Jordan Rudess | Notes On A Dream

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Dream Theater official website Jordan Rudess official website

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Classical: Piano solo Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Notes On A Dream

by Jordan Rudess

Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for Dream Theater has recorded solo piano versions of some of Dream Theater's favorite ballads as well as creating some original, progressive piano pieces.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Through Her Eyes
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5:24 $0.99
2. Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
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6:06 $0.99
3. Perpetuum Mobile
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2:15 $0.99
4. The Silent Man
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4:25 $0.99
5. Another Day
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5:36 $0.99
6. Hollow Years
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4:13 $0.99
7. The Grand Escapement
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4:22 $0.99
8. The Spirit Carries On
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5:44 $0.99
9. Speak to Me
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6:42 $0.99
10. The Answer Lies Within
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4:16 $0.99
11. Collision Point
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1:11 $0.99
12. Vacant
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3:20 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Notes On a Dream

Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for Dream Theater has recorded solo piano versions of some of Dream Theater's favorite ballads as well as creating some original, progressive piano pieces.


Reviews


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Rich Wilson

Work of a Modern Day Genius
Jordan Rudess has released an album of his own piano interpretations of Dream Theater songs, and it's mightily impressive stuff. Sifting through the DT back-catalogue and selecting the more mellow tracks, he has re-arranged them and added his own startling flourishes to them. Probably the most notable feature of the album is that he has retained those instantly recognisable melodies from such tracks as 'Hollow Years', 'The Silent Man' and 'The Answer Lies Within' yet arranged them in such a way that they have almost taken on a new and mesmerising identity.

When Jordan is writing and perfoming with Dream Theater, his work is mind-blowing enough. But you have to remember that he is a classically trained performer. And although he unquetionably adores his DT "day job", he also clearly has a insatiable desire to continue to write and perform on the piano. Album's such as 'Notes From A Dream' are merely a reminder of that other half of his musical identity. The melding of the two facets of his work is simply stunning and one that deserves to be heard by a larger audience than just DT fans. Any lover of classical music, would, if they rise above any snobbery against a musician who has made his name in the prog rock field, see the virtues of his work. And there are plenty of comparisons that can be made in the classical world, with tracks like 'Through Her Eyes' having a style that can accurately be described as Dream Theater meets Rachmaninov. It really is that alluring. It would also be intriguing to see how the classical world would view his technique and creations, and I can only hope that a copy of his album has been sent to the likes of Gramophone or International Piano magazine for their appraisal. Such reviews could only be positive and would rightly allow a wider audience access to an album that is elegant, adventurous and the work of a modern day genius.

Muzikman

New appreciation for Dream Theater
Muzikman
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The new Jordan Rudess album Notes On A Dream is a like the beacon far off in the distance that will lead us all back from whence we came. In spirit, that light brings him home where he belongs.

This correlation also applies to the artist getting back to his roots and giving the nod to the classical underpinnings of his music. The 70s prog-rock influences of such bands as Gentle Giant and Genesis are sited as well. These bands helped to launch a fabulous career and give Dream Theater a partner in making some of the most exciting and progressive music over the last 20 some years.

In a word the 12 tracks on this recording are Dream Theater favorites that Rudess decided to interpret in their most simplest and elegant form through the acoustic piano.

The seed was planted by Jordan's wife Danielle, then it eventually germinated after much thought and a process that the artist explains as difficult at first. The hard work paid off as it all resulted in a beautiful flower blooming showing off all its colors. I know this hardly sounds like an introduction to Dream Theater songs- the powerful progressive metal all fans of the band know so well. So where are all the churning and swirling keyboards that Jordan so expertly provides for the band here? Think of a man taking the dark and powerful and revealing the lighter gentler side of the music by peeling off all the layers and revealing one stand alone level as statement to the true essence of how these compositions came together from one band member's perspective. Let us not forget the improvisational aspects of what is accomplished through this admittedly risqué and complex process. Some songs are instantly recognizable and others may take a bit longer to sink in at first. This is all dependent on your knowledge of the Dream Theater music and how personally in touch you may be and what level of intensity that relationship is.

