Home » Jazz Articles » Ximo Tebar: Celebrating Erik Satie

369
Album Review

Ximo Tebar: Celebrating Erik Satie

By

Sign in to view read count
Ximo Tebar: Celebrating Erik Satie
Celebrating Erik Satie represents a creative and stimulating selection of jazz arrangements and improvisations. Ximo Tebar is a respected guitarist and creative force from Spain who has taken the compositions of the eccentric, irascible, and innovative French composer and transmuted them into jazz ensemble performances. Tebar shakes things up while retaining enough straight-ahead jazz to appeal to the masses; it's no accident that "En Habit de Cheval" possesses a clear reference to John Coltrane's magnum opus, A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964). Like Coltrane, Tebar is fortunate enough to have recruited other outstanding musicians who can implement his complex ideas.



The watchword of this album is "plays," with the implications of irony and humor, tinged with Chaplin-esque sadness that characterizes what Tebar and his ensemble, taking a cue from Satie, offer. Satie was an inventive, experimenting composer who influenced musical impressionism and minimalism, which in turn strongly impacted modern jazz. For a period of time, he played in cabarets in the Parisian district of Monmartre and wrote popular songs.



Tebar, however, is careful not to imitate Satie. Rather, he takes rhythms, extracts, ideas, and motifs from Satie's compositions, gives them ironic twists, and transforms them into his own and the group's thoughts and sounds. On "Gnossiene 3," for example, Tebar begins with an outer space, sci-fi movie intro, and then drifts off with his group into a relaxed, easy-going, straight-ahead set of improvisations. Then he adds a unique plunger mute "talking" effect on the guitar, which he makes use of periodically throughout the album.



"Idylle" goes on a slow walk, with Satie's sense of irony and play, and a gnome-like flavor leading up to very nice co-improvised contrapuntal section. "Gymnopedie 1" is the famous melody that Woody Allen used in his 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters. The group gives the song, intended as a dance piece, a nice lilt, presaging "Embryons Desseaches," with Tebar's soft guitar work against a background of a halting dance rhythm. "Croquis et Agaceries D'un Gros Bonhomme en Bois" includes some beautiful work by trombonist Robin Eubanks and trumpeter Sean Jones. "En Habit de Chaeval" incorporates Bach-like counterpoint and brass ensemble effects, leading up to rapid double-time improvs by trumpet, sax, and trombone, while "Airs a Faire Fuir 2" is a quiet, contemplative piece with a gentle melodic theme.



Tebar transmutes "Gnossienne 1" into a conversation among lost souls, with a superb trombone cadenza by Eubanks, followed by group breaking out into an upbeat rendition of Satie's theme, including some fine straight-ahead playing by Tebar. The only melody not composed by Satie, "A Solas con Satie."(translation: "Alone with Satie") closes the set; a lovely testament to Tebar's affection for—and his sense of soul brotherhood with Satie—it brings together the Spanish and French influences of this fine recording.

Track Listing

Gnossienne 3; Idylle; Gymnopedie 1; Embryons Desseaches; Croquis et Agaceries D'un Gros Bonhomme en Bois; En Habit de Chaeval; Airs a Faire Fuir 2; Veritables Preludes Flasques (Pour Un Chien) 2; Seul a la Maison; Gnossienne 1; A Solas con Satie.

Personnel

Sean Jones: trumpet; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Stacy Dillard: soprano saxophone; Ximo Tebar: guitar; Jim Ridl: Rhodes, synthesizer; Orrin Evans: Rhodes; Boris Kozlov: bass; Donald Edwards: drums; Ramon Cardo: soprano saxophone (1); David Pastor: trumpet (1); Carlos Martin: trombone (1).

Album information

Title: Celebrating Erik Satie | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Xabia Jazz


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Live Five Spot 1958 Revisited
Thelonious Monk Quartet
New Beginnings
Jason Marshall
Electric Parker
Massimo Colombo, Peter Erskine, Chuck Berghofer
Someday
Marc Copland Quartet

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.