Guitarist Nate Najar Pays Homage to a Hero On New Trio Outing,
Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd
An accomplished guitarist-composer and Charlie Byrd devotee, nylon string fingerstyle player Nate Najar has distinguished himself as a talent worthy of recognition with his impressive output over the past ten years. On his latest trio recording, Blues for Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd, the Florida-based guitarist pays tribute to an important role model with a collection of tunes either composed by or associated with the late, great guitarist. Najar also performs on Byrd’s own guitar, a 1974 Ramirez 1a nylon string classical guitar, the same guitar Andres Segovia used.
Accompanied by the veteran D.C.-based rhythm tandem of drummer Chuck Redd and bassist Tommy Cecil, Najar runs the gamut from alluring bossas and romantic ballads to urgent swingers and delicate, classically influenced numbers on his sixth outing as a leader. The chemistry and interplay throughout is apparent. These three kindred spirits are truly on one accord on this auspicious outing. “To me, it feels like there’s three of us playing together and not me just playing on top of a rhythm section,” says Nate. “And when you’re playing with guys that good, why would you do it any other way?”
The trio opens with Najar’s fresh arrangement of Byrd’s “Blues for Night People,” title track of the great guitarist’s 1957 Savoy album. Najar’s version shifts nimbly from hard-hitting funk to an insistent shuffle-swing groove, with the leader showcasing his beautiful warm tone and fluid chops along the way. “It’s really a suite that takes up the whole side of a record,” he explains. “What we played is the main theme from the last part of the suite. Chuck and I came up with the tempo change and different feels.”