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Jordan Rudess - Feeding The Wheel CD (album) cover


Jordan Rudess


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 72 ratings

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4 stars Jordan Rudess is a classically trained pianist, having studied at the Juilliard school of music.He has played with Steve Morse and Dixie Dregs, and recorded material for Vinnie Moore, Annie Haslam and David Bowie - and is, of course, the newest member of Dream Theater.

The eight page booklet that accompanies the CD has a spacey theme and the track names are accompanied by short descriptive sentences setting the scene for each piece of music.

Jordan wrote and produced this album himself as well as playing all of the keyboards and some guitar work. Also appearing are guitarists Steve Morse, John Petrucci and Peter Ernst while Terry Bozzio provides the drums and percussion.

The album opens with the very brief 'The Voice ' in which Barry Carl speaks the words "At the moment of your birth you take your place upon the great wheel..." over the top of synth sounds.

This introduction leads directly into the eleven minute piece entitled 'Quantum Soup'; a track which is both intense and rocky and covers a whole multitude of moods. Strong guitar solos for this track are provided by Steve Morse and John Petrucci, and the piece also features some excellent jazzy piano work which surfaces from time to time between the smoothly played keyboard sections. A fine opening number - and a favorite track of mine...

'Shifting Sands' begins as a slower paced number with a gentle and relaxed feel but almost imperceptibly it grows in intensity, becoming stronger and richer as the track progresses.

The next track, 'Dreaming in Titanium' has a much more carefree feel. Opening to an almost disco beat it is transformed into a classical piece before once more transmogrifying, this time into a light jazz mood.

Insistent rhythms are to the fore of 'Ucan Icon' probably the least melodic piece on the album although, having said that, there's still some nice piano work surfacing and the music becomes deeper and more textured in the second half of the composition.

'Center of the Sphere' is a short piece that leads into the jazzy and upbeat 'Crack the Meter'. This fast paced piece has a strong rhythmic backbone (it's the only track on the album containing a bass guitar) and lashings of Hammond organ sounds. Unfortunately I think that this track becomes a little self indulgent and it might have been better to have drawn it to a close before the five minute mark.

'Headspace' on the other hand could have been much longer! This is a lovely piece with gentle piano work set above somewhat spacey synths ... a fabulous piece.

'Revolving Door' has a rich, classical feel and the many strands that form this musical tapestry includes more guitar work from John Petrucci, various vocal effects, cello and violin. As the track moves on the instrumentation veers towards a more rocky sound, this being alternated with the more symphonic style that brings the piece to a strong conclusion.

Soothing piano sounds open 'Interstices'. In fact it is purely piano work that makes up this number - although the pace and tone change throughout its length so that a delightful surprise awaits you around each corner ... brilliant.

It's back to the synth sounds for the final track 'Feed the Wheel' although piano work is still very much in evidence. This is a fast, flowing number with more of John Petrucci's guitar playing.

The album continues for another three minutes after the listed tracks - this is taken up with more solid narration set over a reprise of the various themes from the different tracks.

If you are into synthesized instrumental work 'Feeding the Wheel' will be an essential for you. In its eleven tracks it explores a variety of moods, and its mix of rock, jazz and classical styles means that there's something for everyone contained within it - and some of these tracks are absolute gems ... its well worth getting the album just for these...4 stars

TheProgtologist | 4/5 |


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