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On "Jazz Impressions" the Nate Najar Trio takes us back to a dark, tiny, smoky, nightclub circa 1956. The question is, do we want to go there? From the opening lines of the Count Basie blues "Taps Miller" we can hear where the group is going, and haven't we all been there before? Najar's solo consists of entirely public domain ideas, and forced "blue" licks. "Mahna De Carnival" sounds as if it's performed straight from a lead sheet, and the band unexplainably blows the ending!!! I'm sure there wasn't a big budget to record this group, but maybe they could have taken a few minutes in the studio to decide how they were going to end the piece. We get an offhand Django impression on "Nuages" and unspectacular solo guitar on yet another version of "The Shadow Of Your Smile". As a composition Najar's blues "The Camel's Back" doesn't really work, it sounds more like a riff improvised, poorly, on the spot. I always hope to hear more from new guitarists, but on "Jazz Impressions" Nate Najar shows he doesn't really have the improvisational prowess to lead a trio date. Hopefully Mr. Najar will view this recording session as a positive learning experience and do better the next time.
Track Listing: 1. Taps Miller 2. Manha De Carnaval (Black Orpheus) 3. Nuages 4. The Shadow Of Your Smile 5. The Camel's Back 6. Just Squeeze Me (Don't Tease Me) 7. The Egotist Considers 8. Michelle 9. Norwegian Wood 10. O Barquinho (The Little Boat) 11. Goodbye I'm Leavin
Personnel: Nate Najar, g, Joe Aromola, b, Dan Crowley, d
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.