Trumpeter Chris Botti recently commented that, for many casual listeners, listening to jazz can be like taking a math test. Ken Navarro has no worries-his music is more like recess, and the guitarist would be the first to tell you that’s the way he wants it. There’s a reason why he named his record label Positive Music. Still, on his 17th recording, the guitarist is up challenging himself while still offering fans abundant opportunities to savor his sweet picking style. Navarro went back 30 years for his biggest test-a cover of Pat Metheny’s “Lakes” from his Watercolors album. Navarro glides through the tough chord changes with ease after no doubt many hours of practice, bringing beauty to a complex composition.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.