I first met guitarist Mike Rud around the mid 1990s during my time at McGill University. Mike had already studied at McGill, spent some time in New York and had returned to Montreal to complete his Master's degree. His impact and presence in the Jazz area at the school was significant and his influence as a musician and as a person has long been a huge influence on me. I have always found a great deal of inspiration from his high level of musicianship and deep sense of swing. A memorable highlight for me was playing a steady, five night a week trio gig for several months with Mike and bassist Carlo Petrovitch at the Hotel Saskatchewan during the summer of 1997. I really learned a lot that summer (including how to really play the brushes!)
Mike recently released an album of original music inspired by classic Canadian literature that reflects the city of Montreal. Mike's admiration for the city of Montreal is profound and it's very impressive how he's been able to translate that love affair into lyrics and song. I was very excited to see this project come to life and it's been on steady rotation in my house since it arrived in my mailbox.
Mike was kind enough to take some time to answer some of my questions and share some very thoughtful answers about his own journey and his latest release.
1) What can you tell us about your musical background? How did you learn to play Jazz guitar?
While I continue writing I'm just going to put it on my headset here.
Ahhhh. That's better.
4) What sort of things are you practicing on the guitar and developing as a composer these days?
Please tell us all about this exciting project, the music and your compositions.
People can watch videos the CBC made of three of the songs here in their Montreal studio:
Aand they can check out a very full version of the story at the website!
(cover photo by Mark Lang)