Eberhard Weber - Yellow Fields (1975)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 260MB
Of all of Eberhard Weber's classic albums Yellow Fields is probably the most likely to appeal to the average prog fan. First of all because it opens with "Touch", the most "symphonic" piece Weber has ever recorded without using an actual orchestra: a lush, stately, moving instrumental ballad with gorgeous mellotron, and with the main melody played in unison by Charlie Mariano's lyrical sax, Rainer Brueninghaus's synth and Weber's own plangeant bass. "Touch" is utterly delightful, a major highlight in Weber's oeuvre.
The remainder of the album's original A-side is taken up by the fifteen-and-a-half minute "Sand-Glass", which is strongly reminiscent of mid-seventies Weather Report, especially because Brueninghaus's playing on Fender Rhodes borrows a trick or two from the late Joseph Zawinul! As the title of the piece suggests, the beat is rockier and steadier than with Weather Report (not polyrhythmic) and the main melody sounds somewhat hesitant, at least until Mariano switches from sax to an Indian wind instrument (either shenai or nagaswaram) and the piece suddenly acquires wings! It's another magic moment on a deeply satisfying album.
Yellow Fields' B-side opens with the ten-minute title track, one of the sprightliest tunes Weber has written, beautifully played by Mariano on soprano sax. The real highlight of this piece, however, is Brueninghaus's exciting Fender Rhodes solo. Together with the magisterial Weber and the energetic Jon Christensen (on drums), Brueninghaus is also the star of "Left Lane", the thirteen-and-a-half minute closing track. Once again he shines on Fender Rhodes, but the piece also contains an intriguing extended break for grand piano solo, reminiscent of Yes's "South Side of the Sky" but much better recorded and played with far greater subtlety.
-1. "Touch" - 4:58
-2. "Sand-Glass" - 15:40
-3. "Yellow Fields" - 10:05
-4. "Left Lane" - 13:35
* Eberhard Weber (cello)
* Jon Christensen (drums)
* Rainer Bruninghaus (keyboards)
* Charlie Mariano (saxophone, soprano saxophone)