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Eberhard Weber

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Nominated for the 2022 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research

Eberhard Weber is a virtuoso who revolutionized jazz bass playing. He brought his instrument from the far corner of the stage into the spotlight – and turned it into a solo force. He began his career as a jazz bassist in the 1960s, and his band Colours with the saxophonist Charlie Mariano became one of the most successful jazz groups in Europe. His record Colours of Chloë (made for ECM) was a cult album in its time. Weber went on to perform with many the big stars of the international jazz scene, including Wolfgang Dauner, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny and Jan Garbarek. He was also a key member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble. Playing the five-string instrument, both in acoustic and electric form, he also became a master of the solo recital, using electronics to accompany his own dexterous improvisations.

Weber has not been able to play the bass since he suffered a stroke in April 2007 during a sound check with the Jan Garbarek Group at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall. But he had already created an oeuvre that is second to none. The charismatic bassist made jazz history with his explorations, both in terms of his own instrument and with his range of creative musical companions. His remarkable autobiography is at the same time a humorous and exciting testimony to a vital period in German jazz history.

This is the first English translation of the original published in German by Sagas in 2015.

Published: Sep 20, 2021


Section Chapter Authors
Prelude Eberhard Weber
Chapter 1
A Stroke of Bad Luck Eberhard Weber
Chapter 2
If Only I Knew Eberhard Weber
Chapter 3
Under the Grand Piano Eberhard Weber
Chapter 4
"A Dab Hand" Eberhard Weber
Chapter 5
"Hey, How About It?" Eberhard Weber
Chapter 6
Free!? Eberhard Weber
Chapter 7
Telephone Bass Player Eberhard Weber
Chapter 8
"I'm Gonna Get Myself One!" Eberhard Weber
Chapter 9
New Colours Eberhard Weber
Chapter 10
Philharmonic Full Circle Eberhard Weber
Chapter 11
Well Received Eberhard Weber
Chapter 12
"Now You've Made It!" Eberhard Weber
Chapter 13
Down Under Eberhard Weber
Chapter 14
Longer than Most Marriages Eberhard Weber
Chapter 15
United (Kingdom) Eberhard Weber
Chapter 16
Border Crossings Eberhard Weber
Chapter 17
Highs and Lows Eberhard Weber
Chapter 18
To Poona, Please! Eberhard Weber
Chapter 19
Home Advantage? Eberhard Weber
Chapter 20
Perfect Sound Eberhard Weber
Postlude Eberhard Weber
End Matter
Discography Eberhard Weber
Index Eberhard Weber


Eberhard Weber is a central figure in the evolution of European jazz. His autobiography is a lively read, and the sections describing his stroke and his subsequent rehabilitation are vivid and candid.
Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News

At a little over 170 pages, it is a deceptively slim memoir containing more wisdom about creativity and the life of a working musician than many cinder block-thick music bios. There are probing discussions of what jazz really is and the arts of composition and collaboration, as well as a dressing down of the jazz conservatory complex, drummers who keep pling their cymbals after the last chord and his own “inadequate twisted finger technique.” He also addresses why there is no such thing as “the perfect instrument” and how one fiddles forever to try and work around it.
NYS Music

An absolutely fascinating account of starting out in jazz in post-war Germany and ultimately working as an extremely successful international musician. Throughout, the things we might expect to be emphasized are not; an approach which seems entirely in keeping with Weber's obvious humor and sense of proportion.
All About Jazz