Steps moves along to a quick jazz groove, racy, impatient, yet modulated, the spreading, almost spongy quality of Ximo Tebar’s guitar leaping along with drum, Rhodes piano, brass, and electric bass, galloping in some cases, but always with a yielding bounce, so that the race never seems fierce or unforgiving, no matter how complicated it gets, no matter how smartly the musicians reconstruct the Pink Panther Theme or jelly-strut into Herbie Hancock’s “Actual Proof”, but always lounge-cool. A Spaniard, Tebar has played flamenco guitar as well as jazz, and that might have helped his deft fingering, the exactness that goes along with the spread. There’s heat in here, yet the listener is never allowed to forget that steady hands are in control.
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// Notes from the Road
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