CARisMA Confessions [TrackList follows] – The CARisMA Crossover Guitar Duo (Magdalena Kaltcheva and Carlo Corrieri – Almud (Italy) 7730 006, 55:25 *****:

The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd – Blues for Night People [TrackList follows] – Candid Productions CCD 79992 *****:

(Nate Najar, acoustic guitar/ Tommy Cecil, bass/ Chuck Redd, drums & vibes)

The CARisMA guitar duo intends to settle a new direction in classical music and guitar playing with their crossover style. They played for the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who was astonished by their performance and offered to produce an album with recording engineer Pierpaolo Guerrini.

Their CD opens with five tracks from film music for productions of Rachel Portman, including the movie Chocolat. (The track “Other Possibilities” is a direct ripoff of Django Reinhardt.) The rest of the 13-track CD is a variety of jazz and classical standards which will surely captivate many listeners. There are four by Brazilian composer R. Gnattali and the album closes with a clever arrangement for guitar duo of the Rossini overture to La Gazza Ladra.


1. Vianne Sets Up Shop 
2. Guillaume’s Confession 
3. Party Preparations 
4. Opening Titles 
5. Other Possibilities 
6. Questa Notte 
7. Gran Valse Brillante 
8. 45 Degrees 
9. Pixinguinha (Choro) 
10. Ernesto Nazareth (Valse) 
11. Anacleto De Medeiros (Scottisch) 
12. Chinquinha Gonzaga (Corta Jaca) 
13. Ouverture From “La Gazza Ladra” 


Charlie Byrd was a well-known American guitarist, influenced by Django Reinhardt.  He made many recordings of bossa nova music and collaborated with Stan Getz on the famous album Jazz Samba, with the hit “Desainado.”  He hung out at the Showboat in Washington D.C. and the Showboat II in Silver Spring MD. He did one album with Cal Tjader and collaborated with the Annapolis Brass Quintet in the late 1980s. He also did a 45 rpm direct disc with Crystal Clear Records.

Nate Najar plays Byrd’s own 1974 Ramirez 1A classical guitar and recorded this album in 2012 at Nola Studios in NYC.  The dozen tracks are a great mix of John Lewis, Jobim, Ellington, Rodrigo, Gershwin and Bechet, as well as the Charlie Byrd title tune “Blues for Night People.” The classical influence is strong in many of them. Most enjoyable for any fan of Byrd and/or Django.


1. Blues For Night People 
2. Django 
3. Desafinado 
4. Swing 59 
5. O Pato 
6. The Single Petal Of A Rose 
7. Concierto De Aranjuez 
8. Have You Met Miss Jones? 
9. Who Cares? 
10. Someone To Light Up My Life 
11. Si Tu Vois Ma Mère 
12. Remembering Charlie Byrd
—John Henry