The second Great Guitars album features guitarists Charlie Byrd, Barney Kessel, and Herb Ellis matching wits and generally inspiring each other throughout this studio set. The trio, along with bassist Joe Byrd and drummer Wayne Philips, are heard together on four numbers (best are "Undecided" and Ellis' "H & B Guitar Boogie"; Ellis and Kessel duet on "Down Home Blues"; Byrd has two features to himself; and a medley combines together short versions of "Benny's Bugle & and "Latin Groove" with the typically exuberant "Charlie's Blues" A fine all-around effort.
Charlie's extraordinary technique and unique arrangements have influenced guitarists everywhere.
From the liner notes: Byrd, in this album, has taken a rather wider view in exploring the guitar's possibilities in jazz. His use of finger style on the unamplified Spanish guitar reveals all the delicacy of shade and colour to be wrought from the instrument and the way Byrd infuses a rich jazz flavour into his playing makes really beautiful listening. In the years since this LP was recorded, Byrd has passed through several important phases – he was one of the main contributors to the bossa nova explosion of the early '60ies when he partnered Stan Getz on the million-selling Desafinado – and his musical presence has continued to make itself felt in many diverse areas of music, yet "Blues for Night People" remains the high spot of this recording career. In short, one of the great jazz guitar records of our time.
Before he toured South America and discovered bossa nova, guitarist Charlie Byrd already had his recognizable sound formed. A master on the acoustic guitar who was well trained in classical music, Byrd performed regularly in Washington D.C. from 1958-60, recording for the tiny Offbeat label. This CD reissue of a set originally on Offbeat and then put out by Riverside features Byrd and his regular trio (with bassist Keter Betts and drummer Buddy Deppenschmidt) performing concise versions of eight jazz standards ~ AllMusic
This single CD reissues two complete Charlie Byrd LPs (Latin Impressions and Charlie Byrd's Bossa Nova), some of which had been available previously on a 1970s two-fer. Byrd, the master of the acoustic guitar whose gentle and lyrical style perfectly fit bossa nova, is heard in prime form on 23 rather pretty numbers. There are six unaccompanied solos and many workouts with his quartet, which is sometimes augmented by four cellos, a French horn, trumpeter Hal Posey, vibraphonist Tommy Gwaltney, and/or extra percussionists. ~ AllMusic
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. This Timeless CD is a bit unusual in that guitarist Charlie Byrd sings the first six numbers; it is only the second time in his career he has taken vocals on record. His singing is simple and generally effective if not too memorable. The final 11 numbers are instrumentals (odd programming) and also surprising in that the emphasis is on standards, often from the swing era; there is only one Brazilian song (Antonio Carlos Jobim's "So Danca Samba"). Byrd (in a trio with bassist Joe Byrd and drummer Chuck Redd) is in generally fine form overall although it is doubtful that he will get too many requests to feature his singing in the future.
In one of those fascinating twists that add to the magic of jazz, it was a mild-mannered, non-exotic. Virginia-born wizard of (primarily) the acoustic guitar who spearheaded the early-Sixties onslaught of bossa nova on the music scene of this country. Charlie Byrd, fascinated by this Brazilian music while on a South American tour, became its most ardent advocate here. He first joined with Stan Getz for a trend-setting LP and then moved on to his own big hit with this Riverside album, highlighted by the best-selling, with-strings version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Meditation."