An Island music company has thrown together four well-known Canadian jazz musicians (two of them Juno award-winning) and is hoping the mixture will explode with something new and exciting over the course of three concerts, one of which is happening in Parksville.
The Mike Rud Quartet (which have yet to play together) will be coming to the MAC on Saturday, Jan. 13 after their first performance at Hermans in Victoria the day before.
Each of the concerts will be recorded live.
Luis Porretta of Quadwrangle Music has orchestrated the creation of the new combo, which consists of guitarist Rud out of Montreal, Brian Buchanan on piano, Ken Lister on bass and Hans Verhoeven on drums.
“We are all very excited at the prospects of the musical chemistry… with these players,” said Porretta.
The NEWS spoke with Rud about the group of musicians, and what a combo like this can achieve.
With the plan to play three nights in a row, Rud said, “when you have a band that plays that much in a short period of time, it starts to coalesce into a sound… by that second and third night, things start to really get to a unique place.
“So if you’ve got good, strong players… there’s a good chance that a real spontaneous kind of a lightning can strike in this music that’s worth recording.”
Those who don’t want to take his word for it can listen to a previous live-recording Rud participated in as a part of another thrown-together group — the Ross Taggart Quartet with Cellar Live. Check it out at cellarlive.com/collections/all/products/ross-taggart-thankfully.
“That thing is some of the best recording I ever did,” said Rud. “And there was no way to predict it.”
This latest quartet certainly has the talent to pull of something special, Rud said.
B.C. bassist Lister along with the Hugh Fraser Quintet won a Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Album in 1997.
Buchanan has been a mainstay in the Alberta music scene for more than 30 years as both a piano player and composer.
Verhoeven is a VIU drum instructor, having earned a Bachelor of Music from McGill University, and a Master of Music in Orchestral Percussion Performance at UVic.
For his part, Rud is a Juno-award winning jazz guitarist, composer and lyricist who plays in the mold of Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. He and Verhoeven have played together before, while Rud has performed in a group with Lister a few times, though never with Buchanan.
“It’s going to be a fantastic band,” said Rud nonetheless, in large part due to the depth of shared jazz knowledge all four possess. “We all share a lifetime of playing this style of music, these types of tunes,” he said. “In other groups with other people, but it’s totally like a pick-up sport. You know those patterns and you know the ways that people pass the puck back and forth.”
Then, all that’s left is the “sheer delight” of connecting with someone you’ve never met before, he said. “It’s like brothers you never knew about. It’s really cool.”
As for how the Parksville performance itself will sound, there’s only so much Rud said he could predict. Though he said he plans to include a few of his more pop-sounding work with some vocal parts in the performance, he said most of what they’ll be doing is straight-ahead jazz. What it could turn into is anyone’s guess.
The performance at the MAC takes place Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. with tickets costing $25, or $15 for students. Tickets are available at the MAC at 133 McMillan St. or by calling 250-248-8185, or at Cranky Dog Music and Quadwranglemusic.com. The Mike Rud Quartet’s two other performances are in Victoria on Jan. 12 and Nanaimo on Jan. 14.
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