Search - Gary Burton, Eberhard Weber :: Passengers

Gary Burton, Eberhard Weber
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Gary Burton, Eberhard Weber
Title: Passengers
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: ECM Records
Release Date: 3/20/2001
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 042283501621

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CD Reviews

It's GB's world and we're all just PASSENGERS
YouthInAsia | DFW, TX USA | 05/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I absolutely love GB's music, I think because he combines world class virtuosity on one of the most listenable of all musical instruments with perhaps the most intellectually and sensory stimulating of musical art forms - jazz. His career is a unique confluence of these ideals that demands respect if not admiration. 'Passengers' is an album worthy of those ideals, with a couple unique confluences of it's own worth mentioning.

First this is the only album I can think of that features two bassists playing simultaneously on each track in a small ensemble setting - Steve Swallow on electric bass and the incomparable Eberhardt Weber on his bizarre...well, let's just call it an acoustic bass and leave it at that. The unique and wonderful sound of Weber's instrument has him mostly playing the role of soloist throughout - uncommon for a bassist - while Swallow handles the traditional bass duties of bottom end and rhythm. But even in this short set Swallow is still given ample time to break loose with several solos of his own (Sea Journey, B&G, etc). If you've never heard Weber's bass sound it is quite a treat and this album is a great place to start.

Second, this marks the last collaboration of Metheny with GB as a band member before the union of Pat with Lyle Mays to form the Pat Metheny Group and the production of Watercolors at the same Oslo, Norway studio a few months later in the spring of 1977. It is very evident from this recording that Pat is ready, both as a composer and an instrumentalist, to front his own band and that first manifestation of PMG imported Weber and drummer Dan Gottlieb from this project.

The fabulous lyrical style of Metheny's composing is well documented on his three original contributions to Passengers - Nacada, The Whopper and B&G (Midwestern Night's Dream). B&G is an especially interesting piece that is anchored by an elegant and simple alternating chord progression between Bm7 and GM7 - thus the name B&G. Pat has admitted to struggling with names for his compositions over the years and has occasionally resorted to simply cataloging them with a reference to such thing as time signatures or rhythm patterns (see 45/8 and 5-5-7 respectively from 'Letter From Home'). Maybe Midwestern Nights Dream didn't quite do it for him. Who knows. Useless info.

Weber and Swallow contribute a single composition each - both quite strange - and the album starts off with Sea Journey, an energetic and fun 9-minute piece by Chick Corea that gives plenty of solo time to all. But woven throughout are the masterful and fluid tones of GB's vibes - never forceful but always fully in command - simple to follow but never simplistic. The only gripe I have about gems like this recorded in the 70's is that they are way too short. They recorded on vinyl in those days, you know, which had about half the play time of today's CD's and left you wanting much more after the measly 45 minutes had flown by. Such is the case here. I'm usually not a fan of alternate takes but I would enjoy hearing several versions of this material to fill the rest of the CD. Classic GB and pre-PMG Pat. Buy it."
Classic Vibes
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 06/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Any album by vibes man Gary Burton is a treat but this one is especially so. It was recorded in Oslo, Norway, back in 1976 just before Pat Metheny quit the quartet to form his own band, the legendary Pat Metheny Group. The album features Burton on vibraharp, Metheny on electric guitar, Steve Swallow on "bass guitar" and Eberhard Weber on "bass" (one of them sounding slightly Jaco-esque, though I'm not sure which; probably the former) and Don Gottlieb (who followed Metheny to become one quarter of the early PMG) on drums.

Three of the songs are by Metheny and display the awesome writing abilities he would go on to make his own name with. My favourite is "B & G (Midwestern Nights Dream)", a winding, contemplative ballad, though the other two, "Nacada" & "The Whopper" are no less delightful. Chick Corea penned the opener, "Sea Journey"; "Yellow Fields" was written by Weber and Steve Swallow contributed the album closer, "Claude And Betty".

ECM über-producer Manfred Eicher was at the helm. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the sound isn't as smooth and sophisticated as the album on which Burton and Metheny collaborated on many years later, 1990's Reunion, (my favourite Burton album of them all), but it's no less musical and no less magical. I love every minute of it.

I say this one's a must for any fan of the vibes and definitely one to check out for any jazz fan."
A Lost Gem
Barry A. Reiter | 05/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a little bit like finding a gold bar in your Grandpa's album. It is fantastic. I found it in a public library of all places and then went on to buy it. From the brooding edgy rythms of A Sea Journey, to the idyllic chords of Nacada to the spacey weirdness of Claude and Betty, this album is great. The light touch of Metheny blends well with Burton's playing. The bass player is great too but difficult to tell apart from the guitarist since he must be playing an electric accoustic bass. The difference between the two instrumentalists is two strings essentially. The only criticism of the album itself is that Yellow Fields and B%G both are kind of a soup that lacks rythm and melody. Well you can't win them all. But the tracks that do work are so good its worth buying it for. Its too bad Smooth Jazz has largely done away with the Vibes. They are beautiful and melodic. The improvising is great."