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Jordan Rudess biography
Jordan Charles Rudess - Born November 4, 1956 (Great Neck, New York, USA)

Jordan Rudess is a classically trained keyboardist who entered the world of prog with the release of the album 'Listen' in 1993. It is a bombastic album full of various keyboard sounds, with many odd-time signatures and Jordan provides also his vocals to a couple of songs, being backed by a female vocalist. This album helped him being recognized as Best New Talent by the readers of the Keyboard magazine. At the same time, Jordan used to play with Annie Haslam from Renaissance and The Dixie Dregs, who reunited after 12 years for one last studio album 'Full circle' in 1994. Soon after The Dixie Dregs toured, Jordan and Dregs' drummer Rod Morgenstein formed a power duo 'The Rudess/Morgenstein project' who released a very good record on the Domo records label. Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater called him to join an instrumental project involving the legendary bassist Tony Levin and his bandmate John Petrucci on the guitar. This project was called Liquid Tension Experiment and lasted the time of two records, which are regarded as major records by fans of instrumental rock. After the keyboardist Derek Sherinian left the band DREAM THEATER, Jordan Rudess was asked to replace him. He released with them their highly acclaimed album 'Metropolis part II : scenes from a memory', then the controversed 'Six degrees of inner turbulence', the metal-driven 'train of thought' and the more symphonic 'Octavarium'. In the course of his collaboration with Dream Theater, Jordan released some solo albums on the Magna Carta label. 'Feeding the wheel' is an album that once more showcases his great skills on keyboard and piano, featuring a cast of great musicians among which Steve Morse and Terry Bozzio. '4NYC' is a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 of 2001 terrorist attack. This is a record featuring only him on keyboards. 'Rhythm of time' is in the vein of 'feeding the wheel' but leans more towards metal, due to the presence of Joe Satriani, Kip Winger, Greg Howe and Vinnie Moore. In a nutshell, Jordan Rudess is a progressive keyboardist who entered the hall of fame progressive artists such as patrick Moraz, Rick Wakeman and keith Emerson (all playing with him on a Magna Carta tribute to the Classic composers) thanks to a wide pallet of keyboard sounds and a virtuosity rarely reached in th...
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The Unforgotten PathThe Unforgotten Path
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Rhythm Of TimeRhythm Of Time
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Feeding The WheelFeeding The Wheel
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All That Is NowAll That Is Now
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The Road HomeThe Road Home
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Prime CutsPrime Cuts
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Lazy Bones Recordings 2017
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JORDAN RUDESS discography

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JORDAN RUDESS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 27 ratings
2.70 | 12 ratings
Secrets Of The Muse
2.00 | 8 ratings
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2.73 | 11 ratings
3.73 | 74 ratings
Feeding The Wheel
2.97 | 27 ratings
2.19 | 12 ratings
Christmas Sky
3.54 | 70 ratings
Rhythm Of Time
3.23 | 85 ratings
The Road Home
3.19 | 42 ratings
Notes On A Dream
2.87 | 15 ratings
All That Is Now
3.75 | 31 ratings
2.91 | 11 ratings
The Unforgotten Path
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jordan Rudess & Steve Horelick: Intersonic

JORDAN RUDESS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JORDAN RUDESS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JORDAN RUDESS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 9 ratings
Prime Cuts

JORDAN RUDESS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
Arrival (Cassette)
1.00 | 1 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Explorations by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.75 | 31 ratings

Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Proto-Apollo

4 stars

Many of the pieces on this recording are tremendous. Of special note is the piano solo Shouri Now, Explorations for Keyboard and Orchestra (especially the first movement) and Over the Edge.

With today's technology, great artists like Jordan Rudess are able to write and record orchestral music without the need to engage an orchestra. Whether this is good or not is a worthwhile debate. However pieces like Explorations may well not exist were it not for our thirst for new technology. The cost of hiring and recording symphony orchestra may have been an insurmountable obstacle for this release. Written in what I term the neo- romantic style, Explorations runs close to the traditional piano concerto format. It contains many of the elements made famous by composers such as Stravinsky, Debussy, and Prokofief. Mr. Rudess plays with an unrivaled technical ease. His orchestrations are rich and invigorating.

the solo piano piece Shouri Now is amazing. It displays the drive, passion and inventiveness of the solo piano works of such progressive giants as Keith Emerson and Patrck Moraz, with ever shifting time signatures and blazing virtuosity.

Over the Edge brings the same sensibility to his digital orchestra, shifting suddenly from one idea to another with a carelessness with feels almost improvisational.

On the down side I felt Screaming Head merely exposed the limitations of the wonderful tools used to make the record by making a direct comparison to the original rock recording of the same piece, It sounds to me like a poor imitation.

