When guitarist Rob Tardik sets his mind on a project, it is as good as done. He can corral a band of musicians and accomplish his task with the expediency and astute calculations which Martha Stewart applies when she is rounding up a crew to plant a new garden. Both Tardik and Stewart understand the need for everyone to be on the same page and stay focused on their single-minded objective. For Tardik, his objective was to make a follow up record to his debut album Without Words. He tells that this was the right time to release his sophomore outing, The Right Time.
"To be quite honest," he speaks frankly, "it was frankly about time I released my follow up CD to my first one, "Without Words" in 2006, and this was 100% "The Right Time" for me to put out this new CD and really work on moving forward in my career as an artist!! I NEEDED to this on all levels of my life both artistically and personally as well. This new CD "The Right Time" pardon the pun, just felt right to me all along the way from the very first time I played the first 4 chords which gave birth to the rest of the tune. It’s a very positive song about moving forward in life regardless of the situation and obstacles that might be in your way, chin up so to speak and this song was very personal for me on that level over the last while in my life. I hope that the fans get that same feeling of inspiration I get from the music!"
Joining Tardik on the recording is a band of merry men who share Tardik’s view of melodic sounding jazz ensembles. He enthuses about his saxophonist Carson Freeman, "Carson is THE man on sax!! That’s it, hands down, I wanted him to bring his amazing musical talent and his wit, charm and hilarious personality into this project and you can 100% hear that come out of his sax on this new CD. He exudes musicality, and he is simply a blast to play with. We have been playing together on and off for years so he was the only choice for me when it came time to record the new CD. Again it all boils down to musical and personal chemistry which is so very important and we both have that together in spades when we play!! Carson is a rising star and I am so proud he was nominated along with me for a Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for his work on my latest CD The Right Time." He cheers, "Congrats bro, you deserve it!"
Also on the recording is Macedonia-born Davor Jordanovski who plays the keyboards. Tardik describes, "I actually met Davor through my next door neighbor Mark Spisic, who is a wonderful musician/teacher as well. We were chatting late last year about me wanting to get back in the studio and start a new CD, and at the same time I needed a new keyboard player as well as my last one just had his firstborn with his wife and was just simply caught up in being a new parent and could not commit to the project. Mark suggested his friend Davor, who played keys so I took his number and called him a couple weeks later. We simply clicked right away, instant musical chemistry and I asked him to play with me in April at the 2009 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. It went great," he beams.
He remembers, "We were in his studio by May doing pre-production on the new CD, recorded all summer and by September I had the CD in my hand! Davor is a truly a hidden musical gem!! Back home in his native country Macedonia, he is a total star!!! He won a Eurovision award there which is the equivalent of a Grammy here!! Davor is blessed with a wonderful set of ears and attention to detail and can rip with the best of them, in any style!!! Like a Herbie Hancock, Davor is adept at any style and can really bring a wealth of musical literacy to any musical project!! Plus he is a wonderful human being!!"
Rounding out the band is drummer Jeff Salem whom Tardik explains, "Jeff and I played the same club circuit for years back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and would bump into each other from time to time. The catalyst for having him play on the new CD stemmed back to a Jazz Conference in Toronto where we were both guest artists doing guitar and drum clinics for Roland/Boss music simultaneously at the same booth. We got caught up again during off time at the show and I mentioned needing a new drummer for gigs and a CD project I had in the works, which he was totally into and the rest was history. Again, musical chemistry and just such a cool, funny guy to hang with and what a player, he’s the best!!"
Tardik expresses that working with these musicians set him on the right path. "I have learned that you must have the right chemistry and that good positive energy with people whether it’s in a musical setting like this or in our day to day lives to make things happen productively and keep moving forward. It’s really the key to developing these strong personal and business relationships! Life is a balance and when you have these qualities in play, everything flows so much smoother and easier!!! There was honestly, zero stress recording this CD with these amazing musicians!!"
