Get this crazy baby off my head!


John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess

John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess - An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess - 2004 - Favored Nations

This is a simply fantastic work of art! In this album extremely technical challenges mix seamlessly with the beauty of very diverse musical genres, making it a total odyssey from the moment Mr. Petrucci strikes his first chord in Furia Taurina. At moments it seems as though the captivating guitar and the magnificent keys are not the only instruments being superbly played, and whether it is at 20 or 220 BPM, Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci know how to inspire! The first song, “Furia Taurina”, is a stunning composition, combining very spasmodic and erratic time signatures, while at the same time give a very Spanish-like feeling to the jam. My personal favorite part is Jordan’s jazzy solo, which gives a very allegro feeling and groove to the song, and fits perfectly with the rest of the incredible composition. “Truth” is a very different song from “Furia Taurina”. It starts with a very delicate piano, using the higher octaves of the piano and almost giving a blues feeling to the jam. Later on, Petrucci’s guitar enters right on time to give the song its surge of feeling. The chords of “Truth” resemble those of “The Spirit Carries On” by Dream Theater. After that, a single chord is used to improvise freely and very virtuoso-like. Jordan’s VERY fast right hand combines excellently with John’s guitar, which suddenly changes to electric, giving a melancholic sentiment to this composition. Mr. Petrucci’s wild solo demonstrates a miraculous amount of musical wisdom, which few can understand fully, but everybody likes to hear. Later, John finishes his solo and gives Jordan to show off his right hand once again, but this time with a major background, giving a truly beautiful arrangement. Petrucci´s endless guitar chords sound marvelously along with the delicacy of Rudess’s piano. Finally, John closes with another electric guitar marvel. This is one of my favorite songs as a whole from this album. Next is probably the most intriguing jam on the album. Its fast and unison melodies sound exceptional with the beautiful Celtic chords, somewhat resembling music from the Cirque Du Soleil. As well as “Truth”, this song has a lot of much defined shifts between major and minor chords, giving it a very assorted. The moment in which the piano goes solo and Jordan (once again) shows off his velocity potential, the song reaches a very delicate climax, to which the guitar adds on beautifully. Later on, a bluesy feeling is shown just after some very well planned, abrupt key changes. The song ends similar to how it started, giving a very dramatic end. The next song, “State of Grace”, is a divine song. Its simple yet enchanting chord progression is delightful filler to John’s wonderful guitar melody. The electric guitar gives a potent yet subtle feeling to this song. The way the piano and strings contrast with the guitar is mighty and charming. The chords in this song are extremely inspirational and magical. Every shift between melodies can put you on the brink of shedding a tear. It is one of the most admirable works of art I have ever heard. The longest song on the album, “Hang 11”, comes next. Its intro is quite nice and relaxing, while Jordan strikes some very interesting melodies. The 11/4 time signature and the improvisation make this song very delightful to hear, and difficult to play. John’s electric guitar solo and Jordan’s piano solo are very pleasing, but if anything this song’s middle section is a tad too long. Nonetheless, the classical melody at the end is very exquisite and beautifully played in unison. This song has the best soloing, but a sufficient section of this improvising could have easily been removed. Next is Jordan’s solo song. It is of no surprise to basically never stop hearing at least 32nd notes in this charming, but too boastful piece. I mean, don’t take me wrong, it’s nice, but he never stops trilling and arpeggiating absolutely EVERY note! It’s more like an actual solo than a song. The harp voice he uses sounds very ethereal and smooth, though, which gives the song a very relaxing feeling. Basically, quite nice but at ½ tempo would sound MUCH better!!! Next comes “The Rena Song”, the most sentimental song after “State of Grace”. It starts with a very melancholic 60’s clean guitar, followed by a warm, charming piano. John’s picking in this song is superb, and when he enters with the full guitar distortion, the song becomes powerful and quite remarkable. Next follows a quieter, more delicate section, very romantic and happy. It ends with the same melody the guitar has at the beginning, only it is Jordan’s turn to play it. The song is very romantic and subtle, but later gets powerful and really marvelous. It is one of my favorites from this album. Later comes the epic, on the spot “In the Moment”. The loud, fast guitar contrasts excellently with Jordan’s soft chords. It is a track better appreciated live, although it seems as if John and Jordan had it planned out perfectly before playing it. After John’s wild electric solo, Jordan warms up the song with a low, romantic piano. John comes back with more solos, while Jordan does his usual chords and once in a while decides to do an impossible arpeggio. If anything, this song has a very long and uncomfortable ending, finally finishing with an odd accidental by Mr. Petrucci. Overall, this song is very different from the rest of the album, but at the same time keeps its spot there perfectly. Next is a stressful song, “Black Ice”. The intro is ok, being a rocking guitar riff, copied by the piano. The 7/8 time signature gives the song an odd feeling and progression. The interlude in between the rocking intro and the culminating outro is considerably boring and has minutes and minutes of nothing really special. Sure, John and Jordan were enjoying themselves up there, but the audience might have appreciated a 6-7 minute song more. John’s solo at about the 7th minute is fast and attractive, but after a long, desperate wait. The best part is when this slow section ends with crazy trilling and picking, followed by Jordan playing the riff with which John started the song. Jordan really amazes in this section with his fast hands, but not as overwhelming as the melodies in “From Within”. The last song (at least in the newer version) is “Bite of the Mosquito”, a fast, mind-numbing composition with relentless guitar passages and piano chords. Very fast and striking, but Jordan should have shown off as well. It seems as if John is playing with a programmed piano. Nonetheless, a great song to end the album. Overall, this album is a complete odyssey, greatly varying from jaw-opening solos to moments that implant a knot in your throat. It is extremely addictive and captivating, and says “John Petrucci” and “Jordan Rudess” everywhere possible. A great album for DT fans and anybody who likes the combination of metal music with classical and jazz. Heck, even your parents will like this album! – from “An evening with Zeus and Apollo - 93%” By & © - lopez_dreamfan, June 4th, 2005 © © 2002-2013 Encyclopaedia Metallum http://www.metalarchives.com/reviews/Jordan_Rudess/An_Evening_with_John_Petrucci_%26_Jordan_Rudess/53810/

