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Jordan Rudess - Feeding The Wheel CD (album) cover


Jordan Rudess

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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

Report this review (#52376)
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars All these tracks are amongst my all-time favourites. The complexity and the great melodies of this album are unparallelled. Jordan Rudess is definitely the greatest keyboardist of all-time, hands down. Not only does he play quickly and flawlessly, he also understands advanced musical theory and knows how to create musical masterpieces. Normally, in Dream Theater albums, the band just has a spot in the song where Rudess will just solo or do whatever he wants. In this album, those incredible solos still exist, it's just that they are seemlessly incorporated into the song without any transitions or interuptions. He uses various styles of music, including prog-rock, classical, aand some others that defy classification. This is a must have for any prog-rock fan, rock fan, classical fan - or anybody for that matter.
Report this review (#65427)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An album that I truly didn't care for at first but then really bagan to like, packed full of symphonic synth- rock fusion featuring great players and brightly recorded cuts. Initially the CD comes off a bit like 'disco' prog but that impression eliviates the more one listens and considering Rudess' talent, a record I'd recommend to anyone not stuck on his work with Dream Theater. In fact, Rudess is a fine leader and who's solo work I find more interesting than DT, at least on this album. This would be a good one to start with if you like Jordan in other bands though it's nothing like DT or Liquid Tension Experiment.
Report this review (#94949)
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jordan Rudess is known as the keyboardist of DREAM THEATER but he has also composed several solo albums in his career.This one's called ''FEEDING THE WHEEL'' and it contains 11 tracks mostly influenced by fusion and symphonic rock.And with guest musicians such as Terry Bozzio,John Petrucci and Steve Morse (among others) it is almost impossible this album not to be at least interesting...As for the sound just imagine a lighter and less technical LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT...3,5 stars for me...
Report this review (#168298)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars In today's progressive world there is an American band that changed the course of history in this musica style l ,and the band is called DREAM THEATER!In this band there are 5 musicians,5 aces,5 artists out of this time and space which are trully musical genius!And in this band there is a keyboard wizzard called JORDAN RUDESS which from time to time has the inspiration to produce some monumental solo albums that leave his fans with opened mouths and without breath!Yes,this was my reaction when I discovered FEEDING THE WHEEL and I've asked myself if it's possible to say more on an instrumental album of prog metal or rock-keyboards orientated?!?!I think this is a milestone album ,a refference in music and it's such a solid effort,musically speaking,that it's necessary to do many auditions to realise the complexity of this kind of music!It's not only technically more than scarry,but the compositions and the musical message are so deep that makes the listener to respect more end more this type of artists which are blessing us with the product of their mind and talent! And we...poor humans and humble musical consumers,we adore their work and we say...THANK GOD because they are here!For us!Impossible for me to say any particular words or to make any appreciations about a particular song, of the album ,I personally adore the whole album,but I can't stop to take off my hat to the monster druming of TERRY BOZZIO on this album,absolutelly astonishing!MORSE and PETRUCCI are breathtaking with their solos,pure demonstration of virtuosity and passion for this type of music!QUANTUM SOUP and the title song-the opening and the closing tracks are some monumental compositions which are offering all the ingredients for a solid and masterul album-great melody,surprising breaks and changes,chops,memorable guitar-keys duels-a delightment!!The other songs are pure eare candys too and the production is fabulous!The very rich and diverse range of sounds that t Rudess is offering on this album,the strong conections between all the musicians involved,all is pure science and in the end we realise that one hour of majestic music wizzardry is sometimes a too short time for an album of such musical richness!We don't have the feeling thet the timing of the album is a little more then 1 hour ,because it's so exceptional and brilliant and we dig this music in a very pleasant way! 5 STARS and just thank you for the magic,Mr Rudess!
Report this review (#259917)
Posted Friday, January 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Everybody intrested in prog music knows who is Jordan Rudess, so I will skip the brief bio about him. Since 1993 he has a solo career under his name releasing over the years I guess 10 albums. Feeding the wheel from 2001 issued at Magna carta is , at least for me the best album he ever done under his name. Helped by a bunch of well known musicins like Steve Morse, Terry Bozzio, John Petrucci his mate from DT and the great bassist Billy Sheehan he manage to come with a solid jazz fuison album of the lighter kind in some parts but aswell fueld with some edgy moments eswell. The pieces goes from more uptempo with blisterning keybords like on Quantum soup and inventive solos to a more relaxed atmosphere as on Shifting sands, what a great and smooth piece. The album explores a wide variety of keybords layers, where Rudess feels free to show what he can do with this instrument. I personaly thinks that this is quite a diffrent affair face what he does in DT, here he can and succeded to combine very well the fusion side of prog with keybords wizardy, something as LTE for instance. This is no prog metal like I used to hear him in DT, this album offers a great prog/jazz fusion with symphonic passages well performed with some awesome ideas overall. 4 stars
Report this review (#762134)
Posted Saturday, June 2, 2012 | Review Permalink

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