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John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess - An Evening With John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess CD (album) cover

AN EVENING WITH JOHN PETRUCCI AND JORDAN RUDESS

John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess

 

Crossover Prog

4.04 | 91 ratings

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FragileDT
4 stars Before everyone makes their generalizations I want to make it clear that the title to this album is very misleading. This album is a live performance of only John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess (as everyone knows, of Dream Theater) on June 10, 2000 at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in New York. All the songs are written by Petrucci and Rudess and vary through a very large amount of styles. This album is not a shred fest where they are both creating pointless solo's just to show off how talented they are. These songs are very well composed and not the styles you would think of when seeing these names. There is a large impression of a classical style mixed with jazz, Latin, acoustic, and soft rock, and many other genres. This album does not represent Dream Theater's style at all and if you are buying this expecting great dream theater instrumentals than you will be disappointed.

My favorite track on the album is the opener "Furia Taurina." This song has a strong Latin and classical influence. It starts off with wonderful chords played very emotionally by Petrucci. If you can honestly listen to this song and say that Petrucci does not get the latin feel and emotion almost perfectly, I don't know what your hearing. There are some parts that are very fast, but they fit well with the song and feel. There are many various time changes and the sound changes from very slow softer parts, to the faster, much more intense ones are done perfectly. Petrucci's heavy hits on the guitar are very emotional and powerful. Rudess sounds incredible on the piano here. A lot of times I feel that his synth and keyboard parts tend to get in the way and can be a little too much. I can't say that for him playing the piano. He plays it beautifully and this song displays it very well.

The next song "Truth" starts off as a very slow and emotional ballad. Rudess does some very impressive runs on the piano and the feel for the song is underway. Petrucci comes in the middle of the song with the electric guitar (the majority of the song is acoustic) and delivers a wonderful solo. The solo is almost flawless (except for one part where there is an excessive amount of notes, but it is not that significant since it is only about 2 seconds.) Towards the end of the song the crowd starts clapping with the beat of the song and it flows well with the emotion at the time. Petrucci follows that section with another great electric guitar solo to conclude the song (though I wish it had ended on the large bend by Petrucci instead of the barrage of notes.)

"Fife and Drum" is an upbeat song with a light feel to it. It's hard to explain the style of this song because it changes a lot throughout. Another stand out track that is one of my favorites is "Hang 11." The melody to the song is incredible and very catchy while showcasing both members. "Bite of the Mosquito" is worth a mention since it is a 1:53 song where Rudess plays extremely fast and Petrucci just solos as fast as he can. Petrucci is just letting everyone know that he doesn't care who criticizes him for playing fast and he will continue to play the way he feels. Its ironic that this song was added because he doesn't play "so fast just to play fast" on this album (except for a few small parts.)

I would stay and break down every song but I really feel that you should listen to the show/album. It really is remarkable and nothing like you would expect. Hopefully we will get an mp3 in here so you can get a taste of what it is like. I would say that this is the most emotional guitar playing that I've heard from Petrucci on a lot of the tracks. I also like Rudess a lot better when he is on the piano. The amount of styles displayed changes throughout and never leaves you bored. You can dislike Petrucci and Rudess' playing all you want, but you shouldn't do so without giving this an honorable listen. This is not the same shred fest that we are used to from these guys.

-FragileDT (The reason for the 4 stars is because this is not really "progressive" music, though it is an excellent addition to any progressive collection. There are too many styles combined to just title it one of them.)

FragileDT | 4/5 |

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