Steps; an invigorating and engaging record date that demonstrates what the guitar can do in the hands of a jazz master like Ximo Tebar at the top of his instrumental, interpretational, and compositional game. Amazon Reviews
Ximo Tebar Guitar & Scat Vocals. Orrin Evans Rhodes & E. Piano. Alex BlakeAcoustic Bass. Boris Kozlov Electric Bass. Donald Edwards Drums. Ester Andújar, Backing Vocals. Ramón Cardo, Soprano Sax. Santi Navalón, Kb.Stefan Braun, Cello. Kiko Berenguer, Tenor Sax. David Pastor, Trumpet.Produced by Ximo Tebar
The spanish jazz guitarist Ximo Tebar delivers on “Steps” an outstanding aural document that is, in the words of Duke Ellington, Beyond Category
Playing jazz guitar involves mastering the tradition laid down by the modern masters of the instrument from Montgomery to Metheny while applying those concepts to create an individual voice that expresses itself in a myriad of stylistic inventions, conceptions, and dimensions. The Spanish-born, New York-based guitarist Ximo Tebar meets all of the aforementioned criteria with the release of his latest Sunnyside release, Steps; an invigorating and engaging record date that demonstrates what the guitar can do in the hands of a master at the top of his instrumental, interpretational, and compositional game.
Tebar is backed by an impressive array of American and Spanish musicians: Acoustic and electric bassists Alex Blake and Boris Kozlov, Orrin Evans and Santi Navalon on Fender Rhodes and keyboards, drummer Donald Edwards, vocalist Ester Andujar, Ramon Cardo and Kiko Berenguer, on soprano and tenor saxophones, respectively, Stefan Braun, cello, and David Pastor, trumpet. With Tebar s fleet-fingered, pan-genre guitar approach, supported by an ensemble that effortlessly leap-frogs fusion, Latin, and straight-ahead contexts, this disc delivers an outstanding aural document that is, in the words of Duke Ellington, Beyond Category.
Well-worn standards like Henry Mancini s The Pink Panther, are rendered in a perky medium tempo, with a sly bebop quote from the leader, while several jazz classics are reincarnated with a zesty, twenty-first century sonic sheen. Wes Montgomery is given an impassioned and rhythmically intricate, Azymuth-style shout-out on Tebar s Four on Six For Wes, along with the title track; a sheets-of-sounds re-reading of John Coltrane s 1959 classic Giant Steps, a Latin take on lesser known Trane track from that same period, 26-2, and an electro bolero/bossa nova look at Wayne Shorter s Nefertiti. Tebar and his crew jump to the early seventies, and polyrhythmically resurrect the Herbie Hancock gem Actual Proof, originally released on the Hancock/Headhunters LP, Thrust. The Hancock vibe can also be heard on Tebar s original composition Zap, which can be described as a quiet-storm friendly bookend to Tell Me a Bedtime Story. And on Essential Passion, composed by the drummer Edwards, Ximo and his cohorts swing like a weather report predicting clear skies unencumbered by clouds of musical doubt.
Given the vast range of Tebar s artistic expression and experience, it should come as no surprise that he could create a recording of such complexity. Born in 1963 in Valencia, Spain, he first studied flamenco guitar at the age of seven. He turned professional ten years later, touring with his own group, The Ximo Tebar Band in Spain, Europe and America, and accompanied a number of prestigious jazz stars, including Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Eddie Henderson, Tete Montoliu, Lou Donaldson, Jan Ackerman, Lou Bennett, and the late Louie Bellson. In 1989, he was a founding member of Big Band Jazz Europa, an ensemble consisting of twenty-two musicians from across Europe. In the nineties, Tebar toured extensively throughout Europe including Germany, Ukraine and Russia.
VIDEOCLIP: THE PINK PANTHER THEME by Henry Mancini, Arr. by Ximo Tebar. NEW AND INNOVATIVE VERSION. Live at Gran Teatro de Cordoba Festival de la Guitarra, July 2010
VIDEOCLIP Cd Steps by Ximo Tebar. THE PINK PANTHER THEME (Comp. Henry Mancini. Arr. Ximo Tebar). New and Innovative Version. Make-Off Recording Session.