Home » Jazz Articles » Nate Najar: This Is Nate Najar


Album Review

Nate Najar: This Is Nate Najar


Sign in to view read count
Nate Najar: This Is Nate Najar
Hailing from St. Petersburg, FL, guitarist Nate Najar unveils his third full length recording for the Candid Records label on the simply-titled This Is Nate Najar where he touches on the music of Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as delivering a straight jazz sound with several cover tunes and a couple of originals. A fingerstyle guitarist on the acoustic classical guitar, Najar is one of the few in the modern jazz genre utilizing the nylon-string guitar employing a right-hand technique allowing him to play single-string lines or strums unlike most conventional guitarists.

Early influences on Najar's were such icons as Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt but, having perhaps the primary impact on his playing style was, the great Charlie Byrd. This is quite evident throughout this album as you can almost pick up certain riffs that seem designed to channel Byrd's distinctive sound. Helping the guitarist on this project are Duke Ellington bassist John Lamb, UK drummer Matt Home and St. Pete local trumpeter James Suggs.

The music begins with Najar strumming the unamplified guitar in the introduction to Corea's "500 Miles High," a journey that takes off with Suggs trumpet phrases, Lamb's delicate bass lines and features more of the leader's handy work. Offering splendid finger play on the strings, the original "What Would Ola Mae Do?" displays a mid-tempo groove with the trumpeter on the muted horn to make it interesting. The Corea influence emerges again on "Chick's Tune" and the finale "Crystal Silence" while Najar's penchant for the Brazilian flair comes across with a stylish rendition of Jobim's famous "Insensatez" and an extended version of "O Morro Nao Tem Vez (Favela)."

The soft spot of the album goes to the warm Suggs original "But Oh, what love!" where the trumpeter plays softly as the leader executes intricate chords on a beautiful and sensitive love ballad setting the stage for Harry Edison's humbling down tempo "Centerpiece" rounding out a varied and creative ten-piece repertoire that's quite engaging. Not yet familiar with this musician, This Is Nate Najar will provide one with an exciting introduction to one of the finest classical guitarist in the business today on a set of music that swings lightly with a touch of class.

Track Listing

500 Miles High; What Would Ola Mae Do?; Sidewalks of New York; Prelude In E Minor (Op.28 No, 4); Insensatez (How Insensitive); Chick's Tune; But Oh, what Love!; Centerpiece; O Morro Nao Tem Vez (Favela); Crystal Silence.


Nate Najar: unamplified guitar; James Suggs: trumpet; John Lamb: bass; Matt Home: drums; Mark Feinmann: drums (5); Ella Fredrickson: cello (5).

Album information

Title: This Is Nate Najar | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Candid Records

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Love & Peace
Diego Rivera
Fire Illuminations
Wadada Leo Smith
Fire! Orchestra
Friendship Music for Turkey
Berke Can Özcan, Jonah Parzen-Johnson


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.