Ximo Tebar: Eclipse

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Ximo Tebar: Eclipse
Spanish jazz guitarist Ximo Tebar is a restless explorer. Over the years he has experimented with the blues and organ/guitar/drum trios with the likes of Lou Bennet, Lonnie Liston Smith, and most notably Joey DeFrancesco, with whom Tebar led the pulsating band The Champs.

His excursions into pop (or Mediterranean Son, as Tebar himself has described it) have raised more than a few critical eyebrows, but genres aside, the constant in all of his records is his stylish guitar playing, with beautiful singing lines that have his personality stamped all over them. Eclipse is largely a straight-ahead affair of mostly Tebar originals which sit well alongside two Wayne Shorter tunes and one apiece by Joe Henderson and Oscar Pettiford.

Any jazz police investigating "stolen" songs would find Tebar's fingerprints everywhere on the four non-originals: his unflashy yet distinctive phrasing, his scatting mirroring his guitar lines or perhaps vice versa, and the very personal trademark punctuation that he gives his solos. For this reason, these four songs are very much the property of Ximo Tebar.The two Shorter compositions in particular—"ESP, with a subtle Brazilian feel, and "Pinnocchio," with Tebar's vocal scatting—are testament to his originality and refusal to compromise his musical ideas.

The tone of the album is significantly influenced by ex-Spyro Gyra vibraphonist Dave Samuels, who in the past has graced the work of Gerry Mulligan, Frank Zappa and Pat Metheny, to name but a few. On "Inner Urge Samuels shadows Tebar note for note before peeling away to solo beautifully. And on "My Evidence he plays Thelonius Monk to Tebar's John Coltrane in a compelling tribute to two of the giants of jazz.

Another strength of the album lies in the group chemistry. Tebar and Samuels enjoy the lion's share of the solos, while the understated and refined support from pianist/organist Rob Bargad and percussionist Roland Guerrero lends depth and cohesion to the compositions. Drummer Donald Edwards and bassist Cesar Giner form an impressive rhythm section; they inject pace into the tunes, driving Tebar and Samuels on.

Although the songs contained on Eclipse are mostly up-tempo, Tebar's credentials as a great balladeer (his concert favorite "Besame Mucho" is legendary) are enhanced here by his playing on "Mensaje and the beautiful title track.

Eclipse is one of the Valencian guitarist's most satisfying records in an already impressive discography. Those familiar with Tebar will find an ever-maturing composer in grand form here. Those new to his music will discover here an outstanding guitarist, and they may well wonder why they haven't heard of him before now.

Track Listing

Inner Urge; Martino; Mensaje; My Evidence (about Monk and Trane) ESP; Ralladura; Eclipse; Pinocchio; One Step Ahead; Pure De Patata; Tricotism.


Ximo Tebar: guitar and scat vocals; Dave Samuels: Vibes and marimba; Cesar Giner: bass (2,4,5-7,9-11); Anthony Jackson: bass (1,3,8); Rob Bargad: electric piano, organ, piano; Donald Edwards: drums; Dario Boente: synths (2,3); Roland Guerrero: percussion.

Album information

Title: Eclipse | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Omix Records

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


Anthropic Neglect
José Lencastre / Jorge Nuno / Felipe Zenícola /...


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.