Archive for December 14th, 2009

Alex Bugnon – Going Home

Alex Bugnon turns his head to jazz. His long-awaited, funky new release  this time in a traditional Jazz Sextet format of piano, bass, drums and three horns, featuring Poogie Bell, Victor Bailey, Vincent Henry, Greg Boyer and Barry Danielian is entitled Going Home.

Alex Bugnon comments his new album: “I really liked that idea of doing a a ‘60s inspired record, with a Les McCann/Eddie Harris or Jazz Crusaders vibe , but I wanted to include a little more jazz than that, more towards a Herbie Hancock/Blue Note era Quintet or Sextet kind of vibe. You know, with two horns or three horns. That’s what I was going for.

At first, I really wasn’t sure what to write. The first three months of 2009 found me home practicing every day, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a day, which is something that I haven’t done since I was at Berklee. The rest of the time I was listening to Ahmad Jamal, especially the album The Awakening, one of my favorites. I was listening to Herbie’s whole Blue Note catalog, Les McCann, Miles piano players like Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans and Miles Davis himself, Dave Brubeck – I realized that in the sixties, this music was the popular, commercial music of the time.

Back then, this sound was really hip and underground…and very commercial, especially the music of Miles and certain tunes of Herbie. You don’t need synthesizers, drum machines and nursery rhymes. You don’t need all that to be marketable. Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island were huge hits. Guys were really playing on those records. So, you can see the concept for Going Home came from a lot of listening and practicing.

At a certain time in April, I started to come up with new material. Something unlocked in me, because of all that listening and practicing that I did. the writing for the new record came from that. It was totally natural. I didn’t have to sit down and scratch my head for hours. The tunes just came in minutes. That’s how this record came about.”

Going Home is released at CDBaby.

Nate Najar – Until Now

Florida guitarist Nate Najar blends his classical background with funky, hot groovin’ licks born out of his passion for all music. Nate considers himself a product of classical, R&B, Soul, Gospel, Jazz, Latin and many other styles. Says Najar, “I’m trying to use all of my musical experiences to create my sound.”

Considered one of the most interesting and stylish young guitarists on the jazz scene, Nate Najar has finally arrived as a legitimate Smooth Jazz solo artist. He has performed with traditional jazz artists like, Clark Terry, Ken Peplowski Ray Kennedy, and many others. A personal and professional achievement, Nate has also shared the stage numerous times with the Joe Byrd Trio, to pay tribute to the late Charlie Byrd, who has been one of the biggest influences on Nate’s style.

Nate Najar performs regularly with a growing list of Smooth Jazz artists including Eric Darius, Jackiem Joyner, Brian Simpson and Marion Meadows, just to name a few. Musicians love Nate’s ability to take the lead as a soloist, and at the same time be a strong accompanist.

In fall 2009, Nate debuted his first Smooth Jazz CD, Until Now. The new CD features a jazzy, yet classical version of the Michael Jackson classic, Human Nature. Until Now has a blend of Smooth Jazz cuts that mix the many styles that have shaped Nate Najar as a solo artist.

Until Now is Nate’s fourth solo CD. Other recordings include, Live At the Side Door, Christmas with the Nate Najar Trio and The Nate Najar Trio – I’m All Smiles. Nate proudly plays Buscarino Guitars. For more information about Nate Najar or booking, visit www.natenajar.com. The album just arrived at CDBaby.