Friday, 5 January 2018
Eberhard Weber - Fluid Rustle (1979)
Making his ECM debut after being discovered by Weber on tour, Frisell is tentative and understated here - to a fault, in his own retrospective analysis, but his minimalist volume swells and gentle arpeggios are perfectly placed on this winter's morning walk of an album. The side-long Quiet Departures starts off with Frisell in this zone, accompanied by Burton, before the bass and voices enter. By the halfway mark, this pre-dawn chill has started to see some sunlight, as Frisell strums an open chord on the balalaika (with a more energetic lead guitar overdubbed), and the voices set off on a gorgeous melodic progression.
The sunlight continues to burst through on the title track, with Winstone and Herman in full voice as Burton and Weber sparkle all around them, before another subtle, fluid solo from Frisell. The rest of the album turns colder and more desolate, with a plaintive Burton solo providing the centrepiece of A Pale Smile, and the closing Visible Thoughts ending the day back in the wintry dark as the voices turn into eerie whispers. A highly, highly recommended standout album in Weber's peerless catalogue.