Ximo Tebar | Steps – [Sunnyside Records, 2009]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, interpretation, 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. Continue reading