An Evening with John Petrucci & Jordan Rudessby John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess
Evening with John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess is an unheralded recording by Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment alumnus John Petrucci, and Jordan Rudess is a unique entry in the Dream Theater family discography. Recorded live in Nyack, New York, the duo performed a mixed set of acoustic and electric (guitar only) compositions. Both players are world-class musicians, but Rudess in particular demonstrates his well-rounded skills, proving why he is an in-demand session player for the likes of David Bowie and Paul Winter. Petrucci too is a fine musician, but lacks the harmonic and rhythmic sophistication to serve as a strong accompanist. This limitation does not prevent the session from being enjoyable, in fact, it is Petrucci's energetic soloing that provides the most excitement. It was obvious that both players had several ideas and styles they wanted to explore, which are done so with restraint and sensitivity. The opening "Furia Taurina" finds Petrucci displaying his DiMeola-like chops on acoustic guitar and ranks as one of his best recorded moments. The most interesting track proves to be "Fife & Drum," which is both technically challenging and musically stimulating. Dream Theater, the band, became successful for several reasons, but the primary ones being that of hard work and a constant desire to push themselves. It is obvious on this recording that these two fine players relish those same values, and while some cuts work better than others, the music here can truly be labeled "progressive."
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When John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess came together on June 10th 2000 to play material that would eventually end up on An Evening With, it was as if the mythical creatures of the netherworld convened in a distant castle, in a distant land, ruled and careened by evils and magic never to be seen or repeated about since, mixing knowledge through some arcane, esoteric language known as the sweet, sweet music of Mr. Petrucci and Mr. Rudess. As this meeting raged on the god Zeus descended from on high to preside over this impromptu collection of the greatest minds and performers of the galaxies and worlds past and present. When I hear this recording I shed a tear, for I was there at that grand table as Centaurs and Wilderbeasts danced in a feverish and mystical gallop as Zeus slapped his ample hands together, perfectly in time. We drank wine mulled from the sweetest nectar in chalices made from gold and precious rubies, dancing until morning in a trance that was as much groove as it was magic. This music takes me there. It makes me question whether Petrucci and Rudess are in fact human, robots, aliens from another galaxy, or mythical beings from a kingdom of yore. Wisened beyond their years, this music will change your life forever, for the better and hopefully transport you into another dimension that, with any luck, you will never return from again. Good Luck.