Reviewed by MJBrady on 27 Oct 2001
This has been a long awaited cd for me, as I have yet to hear anything sub-par from this prodigious musician. And after seeing the stellar line-up my curiosity was elevated even higher. Minutes after first hearing the first couple songs, it was apparent, that Jordan Rudess is one of todays most gifted composers and performers, making us, in the progressive community fortunate to have such a caliber of talent lending his efforts to the genre. His compositions are as emotional as they are technical, each song is an entirely different musical score to a vignette unseen. Surrounding himself with other genius only adds to the magic of the cd. Terry Bozzios' drumming and percussive works has never sounded better, since his days with UK, Jordan's compositions really brought out the best in his already well-documented talents, the chemistry is simply awe inspiring between them. If you are a long-time TB fan, this could be his most impressive work on the kit to date. Both Steve Morse, and John Petrucci, are guesting on guitars in but a few songs on the cd, but their contributions are very well placed, and show each's signature sound when called upon.
The music is a culmination of many of Jordans' prior projects, you can hear equal parts Rudess/Morganstein, Dregs, and Liquid Tension Experiment, though the music is much more focused than any of these three bands. It's no surprise that Jordan has included more of the heaviness into his music that he has been exposed to with these bands, and considering he writes as a keyboardist this is a rare ingredient, as the guitars and drums get to share center stage with his virtuoso talents on the keyboard.
This is a cd that requires close listens (preferrably headphones or good equiptment), and repeated listens as well, the depth of content in the songs is stunning, and will bring a new surprise with each successive replay. My feelings are that Jordan Rudess' exceptional skills not only as a master musician, but studio savvy, and techological know how, could succeed in many musical environments: Movie Scores, classical piano, studio musician, studio technician, etc. Yet he remains true to the world of progressive music, and with his prolific sense of compositional genius, we can only hope to hear more of the mastery that you will discover on "Feeding the Wheel".