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An Evening With.. by John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess

Traditionally live instrumentals don’t fall under the heading of daring and vibrant. However John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess with the help of Klew Media and Favored Nations, has released a pure gem of improvisation and innovation to the jazz public.

From the first cut of this live jam simply called "An Evening With.." one feels the stirring of virtuosity, as effortless on stage as these two musicians are, they deliver first class sounds, script less, and purely birthed by emotion. Highly skilled artists schooled by the industries best, we experience the vitality and finesse only one can feel from spontaneous melodic magic.

Graduates from the Dream Theatre and the world of progressive rock, Petrucci and Rudess cross genres, with jazz as their focus, to deliver this unique venture. For most crossing that line would be a relentless mission but for Petrucci and Rudess, it was a challenge they took as an unparalleled journey with destinations unknown.

Petrucci’s masterful gift on the guitar along with Rudess directing the ivories to attack at times and embrace when allowed, makes the first performance on this project a true jazz moment of outstanding achievement. "Furia Taurina" should not be critiqued with or by technique but with heated emotion, for the piece blossoms from the heart. Petrucci simply caresses the neck of his instrument and makes love to the audience.

Rudess displays his magic as a pianist in the 4th offering "State of Grace". As you experience this moment of the performance the tears of many fall from his fingertips onto the keys of Rudess’s introduction. Petrucci then offers a march-like stroll along his strings, making this a story built on the intuition from the stage. Improvisation never had significance like this nor ever delivered in such a state, simply a stroll through magnificence....

"From Within" portrays Petrucci as the waterfall, and Rudess, the lake that feeds it. An incredible exhibition of unity between the guitar and piano, both focused and dynamic, this performance takes the audience to places they wish they had been but never have, rekindling dreams of years gone past. A gem in the art of fusing intertwined sounds with an adventurous mindset only Petrucci and Rudess can expose us too.

It should be noted that this performance was a benefit for the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center.

There are times in a writer’s life where words do not allow complimenting a project fully; this is one of those moments in time. It would be tragic not to experience a performance such as the offering Petrucci and Rudess, has lain out before the listening public. " An Evening With.... " through improvisation, spontaneity, magic, and pure instinct married with passion, is an incredible live performance that says to the listener, "wish you were here".

Karl Stober is an international freelance columnist and broadcaster who can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Karl can also be reached at 1-802-380-6065.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess
  • CD Title: An Evening With..
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Favored Nations
  • Tracks: Furia Taurina, Truth, Fife and Drum, State of Grace, Hang 11, From Within, The Rena Song, In The Moment, Black Ice, Bite Of The Mosquito
  • Musicians: John Petrucci (Guitar), Jordan Rudess (Piano)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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