Pioneered by Brazilian guitarist Joao Gilberto
and popularized by Baden Powell
, Antonio Carlos Jobim
, Roberto Menescal
and others in the early '60s, the bossa nova sound resonated strongly with the American jazz audience, and the Stan Getz
/ Charlie Byrd
album Jazz Samba
(Verve Records, 1962) became one of the driving forces behind this genre. Guitarist Nate Najar, who was heavily influenced by the music of Byrd, unveils his fourteenth album as leader with Jazz Samba Pra Sempre
(Jazz Samba Forever) paying tribute to the iconic album, reprising and reimagining all seven original tracks; even the art cover seems strikingly similar to the 1962 original.
In the past, the music of the bossa nova has most commonly been performed on the nylon-string guitar played with the finger instead of with a pick as the Brazilian maestros are known to do. On this album, Najar performs with a 1974 Ramirez 1A guitarconsidered the ultimate classical concert guitar previously owned by Byrd himself, as well as playing with a 1963 DiGiorgio Autor 3 guitar known to be a perfect match for the bossa nova voice made famous by Powell.
Of course, the result is one of the finest homage albums around, successfully taking one on a musical journey into the past, bringing the music of Getz and Byrd to life once again. Featuring Najar in the role of Byrd and Jeff Rupert
playing like Getz, things only get better with an outstanding cast of musicians including keyboardist Patrick Bettison
on Fender Rhodes, Herman Burney
performing on bass and playing the same bass used by bassist Keter Betts
who played on the original Jazz Samb
. Other luminaries supporting this endeavor are Chuck Redd
on drums, Alvon Griffin on percussion and Brazilian vocalist Daniela Soledade
on "O Pato" and "E Luxo So."
Recorded in August of 2021 at the guitarist's personal studio in Largo, Florida Jazz Samba Pra Sempre
is not only a tribute to a historically-important musical statement on the development of the bossa nova and some of its major advocates, but also a recognition of a gifted world-class guitarist who is still in his prime and with, arguably, much more to offer in the future.
Desafinado; Samba Dees Days; O Pato; Samba Triste; Samba de Uma Nota So; E Luxo So; Na Baixa do Sapateiro.
Jeff Rupert: tenor saxophone; Patrick Bettison: Fender Rhodes; Herman Burney: bass; Chuck Redd: drums; Alvon
Griffin: percussion; Daniela Soledade: vocals.