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Jordan Rudess - Prime Cuts CD (album) cover


Jordan Rudess


Crossover Prog

3.70 | 8 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars And the Prime Cuts continue

Magna Carta records is pretty well known in the progressive world as the host to many progressive rock projects, bands, and supergroups. In the mid-2000s, the label began to release compilation albums of various musicians that had performed under their label, all called "Prime Cuts." From Mike Portnoy to Steve Morse to James LaBrie, it seemed every prog musician would get a chance to release their favorite tracks from their career. Jordan Rudess, well known solo keyboardist, keyboardist for Prog Metal giants Dream Theater, and keyboardist of Magna Carta-signed supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment, released his compilation of sorts and 2006, and it certainly displays the man's incredible talent and virtuosity throughout his rather prolific career. From solo to collaboration to remixes, the album has a truly magnificent showing of Rudess' career.

As with most of the guys from Dream Theater, Rudess is rather proficient at his instrument and has no trouble shredding along the keyboard and no hesitation showing his skill off to as many people as possible. Many of the tracks featured on the album, show Rudess at his finest moments, whether it be the fast-flying LTE track featured Universal Mind, the insane classical masterpiece Revolutionary Etude, the more mellow Tear before the Rain and Liquid Dreams, or the incredible cover-of-a-cover Hoedown (originally played by Emerson Lake & Palmer originally composed by Aaron Copland), the album is brimming with Rudess greatness. Of course as a compilation, it's not essential for anything, but is still a great display of the man's prowess on the keyboard.

Rudess has always been obsessed with the cheesy synth voices he finds in his vast collection on his many keyboards, and luckily he has the chops to pull of using them. Throughout his career he used them, and occasionally they appear on this album as well, displayed in his wonderful virtuoso style. One of my favorite displays of this is on Faceless Pastiche, originally featured on his and Rod Morgenstein's solo album, and is a truly magnificent display of the man's prowess on the digital synthesizer. But the synth is not the only instrument he is incredible at. His piano work is seen on many of these tracks, including the aforementioned as well as numerous others. Whipping up and down the keyboard is no trouble for the man, as he displays time and time again on this compilation.

Overall, although this is no masterpiece, it certainly recommended for anyone looking to dabble in a Rudess solo album. Although popular belief is that most albums are sub-par to crappy, Rudess truly is a great composer, capable of releasing some very tasty material, although he is also capable of releasing some rather tasteless material. In the end, this compilation is a great display of Rudess' career. From his numerous solo albums to collaboration albums to new songs and more, the album is an almost all-inclusive pass to Rudess. Don't be daunted by his status in Dream Theater (I'm talking to the DT haters), he makes some really great stuff. 4- stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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