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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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stonebeard
5 stars An Evening With. completely shattered whatever single-minded opinions I had about Petrucci and Rudess from their work with Dream Theater. It is the perfect melding of world music and classical shred, and proves that when not held in the confines of Dream Theater, these two virtuosos can unleash all of their ambition to the fullest extent.

The music on An Evening With. can jump between gentle acoustic picking and light piano flourishes to the immense guitar solos we come to expect from Petrucci over bombastic and epic grand piano chords from Rudess. Although this album showcases both musicians' talents in an effective way, I especially love to listen to Rudess's piano work. It is my opinion that he doesn't get much room to shine in Dream Theater, usually held to grandiose synthesized chords underlying other members' solos. But this is certainly not true on An Evening With. Rudess has his fair share of piano spotlights, which often times are faster and more amazing that the shred that we're accustomed to hearing from Petrucci. But overall, both Petrucci and Rudess play excellently, and the fact that they've written all of the songs themselves makes it all that much more impressive.

Some highlights from An Evening With. are the challenging and time signature- shifting "Furia Taurina," and the upbeat and joyous "Fife and Drum." "Hang 11" with its soft, echoed, acoustic intro and jazzy piano center, excellently showcases Rudess's sense of melody. "From Within" is a beautiful harp-driven song, though I'm not sure if it is a certain effect that Petrucci is using or is indeed someone playing a harp. If it is, I would very much like to know who it is if someone knows. "In the Moment" showcases Petrucci's shred abilities better than any instance in Dream Theater. "Black Ice" may be my favorite song. Its driving rhythm and excellent solo make it a superb track to represent the album, and I'm glad that it is currently a streaming MP3 on Prog Archives. But just in case you did not get your fill of shred from the rest of the album, a studio version of "Bite of the Mosquito" is provided. It's basically a high-tempo opportunity for Petrucci to shred over supporting chords from Rudess that give the solo a sense of direction. In addition to all of the new tracks, we're treated to an excellent run-through of "State of Grace" off the first Liquid Tension Experiment album.

In truth, I can't find any fault in An Evening With., although if you're a big metal fan with hopes of hard-rocking and mind-boggling shred-fests, you'd better not reach for it. If you are a fan of acoustic guitars, classical music and a bit of shred and world music, then An Evening With. is the album for you.

stonebeard | 5/5 |

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