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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jordan Rudess

Feeding the Wheel

Review by Gary Hill

This solo release by keyboard wizard Jordan Rudess covers a lot of musical territory, ranging from hard edged prog and neo-classical to classic era jazz and fusion. The result is quite an entertaining work.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Voice
This extremely brief cut is just an effects laden spoken word intro to the album.
Quantum Soup
A quirky, at times hard-edged funky jazz jam is the basis for this instrumental cut. It turns to a great hard-edged fusion tone to continue the musical wanderings. A killer piano solo erupts at one point. This turns to an old school jazz groove at one point, then moving into funky fusionish modes. The next change is to more hard-edged prog meanderings. It then wanders into a triumphant prog exploration after a time. This composition really smokes.
Shifting Sands
Pretty balladic modes make up the melody for the early portions of this tune. It begins building on that progression, becoming a more traditional prog arrangement. This one turns to some great meaty prog jamming before ending in a balladic style.
Dreaming In Titanium
Funky, high energy jamming makes up the crux of this piece. It turns Zappaish in its quirky meandering. Then it becomes very classical before changing to a playful jazz styling. It gets pretty strange in the outro.
Ucan Icon
A great bass dominated jam is the basis for the early parts of this cut. Next fusion-oriented movements take the piece. It really covers a myriad of styles and tones.
Center of The Sphere
A brief atmospheric percussive instrumental piece, this one serves as an intro to the next cut.
Crack the Meter
This fast paced percussive jam really smokes. All the musicians really scorch on their performances on this one.
Headspace
Staring in sedate, atmospheric tones, this one continues in mellow tones and then begins building in dramatic pretty tones as it carries on. It is a pretty instrumental number.
Revolving Door
Dramatic neo-classical tones begin this one. It starts building in a serious and powerful classically oriented ELPish mode. It gets jazzy after a time, then becomes quite hard edged and heavy prog. This cut really jams and features some hard edged, processed vocals. It breaks to a short piano solo, then gets very classical again before turning again to an ELPish texture, this time in jazzy styles. All in all, this is a very dynamic composition that covers a lot of musical ground.
Interstices
This is a piano solo that crosses between jazzy and neo-classical tones.
Feed The Wheel
Jazzy prog tones make up this instrumental jam. It is quite energetic and covers a lot of musical territory. It becomes pretty hard edged at times. Spoken words with effects, quite similar to the opening of the album, end the song and album.
 
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