Back in the early and all through the late 2000's, Dream Theater was the hottest band around. Many would question that statement regarding that most of their albums from that time period are not among their most brilliant works (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence excepted), but looking only to the band's studio output would be undermining all of their hard work, dedication and, most of all, pure and unadulterated talent and passion in playing music; you can see in any of their live recordings from that time the passion they have when playing, how they pour their souls into what they are doing, specially in the Live in Budokan and Score albums. What does this all has to do with this album? Well, nevertheless all the band members were putting some of their most impressive efforts into Dream Theater's albums, that period in time was also fertile in successful side projects by all of the band members, either with other bands, such as Transatlantic, Jelly Jam and Liquid Tension Experiment, or with solo projects, much like did John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess in releasing solo material. An Evening With John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess manages to merge both things that said era of Dream Theater had together: the side project and solo project. This live recording brings us an unique presentation by the band's guitarist and keyboardist, two of the band's main creative forces behind it all as well as two of the most gifted and talented musicians in current progressive rock. This record, however, showcases them both in a place that we usually don't see: Petrucci stays (for the most part) outside of his heavy metal comfort zone of hurling countless notes at us and delivers an impressive, emotional and at times unexpected guitar lines that vary from jazz, classic guitar, blues and classic progressive rock, just to mention the most apparent styles he portrays in his guitar. Here, I believe, even the critics of his work at Dream Theater would agree that his performance is far from cold and heartless technical guitar lines he does at the famous progressive metal band. As for Jordan Rudess, we do see a different side of him than we usually see at DT: the flamboyant, overly technical and multifaceted keyboard wizard. Nevertheless, for those who follow his solo work this kind of performance would not come to a surprise; the subtle and yet impressive ways he can twist and turn a single melody line into something incredibly good and unexpected without resorting to elaborate sounds or equipment can surprise even the most experienced of music listeners. All songs from the live performance itself (excepting State of Grace, which was written in Liquid Tension Experiment) are original compositions for this presentation alone, or so I presume since I have never seen or heard they being played before or after, use extensive improvisation from both players for large parts of the performance, what give an even more impressive and fresh feel to each song. As mentioned before, the music's tone here is definitively not what one would expect from members of a progressive metal band; indeed the introspective and elated feel to the melodies played here accentuate the distance from their rather aggressive and powerful side, so often seen in Dream Theater. The extensive use of acoustic instruments (or, in Rudess's case, the sound of acoustic instruments like the piano or the harp) emphasize that tone, even though Petrucci does uses his electric guitar quite a lot (but not in a heavy metal manner or attitude, though) and Rudess sparsely uses synthesizers/synthetic sounds. The only exception is the last song, Bite of the Mosquito, which is a studio version of the famous Rimsky-Korsakov song Flight of the Bumblebee. For me, it is only here to showcase the technical prowess of both instrumentalists, specially if you take into account how fast it is played, and serves to set a contrast from the rest of the album, all based on emotional and sensible playing by both Petrucci and Rudess; if that's the case, mission accomplished. The moment captured in this album, almost an hour and a half of pure musical bliss, testifies the inventiveness and quality of both this musicians amazing compositional and playing abilities. Indeed, John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess show to all that they definitively not bound to the realms of progressive metal that made them famous, as well as that they are incredibly skillful outside that field of music. For that, I believe that the most honest rating would be 5 stars. Review by & © CCVP from “One of the best performances by two musicians who do not conform themselves in just one thing.” © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3406

