“From start to finish, he lives true to his promise to ‘soothe, amuse and astound you,’…This truly personal statement is one of the year’s most unique releases.”
-Chris Maskell, in CBC Music’s “Ten Outstanding Jazz Albums of 2015”
“…Rud’s ability to separate and connect his guitar playing and vocal work is astounding…”
“No guests appear, no overdubs were used to aid the production, and nothing takes attention away from Rud, so his split-brained brilliance constantly shines through.”
– Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
Liner Notes (Thanks to the eminent Canadian jazz musician, Senator Tommy Banks!)
My wife Ida-the-agent is a stern judge of talent. When we listened last year to Mike Rud’s JUNO Award-winning CD “Notes On Montreal”, her immediate reaction was “Wow! He’s really good! If I were still in the business, I’d want HIM!”.”.
Well, everybody who has ever heard Mike perform in any context will concur. And in this recording he takes us to the basics – one of the root forms of all popular music through the ages – a creative guy with a voice and guitar. There is a tasty list of great standards, two of his own good songs, and a remarkable (and fun) lyrical take on J.S. Bach’s “Invention #8”. It’s called “You Have To Practice Slow”, which title reflects a point made at one time or another by every teacher to every student of every musical instrument.
Instrumental accompaniment of a vocalist is a sort-of separate art/skill all by itself, and requires mind-reading between the singer and the accompanist. Of course in the tradition of the self-accompanied singer the mind-reading is taken care of; but a different and demanding set of skills is required – a sort of mental ambidextrousness and independence. This is multi-tasking at its most admirable, and Mike has it down. Just to show he can turn it around, he sings the bass line and plays the melody lines on Charlie Parker’s “Dexterity”. His capacity in these regards is demonstrable; there’s no over-dubbing here – what you hear is what actually happened in the studio.
Some of this wonderful music required a lot of preparation, and some of it is straight off-the-cuff. It’s all something to sing home about.