Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The emotional expressiveness of American-based jazz and the cool intellect of contemporary European classical music met Wednesday night on the Cellar Door stage.
German bassist Eberhard Weber and his group, Colours, presented a sound that blended free improvisation and strict ensemble passages into rich and exotic musical images.
The opening piece, "Eyes That Can See in the Dark," began with a haunting melody line played on a wooden flute by Charlie Mariano, accompanied by a droning base line. Pianist Ranier Bruninghaus created impressionistic colorings of sound by plucking at the strings of a piano while drummer John Marshall added swirlling percussion.
The piece evolvred into a series of abstract musical collages in which the musicians engaged in subtle musical conversations that were variations of the original theme.
The second piece (there were only two) featured a base solo by Weber that was the equal of any that this reviewer has heard. Playing a specially designed instrument that is a cross between an electric and an acoustic base, Weber created a dazzling series of musical collages in which percussive, electronic and "musical" ideas were transformed into a coherent and expressive musical entity.
In the music of Eberhard Weber and Colours, the line between jazz and contemporary classical music is blurred beyond recognition - the emotional jazz is controlled by the intellect; the intellect of classical music is enlivened by the emotion. The music that is produced is mesmerizing.