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Eberhard Weber: Stages of a Long Journey

German bassist Eberhard Weber’s entire 35-year solo catalog is on ECM, so it’s natural to associate his name with the company known for its atmospheric, spacious acoustic music. But Manfred Eicher’s label also stresses innovation. Weber, 67, actually plays an electric upright bass, which he customized during the 1970s by adding extra strings. He uses the instrument on 11 of the 12 tracks on his latest CD, the live Stages of a Long Journey.

Weber’s first live CD, and first overall since Endless Days from 2000, was recorded in his hometown of Stuttgart to celebrate his 65th birthday. Old friends like vibraphonist Gary Burton and saxophonist Jan Garbarek blend with tracks featuring the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart (conducted by Roland Kluttig) and even Swiss “human beatbox” Nino G, making the program anything but predictable.

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