|Recorded Live in Madrid , November 1998
" The recording of Goes Blue was the outcome of a tour we did with the trio in 1997 (Dr. Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammad and myself... At the beginning it was supposed to be in trio setting only. Since Lou Donaldson was with us, he dropped by to see what we were doing. After recording “Goes Blue” and “Come to Me” in trio we went into the control room to listen to the takes. I asked Lou for his opinion and he said: "Ooooh, solid!" I dared to tell him that I would love to record a tune with him. Surprisingly, he said "Why not?" and started assembling his sax. In the same way he had walked into the recording room, with hardly a word, he started playing “Blues Walk”. As the tune finished I tried to walk up to him to thank him, but before I could utter a word his horn was sounding again. An extended ‘E’ introducing “Laura”, the way we had been playing it on tour. I was stunned and started playing with great motivation. After finishing, Testi, Idris and Lonnie suggested that Lou record “Midnight Creeper”. So, ultimately, I ended up with a great collaboration on three of the CD’s tracks."
The album opens with “Goes Blue” which also gives the CD its title. This composition by Tebar is a 24 bar Bb blues, with the changes based on a sequence of tonal intervals, and an unusual turnaround.
Our guitarist has always had a strong inclination towards the blues, an idiom that is essential to jazz and which he masters with great feel. This is a fertile ground to meet on with two blues-savvy musicians such as Lonnie and Idris. The tune evolves with breathtaking swing from beginning to end.
“I Love You” is a piece Cole Porter wrote in 1943 for the musical "Mexican Hayride" and made popular by Bing Crosby in the following year. It has all the trademark appeal of its sophisticated author. Tebar takes delight in introducing it with a solo that excels in single notes and chords alike, and combines rhythmic effects with rapid passages before giving the solo to the organ and the ‘fours’ with Muhammad’s drums.
“Laura”, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by David Raskin, is the main theme of the movie of the same name, directed by Otto Preminger in 1945. Besides being a great hit for Woody Herman’s orchestra, this melody is associated with the tenor sax of Don Byas. The introduction and melody statement played by Lou Donaldson on his alto pays him a deserved tribute, with a beautiful lyricism sustained by Donaldson’s round and sensual sound. Tebar keeps this mood with a laid-back solo that explores the harmonies of the piece.
“Days of Wine and Roses”, lyrics also by Mercer and music by Henry Mancini, belongs to the movie of the same name, directed by Blake Edwards in 1962. The introduction of the tune by solo guitar has two parts. Tebar starts with a reference to his composition “Anis del Gnomo” (from the album of the same title), and ends up linking it to Mancini’s melody. When the rest of the trio comes in the tempo is doubled and Idris plays with a soft Latin feel. Bronislau Kaper composed “Invitation” in 1952 for another movie of the same name. Paul Francis Webster added lyrics in 1956. It allows the guitar and organ to explore their abilities while they launch into a fast phrasing while being steadily supported by the drums. Once again the drums get to show off in the fours before the recapitula¬tion goes back to the original medium tempo.
Lou Donaldson reappears with one of his legendary compositions, “Midnight Creeper”, originally recorded for Blue Note in March 1968 on an album of the same name, featuring Idris, Lonnie, Blue Mitchell and George Benson. It is a very sixties funk-blues that makes you move your feet while the trio maintains an irresistible groove. Take note of Muhammad’s accompaniment and solo, working the snare drum in the typical style of New Orleans marching bands. Don’t forget that he was born there and knows those rhythms inside out. “Come to Me” is a slow and intense blues written by Tebar, with a 32 bar AABA structure, filled with the flavors that tradition has brought to the jazz genre. The restraint and laid-back feel with which the trio interprets this tune generates a highly effective tension.
“Blues Walk” (not to be confused with “The Blues Walk” by Clifford Brown) is another of Lou Donaldson’s most famous tunes and surfaced for the first time in a Blue Note session of July 1958. It was released under the same name, featuring the blind pianist Herman Foster. It is a typical hard-bop blues. Lou cites “Summertime” in his solo; Ximo also makes various bop references before Lonnie throws himself into an explosion of block chords. It is a great ending for an inspired album that very well defines Ximo Tebar’s personality, who has relied on the col¬laboration of jazzmen of undoubted value and experience. It is a luxury I hope you will enjoy.
Federico Garcia Herraiz