I caught a couple of sets of Toronto jazz guitarist, Rob Tardik at the beginning of the summer. His solo turn was superb. Great renditions of standards. The playing was technically accomplished, he has great chops and the whole package is evocative and sophisticated.
I really enjoyed his latest CD, The Right Time (available at his website and soon on iTunes). No covers here. All songs are original. Tardik’s style on his latest recording is laid back and in a very pleasant groove. I could imagine driving on a sunny day, on a winding road with the top down. It would be a perfect accompaniment. But it does give pure musical pleasure, too.
Tardik is classically trained and has excellent technique on electric and Acoustic/Flamenco nylon guitars. The lovely sound he produces mixes well with the Sanbornesque sax playing of Carson Freeman. I was not quite as fond of the keyboard solos, and I thought the bass could have come up a little in the mix, but starring along with the superb Tardik is one of Canada’s greatest drummers, Jeff Salem. Salem’s flawless drumming on this CD is a constant pleasure.
Tardik’s CV mentions that he also doubles as a recording engineer and trained for this role at Toronto’s prestigious program at Humber College. The recording is first rate. Natural, with a lovely sense of space. My only caveat is the aforementioned bass guitar. I would have liked a smidgen more.
If you are into smooth jazz (not the muzak that many of the ’smooth jazz’ radio stations play), then try Tardik. The music on this CD fulfills many roles. As musical enjoyment, for guitar aficionados and as a backdrop for a sophisticated evening. Enjoy!