For nearly two decades, guitarist Nate Najar has been enthralling audiences around the world with his unique blend of French gypsy jazz, bossa nova, blues and contemporary jazz. It’s a mixture he’s been perfecting since his early recording days on Candid Records, which saw the release of his fantastic tribute album to guitarist Charlie Byrd and his breakout disc This Is Nate Najar. Now at home on Woodward Avenue Records, Najar brings a bit of holiday magic to the season with Christmas in December, his first album of holiday hits.
Najar’s version of “River” renders the classic Joni Mitchell tune in the frosty hues of winter, with Najar’s gentle acoustic guitar chords sounding almost like snowfall against the muted-trumpet melody. A masterful arranger, Najar is able to maintain much of the song’s original sense of longing and nostalgia. But his delicate touch brings a refreshingly warm and nourishing glow.