The two ballads, the Untouchable Truth and a Pledge to You are pleasing but don't separate Mr. Rudess from other artists the way the other works do. His harmonies are more traditional and not colorful enough for my taste.

Lastly, In a few brief sections, a traditional drum set was used (or a digital facsimile thereof). It seemed out of place in this traditional classical format and I found it distracting.

All in all, Explorations is a testament to artistic excellence and great gift. And I am sure I will listen to it as long as my ears hear.

Thank you Jordan Rudess!

 Rhythm Of Time by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 70 ratings

Rhythm Of Time
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Jordan Rudess' prolific years continue with 2002, a new album (''Six degrees of inner turbulence'') and a tour with Dream Theater and two solo works, one inspired by Christmas (''Christmas sky'') and one dedicated to the victims of 9/11 New York terrorist attack (''4NYC'').In 2003 he records another album with Dream Theater, ''Train of thought'', which finds the band in a switch towards very heavy sounds, and later he focused on another Prog-inspired solo work.For the album ''Rhythm of time'' he established a regular rhythm section with Dave LaRue on bass and Rod Morgenstein on drums and invited some of the finest guitarists to help him: Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Vinnie Moore and Daniel Jakubovic.The album was released in 2004 on Magna Carta.

It's not an excess to say that the tracks presented here are well adapted to the style of the invited guitarists and Ruddess' duo with each of them makes a stylistical entry of his own.For example the pieces featuring Vinnie Moore and Joe Satriani are the more virtuosic ones, again somewhere between the sound of DREAM THEATER and LIQUID TENSION EXPERIENT, with a strong nod to Fusion and many references to Classical and Electronic Music, Film Scores and extreme Prog Metal.Great music with complex instrumental twists, endless breaks and tempo changes, swirling around Heavy Rock pounds, symphonic atmospheres and technical Fusion, without doubt closing the works of former DREAM THEATER keyboardist DEREK SHERINIAN.Guitarist Greg Howe is featured in a couple of pieces, which still retain the high quality of musicianship, but both are more symphonic with evident Classical interludes and a more pompous sound akin to 70's Prog Rock monsters, albeit with a modern touch.Great music again, fronted by more melodious themes but also nice isolated performances.''Beyond tomorrow'' features also Kip Winger on vocals.With Steve Morse on his side Ruddess has the chance to offer more playful themes, his alternation on keyboard excess along with Morse's more rockin' guitar vibes offer a less heavy or guitar-colored music, Morse of course needs only a couple of minutes to shine on his solos, but Ruddess is the main hero on these cuts with a manifest of keyboard tricks and moves with a jazzy and Classical taste.The closing piece ''Tear before the rain'' is a different fruit, a soft piano-driven AOR ballad with Winger on vocals and Ruddess on piano, creating a melancholic and emotional farewell.

Another strong attempt by Ruddess on virtuosic, technical but always well-executed Heavy/Prog Rock with focus on keyboard and guitar interactions.Love it at moments, this comes definitely strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 The Road Home by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.23 | 85 ratings

The Road Home
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Keyboard speed merchant Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater; The Dregs) assembled an impressive guest list for his '07 covers album, paying enthusiastic tribute to the Prog Rock heroes of our collective adolescence. Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio from Spock's Beard were both on hand; so were Ed Wynne (of Ozric Tentacles) and the ubiquitous Steve Wilson, plus several other players who weren't Tony Levin (the celebrated Stick Man must have had another dozen sessions scheduled that day...)

The good news here is the material itself. Honestly, who among us wouldn't leap at the chance to hear this all-star roster rummaging through the back catalogues of Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, and ELP? That instant familiarity is the ace up the album's sleeve: no effort is required to get into the music, especially when so little apparent effort went into the actual arrangements.

And that's the not-so-good news. These new versions stick uncomfortably close to the originals, typically adding little interpretation beyond (no surprise here) a lot of virtuoso soloing. Otherwise the structure of each selection is more or less intact, and too bad: a challenging song like "Sound Chaser" is crying out for an unexpected facelift.

"You better start doing it right", sings Neal Morse in "Dance On a Volcano", and it's a pity Rudess didn't take that admonition more to heart. Jon Anderson's mournful ballad "Soon", performed here as part of an extended solo piano medley, is a model of ostentatious over- embellishment, leading directly into a flamboyant abbreviation of "Supper's Ready", located on a scale of keyboard tackiness somewhere between Rick Wakeman and Liberace, minus only the candelabra. And the extended solo guitar spot during "Free Hand" only shows how resistant the music of Gentle Giant is to this kind of adaptation.

