stars track of this release, takes off where its younger Track 2 sibling left. It has the added bonus of reloading previous highlights and mixing them all at once. But above all it beholds a more personal and unique approach to the whole Jazz/Fusion styling.

This track is divided in 3 movements in a strict classical music sense, therefore its overture serves also as its closure.

In the first part the electric keys as the bass guitar's work set the melody lines for the rest of the ensemble to fall in.

The second movement is the acoustic piano's showcase aided by a creative and quiet obscure string/choir work which eventually builds the coda of the composition.

All in all adventurous, original, highly enjoyable and full of intelligent songwriting, devoid of any kind of mainstream cliches usually found in these Jazz/Fusion territories.

****4 PA stars.

Report this review (#1631882)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2016 | Review Permalink

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