Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Mike Rud: Miniatures

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
What to do, what to do, what to do? That question must always be swimming around the mind of the creative performer. And for those who reap some sort of critical success with their work, it's magnified, as the listening public, no doubt, also ponders the next move. When faced with this endless sea of choice, many in said position try to outdo their previous successes, going bigger and broader in scope or retreading over the ground of their prize-winning projects. Guitarist Mike Rud isn't one of them. Nobody could've blamed him if he created a sequel-of-sorts or tried to think bigger after taking home the 2014 Juno award in the category of "Vocal Jazz Album Of The Year" for the finely-wrought Notes On Montreal (Self Produced, 2013). But he ended up going the other way, pealing away personnel until he was all that remained.

Miniatures finds Rud playing and singing standards, the occasional original, and a humorous take on a familiar ditty from J.S. Bach. 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. Most who simultaneously sing and play guitar tend to be forced by limitation to let one skill work in obvious deference to the other, but Rud's ability to separate and connect his guitar playing and vocal work is astounding. Yes, everybody knows him best as a guitarist, but that doesn't stop him from flexing his flexible pipes while working magic with his hands. Rud flies through "Just One Of Those Things" and never misses a beat, he's able to create space and atmosphere in his open approach to "Nature Boy," and he demonstrates extreme independence in his merging of vocal bass lines with fleet-fingered guitar melodies on a brief and impressive "Dexterity."

Rud isn't averse to resting his voice on occasion, as demonstrated during an instrumental take on "Emily," but the draw here is in the way he merges his talents. He delivers delightful old favorites like "September Song" and "But Not For Me," plants his tongue firmly in his cheek by turning Bach's "Invention No. 8" into a vocalized meditation on slow practice, and pulls the listener into his world with pared-down versions of winning originals like "Florentine" and "Parc Lafontaine," both of which appeared on Notes From Montreal. Mike Rud's skills as guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, and technically-adept craftsman are all tied up together in this neat little package.

Track Listing: September Song; Just One Of Those Things; Nature Boy; Sweet Lorraine; Such A Night; Florentine; Robin's Walk (Smile For Me Baby); Emily; But Not For Me; Parc Lafontaine; You Must Believe In Spring; Dexterity; You Have To Practice Slow (Bach Invention No. 8); Laura.

Personnel: Mike Rud: guitar, vocals.

Title: Miniatures | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Miniatures

Miniatures

Self Produced
2015

buy
Notes On Montreal

Notes On Montreal

Self Produced
2014

buy
Live From Lotusland

Live From Lotusland

Cellar Live
2005

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019