It's all fun stuff to be sure, and totally self-indulgent in a not altogether bad way: these guys have serious chops, and aren't ashamed to show them off. But it's too bad even a small crumb of subtlety wasn't included in their instrumental menu. With a little more nuance and a lot less grandstanding, Rudess and company might have touched real magic.

Still: it would be hard for anyone who grew up with this music not to respond to the dynamic production, and all the performance machismo. At its worst the album presents little more than a clinical display of cold virtuosity. But at its best it's an affectionate, often forthright stroll down memory lane.

 Rhythm Of Time by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 70 ratings

Rhythm Of Time
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Rhythm of time from 2004 issued at same Magna Carta is somehow a more excentric release then Feeding the wheel, here Rudess playes and explore lots of sythesizer sounds, whwre he can really show us what he can do with this instrument. A perfect example is Insectsamongus avery jazzy dominated by Rudess's keyboards, but aswell some good druming here. The album is quite more edgy with heavy parts more accentuated then on Feeding the wheel, the lighter moments almost gone taken place by some more elaborated and complex arrangements. The album overall is ok, even great but I think is little to long. Aagain some top notch musicians involved here, among others Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani or Steve Morse. Alternating heavy sections like first 3 pieces with more mellower passages as on Beyond tomorrow, Rudess come with a good album but I don't think is fantastic and is less intresting, at least for me then Feeding the wheel. I like very much the pieces Bar Hopping With Mr Picky , What four or Ra, very smooth and energic tune full of great moements. Very good are the keybords heere, experimental passges that goes very well in this context. IMO I find Rudess in his solo albums more intresting then most of DT albums he appear (with exception Scene from a memory), here he has more space , the music is jazzier and is more enjoyble to my ears, then the same keyboards passages he offers on some DT albums. Let's say 4 stars , not really a four but this time I'll go with this rate.
 Feeding The Wheel by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.73 | 74 ratings

Feeding The Wheel
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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
 The Road Home by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.23 | 85 ratings

The Road Home
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mapping the journey...

The eighth solo album from virtuoso keyboardist Jordan Rudess.

The Good: This is an album very close to my heart, as it was my personal gateway to the world of Prog. At the time I was obsessed with both Rush and Dream Theater (and had some interest in Camel), but other than that I knew little of what lay 'beneath the surface'. And so, like many people who run out of studio albums to listen to, I decided to investigate the band member's side projects and solo albums.

I had already listened to 'Feeding the Wheel' by Jordan Rudess and so the overall sound on 'The Road Home' felt familiar, what surprised me though was the quality of the compositions. The songs on this album were amazing! I think it was a full week before I noticed in the liner notes that the songwriting was attributed to other musicians. I knew Genesis and Yes from Land of Confusion and Owner of a Lonely Heart, and recognised King Crimson as 'the band that Tony Levin from LTE used to play for', but had never heard of ELP or Gentle Giant. Ah, to be young and naive! These were all bands that had influenced Jordan Rudess in his early years, and so this was a tribute of sorts with an all star line-up including Rod Mogenstein, Neal Morse, Steven Wilson and Nick D'Virgilio.

Nowadays my music collection has grown exponentially in all directions and features over 500 albums from some 200 artists, with the superb track selection on this disc being largely responsible.

The Bad: Despite some new material and interesting artistic interpretation, this is essentially just a 'cover' album and as such I find it hard to consider it an 'excellent addition'.

The Verdict: It certainly doesn't feel like four years.

 Prime Cuts by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.71 | 9 ratings

Prime Cuts
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by 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.

 Notes On A Dream by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.19 | 42 ratings

Notes On A Dream
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Too much of anything...

The Good: Works well as both background music and something more engaging. Also the three new pieces are pretty cool, my favourite being The Grand Escapement.

The Bad: I like Jordan Rudess' music in general and enjoy this album a lot. However, I cannot justify awarding it a higher rating as I think the only people that will appreciate this are fans of both him and his band. When all's said and done it's just some DT classics with intermittent interpretive flourishes and unless you are already familiar with these songs you may soon tire of this single instrument album. If this release was merited on technicality and musicianship alone it would be five stars for sure but given the PA guidelines I feel it only reaches two.

The Verdict: Still worth checking out.

 Listen by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.16 | 27 ratings

Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Jordan Rudess is definitely an extremely talented keyboard player. I know. I've seen him in concert. And he shows that he is talented on this album. What he does not show here is that he is a particularly great songwriter.

The keyboard parts on this album, especially on the more upbeat songs, are fantastic. Although Rudess on this album shows a tendency to sound more than a little like Rick wakeman, both in tone and in style (except for Boogie Wacky Woogie, where he sounds more like Keith Emerson). This can be forgiven, as this was his first album.

What is harder to forgive is the blandness of the vocal melodies, particularly on the ballads. A guy as talented as this should just shut up and play the synth.