The story goes that this was done as a small recording, with Petrucci and Rudess wishing to address their alter egos and write in a variety of styles. The majority of the songs on here are largely improvised on, but why not! They are masters of improvisation. Rudess has had great experience on his Rod Morgenstein projects and is known to be able to create amazing things when he does improvise...and it shows! John Petrucci is just naturally a guitarist who exceeds almost anyone. Steve Vai heard the recordings and said it was ingenious work and released it on his Favoured Nations label. One of my favourite live albums of all time. It is brilliance through with so much consistency. Petrucci and Rudess show that they aren't just progmetal masters like many would know them for, but have a large appreciation for so many styles. Jordan comes naturally from a progrock and classical background. Petrucci can just play anything he wants. These two are both some of the greatest in the world at thie instruments, and here they both show their compositional and technical sides beautiful. Every track is incredible. From Rudess's piano solo on Fife and Drum (which takes you to a beautiful place) and John Petrucci's emotion in In the Moment, this album proves to be a masterpiece. Review by & © nathan058 from “What an amzing live album!” © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3406

Nine live tracks and one studio track by bandmates John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess, best known as the guitarist and keyboard players with Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment. The album is a one-off live concert of original and mainly improvised tunes covering a variety of musical styles. Tracks 1-9 were performed live on June 10th 2000 at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack, New York. Track 10 is a studio track. This is mainly a progressive rock album without the metal you might associate with these two great artists. However you don’t have to be a shred or metal fan to appreciate the genius, musicianship and compositional skills of these two magnificent musicians. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. The album was first released in 2000 on John Petrucci’s own Sound Mind Records label, and reissued in 2004 on Steve VAI's Favored Nations label. Listen to John Petrucci’s memorable playing on Dream Theater’s brilliant “Train of Thought” album, and the “Rudess Morgenstein Project” album with Jordan Rudess on keys and Rod Morgenstein on drums and percussion [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 177 Mb]


1 Furia Taurina 10:10
2 Truth 9:48
3 Fife and Drum 9:30
4 State of Grace 5:45
5 Hang 11 11:38
6 From Within 5:21
7 The Rena Song 7:03
8 In the Moment 6:27
9 Black Ice 10:54
10 Bite of the Mosquito (studio version) 1:53

All tracks composed by John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess except Track 6 by Jordan Rudess, Track 7 by John Petrucci, and Track 10 based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”


John Petrucci – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Jordan Rudess – Keyboards, Piano

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