The versatile Najar, a devotee of the late Charlie Byrd, has a strong like for Brazilian jazz and went in that direction for several tunes before blending in some Fats Waller, and Duke and Mercer Ellington tunes, among others. There was also a lovely exploration of "Body and Soul."
The Ellington connection was a natural with bassist John Lamb aboard, along with the terrific drummer Steve Bucholtz. Lamb worked steadily in the band from 1964 to 1967 and occasionally after that. He's a marvel to hear and watch in concert. He turns and leans toward to each of the players when he solos to make it a true musical conversation. He had a beautiful showcase on Duke's "Love You Madly."
|Nate Najar, John Lamb, Steve Bucholtz|