 Rhythm Of Time by RUDESS, JORDAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.54 | 70 ratings

Rhythm Of Time
Jordan Rudess Crossover Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars The wizard strikes again.

Jordan Rudess is a well known keyboardist. Playing keys for two very well known Prog Metal acts, Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment, and also for the famed proggers Dixie Dregs way back when, he has had ample opportunity to show off his incredible talent and affinity for electronic synthesizer sounds. Well, on Rhythm of Time, the wizard has done it again. Full of eclectic sounds, feels, genres, and some great trippy keyboard sounds, the album is a Rudess treat. Incredible musicianship is really the main factor in making the sounds mesh together and sound like a cohesive piece of music, and he pulls it off fantastically. And it's not only him. He gets together a great bunch of guys to record this album, including Joe Satriani, Rod Morgenstein, and Steve Morse. The album sets you down the path of the mind of Rudess and his crazy keyboard wizardry.

Time Crunch hits you square in the face early on with some trippy old synth effects and some smashing back tracks and polyrhythmic fun, a la Rod Morgenstein. Rudess really weaves in and out quite fluidly with different sounds and voices with this one, with some great dynamic and part changes working to his great advantage. A strong electronica feel is all throughout the song, with some slower trippier breakdowns and great part changes. The solo section is a great treat, switching between keyboard madness and more mellow guitar soloing effortlessly. Overall, this track is as strong an intro as ever, opening the Rhythm of Time with a screaming head (nice transition, eh?).

Screaming Head is a great rocking track with some mixing of all of Rudess other projects into one great song. Some jazzy instrumentation and some cool keys solos within. The dynamic and part changes are cool and creative, switching from quick and bopping to slow and mischievous with great ease. Some of the keyboard voices seem a little cheesy but almost sound right with Rudess' crazy playing. Again he makes the switches between keys and guitar solos seem like nobody's business and makes the whole song flow fantastically.

Insects Among Us is, simply stated, weird. An interesting little keyboard riffing piece is heard as an intro to the 9 minute track that breaks into some very jazzy instrumentation. I'm not saying the song is bad, because it for certain isn't and is actually quite a gem of the album. It is definitely the jazziest song on the album, with even some straight jazz solos by Rudess, switching up the pace of the album and a lot and adding a great many facets of musical diversity to the album. Overall another strong effort by Rudess on so far a very strong album.

Beyond Tomorrow vastly changes the pace of the album to a more sincere ballad like pace. It is the first vocal track on the album, using some compassionate vocal melodies and carefully crafted harmonies with the piano and backing rhythms. The whole song is very chill and relaxed, displaying yet another facet of Rudess' great musical diversity. The song uses some great instrumentation and soloing in the instrumental section with some really cool sounds and voices to boot. Overall, the song slows the album down a lot and shows Rudess more compassionate side, ending with some really cool instrumentation and experimentation.

Bar Hopping with Mr. Picky is just like the title makes it seem, a really fun jazzy solo song between bass, keyboards, and guitar. The song uses some fantastic polyrhythmic feels and exploration. The guitar solos and keyboard solos are right out of this world, with some really amazing experimentation and psychedelic instrumentation.

What Four is a cool eclectic song with the use of a huge variety of voices and feels. Again Morgenstein brings us some really amazing polyrhythmic feels and some great jazzy rhythms to back Rudess bombastic and insane playing style. You can really see the chemistry these two insanely talented musicians have together. The whole ride of the instruments gives you a great feeling, just like all the other insanely strong tracks on the album.

Ra is a really cool ethnic jam. It uses even more keyboard voices than before, implementing a lot more ethnic and predictably "Egyptian" sounding voicing. Some really cool soloing and instrumentation is all about the track, showing Rudess' ethnic side and yet again another facet of his highly diverse musical influence.

Tear Before the Rain is the second vocal track and the second soft and compassionate ballad. The song is purely beautiful song, implementing delicate melodies and careful piano playing traditional to Jordan's style. The lyrics are actually quite moving, despite the whole album being an instrumental effort. Rudess' delicate composition is truly a gem on the album, with some of the most sincere playing on the album, rather than truly cheesy synthesizer voices and sounds. Bravo, Mr. Rudess, bravo.

ALBUM OVERALL: Rhythm of Time is an almost difficult album to rate. The album has such a wide variety of styles and feels, from metal to jazz to ballad to classical, you almost can't give it a concise, accurate rating with all of Rudess' crazy playing and great musical diversity. He uses so many different voices and sounds that the music at times a just a mesh of psychedelic sounds and at others an absolutely beautiful display of Rudess's skill. Overall, the album is an extremely strong effort and one of Rudess' best solo works. 4+ stars.

Thanks to Lucas for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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