It’s been a few years now since Mike Rud has released an album, but the Montreal jazz guitarist said that’s because he doesn’t fill his CDs with idle chatter. He only records when he has something meaningful on his mind.
“That’s the great thing about doing a less commercial form of music, more of an art music, is that you’re free to actually only record when you feel like you have something to say, instead of pretending you have something to say for the sake of getting a product out there,” Rud said.
“So the nice thing about that is when you do do the recording, you can actually really believe in what you’re doing. I feel like I’ve had that luxury with both of the last two albums.”
Those last two albums – 2014’s Juno Award winning Notes on Montreal, featuring songs inspired by the city’s literary history, and 2015’s Miniatures, recorded solo with the intent of emulating the sound of a band – were both designed with a central concept in mind. That will change with Rud’s next album, a bunch of road-tested “straight-ahead jazz” tracks.
“That’s really my home base,” he said.
“That’s where I’ve done a lot of playing and even in the last couple of years I’ve been getting out a lot to play basically all over Canada with different rhythm sections … so I’m planning on that being a huge part of the sound of the next record.”
Rud’s travels are bringing him to Vancouver Island. He performs at Nanaimo’s Lighthouse Bistro on Jan. 14 and will be joined by area musicians Brian Buchanan on keyboards, fellow Juno winner Ken Lister on bass and Hans Verhoeven on the drums. The day before the Nanaimo show Rud will be performing at the MacMillan Arts Centre in Parksville.
He said the live performances may influence how the songs sound on record.
“I’m not exactly a record-of-the-month-club kind of guy; I don’t put out records on a regular basis. So what I do first is I experiment with things and see what works,” he said.
“The goal is to get enough tunes that I’m really happy with that work on their own and this is the beginning of that process. So unlike other projects I’ve done where I’ve had a clear, crisp goal at the beginning, instead now I’m working through different ideas live and the stuff that floats the best is what I’ll put on the record.”
WHAT’S ON … The Mike Rud Quartet comes to the Lighthouse Bistro on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students.