In a lifetime there will always be personalities that stand out from the rest of humanity because of superior talent. Musically, Ximo Tebar is one of them. He has brought new life to the electric guitar. He can play with the excitement, creative agility and rapid fire of John Coltrane, yet, with the warmth and tender passion of Clifford Brown and Art Farmer, depending in what emotional situation he finds himself. He has an uncanny, pervasive, tasty, harmonic and melodic concept that never overdoes any one thing so much as to make it boring and meaningless ... Listen to him! He's astounding."" - Benny Golson 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.