The songs on The Right Time came from a number of places in Tardik’s life. He comments about the song "Sumer Nights" citing, "That particular track was simply first-born from the chord progression that I started strumming away on with me simply humming melodies on top. I have playing this one in various developing variations for almost 5 years now. I have spent quite a bit of time on and off over the years with this song, fine-tuning it and developing the melody most often to be honest while playing the tune live!! ‘Summer Nights’ was not one of those moments of inspiration type songs, which I do have on this CD, you know, but rather again a tune that has been massaged over for a while till it just felt right, and now was the time, THE RIGHT TIME!!"
He remarks about the composition, "My inspiration for the tune was that I just wanted to take listeners away to a place some where they were simply relaxing and chilling, nice exotic drink in hand, waves crashing in the distance against a beautiful warm summer night sky and enjoying the moment. I think the song achieves my original vision for it!"
Tardik examines the differences in making The Right Time compared to his experience with his debut record, Without Words, "I have gone through what I believe is a lot of musical/artist development and business growth from the last CD to this new one. On the last CD, I produced, recorded, mixed, and played all guitars and bass and sequenced all the other instruments myself and mostly self-promoted a bit and sold CD from gigs."
Conversely, he says, "This latest CD I let up on the reins, so to speak, and I collaborated with my keyboard player Davor on the recording and producing part of my songs to bring in some fresh ears and a different viewpoint on my music. The area of collaboration has been an amazing new area for growth for me musically. Opening up your music to critique and someone else’s views has and continues now to be important to me in becoming more objective about my music and growing as an artist."
He surmises, "As a solo artist today, I am also now much more focused on branding myself and getting my music out there to the world this time around!! It’s a tough world out there for all us indie artists and without that big label push which is simply not there anymore, it’s now up to each individual artist to wear many business hats in developing their music and ‘brand awareness’ to their fans!! Performing, distribution, marketing and publicity are still as key today to establishing an artist as before, but it all lies on our shoulders these days to get that ball moving! It’s all good though, as it’s a great ride learning all this!"
Tardik is looking forward to playing his songs live, though his tour to support The Right Time is in its initial stages. He tells, "Actually, I have not really been out performing the new music from the CD yet with the whole band as I have just released this new CD here in Canada just this past October, and the CD is being released this January in the U.S so right now I am more in marketing and publicity/promotion mode, getting all the dominoes in place, so to speak, before we knock them down in the New Year! I do gig on a regular basis either solo or with my sax player but actual CD releases will happen in early 2010."
He directs, "From the radio buzz that has started already here, it looks like we will be having a busy performing year or two ahead of us off this new CD! The line up for the band won’t be finalized till the New Year, but for now, I am hoping to have pretty much the same musicians that recorded the CD this past summer out playing with me. That is Carson Freeman on sax, twin brother Curtis on bass, Davor Jordanovski on keys/piano, and Jeff Salem on drums. I also will bring out another guitarist Lorne Hamilton for rhythm parts as well."
Preparing Tardik for this expedition has been his experiences as a music educator. He assures that teaching guitar and music has worked hand-in-hand with his endeavors as a solo artist. He admits, "I never liked the old saying that those who teach cannot play, and those who play cannot teach. I have always strived to do both to the best of my ability and I have always been one to promote being a balanced player to my students, and I practice what I preach to be very honest. Teaching and performing go hand in hand! All the time we put into repetition is vital in learning and teaching ones-self a new instrument and new repertoire."
He proposes, "That repetition leads to breeding new confidence to say going out to a jam or a gig to play in front of an audience. That confidence now over time leads to musical experiences, the vital key to any great live musical performer you can think of! How can you teach and inspire a student to become confident and gain experience without being able to go out and show them out its done? You gotta be able to walk the walk as they say!! My life acronym is Balance, Energy, Laughter, Love. Let’s all do our part to ring this BELL of life loud and clear!! Is there anything else really when it all comes down?
The right time is indeed now for Rob Tardik who has positioned himself in ready-mode to eject his album The Right Time into world markets. Being able to stay focused on a single-minded objective has served Rob Tardik well, and continues to place his music on jazz radio&&&s playlists.