The hard core rockers that love the Dream Theater sound may be totally taken aback and not able to see the forest through the trees and others will be able to hear and feel what the new meanings this talented artist has brought to each track.

Listening to "Another Day" which is flawless and brilliant, cries out for James LaBrie to accompany Jordan through the journey yet it is so powerful and convincing that I could hear James singing all the words as Jordan tickled the ivories and coaxed every note to sing along in the place of the lead singer. This is a very convincing and beautiful interpretation of one of Dream Theater's most memorable tracks.

After a few listens you realize that all 12 tracks are exceptional and find a new appreciation for the music of Dream Theater and how one member can take these complex progressive metal rock tracks and turn them inside out and make them all new, like a new coat of glossy paint.

My respect for the artist, his band and Classical music made this an easy transition and with each listen I began to fall in love with this album. Jordan Rudess really does make this experience Notes On A Dream. =

Tal Ofer

Notes on a Dream - Review
In the past decade, keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, has released two rock solo albums: Feeding the Wheel and Rhythm of Time; released an album comprised of his personal interpretation of prog rock covers: The Road Home; and, released an album of piano improvisations performed at a benefit for 9/11 entitled 4NYC. Rudess is closing his musical decade with the release a new album in which he plays piano renditions of Dream Theater’s popular ballads. There are neither guest musicians nor other musical instruments, just pure classical piano. The album can be ordered on Jordan's website and also for digital download.

The track list is indeed surprising, since most of the songs that he picked are songs that were written before he joined Dream Theater. Naturally for Jordan it would have been easier to take songs in which he was involved in writing and give them new interpretation, but Rudess, who is an integral part of the band and someone who grew up in the progressive rock world of the 70s is always looking for musical challenges so it’s not surprising that he chose20to travel back through time to the songs from Images and Words and Awake.

Rudess starts the album with Through Her Eyes from his first album with the band, Scenes from a Memory- an album that revived the musical career of the band. Originally a slow ballad, Rudess adds embellishment and colors the song beautifully. The track, Perpetuum Mobile, is an original piece he wrote which was influenced by the Baroque genre, a genre which shows off Jordan’s technique and feel, dramatic and complex playing.

Another Day starts with 1:30 of an eclectic and delightful piano improvisation and continues with solid playing with Rudess diverse arrangements. The second original piece on the album, The Grand Escapement, is a difficult track to play with its various counterpoints. Rudess proves his supreme dexterity as a pianist and you can only imagine how such a fascinating song would sound if we ever had the opportunity to hear Dre am Theater play it all together. Rudess performs all of the orchestra parts on his piano in The Spirit Carries On, one of the most exciting songs in this album. Following that, Rudess surprisingly picks Speak to Me, a song that never made it onto one of the band's albums, and adds lots of depth and emotions.

Jordan Rudess proves that the piano is the ultimate musical instrument for expressing feel and emotions, and does it in the best way. The classical influences are obvious, and for a pianist like me who grew up on classical music from an early age, it's a delight. He remains loyal to the original melodies but doesn't hesitate to enter his own interpretations whenever needed, which adds a lot of interest into the album. To sum up, this album comes at a great time, just moments before the release of the new Dream Theater album. It combines melodic songs, offers us up the best keyboard player the band ever had and proves that his creative ideas are infinite. It doesn't matter how strong a Dream Theater fan you are, this album is a must for everyone who knows to appreciate quality music.

Dominique Van Hauteghem

Jordan Rudess NOAD
Jordan Rudess
Notes On A Dream
As on other releases (‘Secrets Of The Muse’) Jordan Rudess likes to experiment with pure arrangements. That his favorite instrument of choice mostly comes down to the piano will be a surprise to no one. Also on this ‘Notes On A Dream’ he concentrates on his piano and does that on a rather special way. Next to a couple of new compositions like ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ and ‘Collision Point’ he also takes a number of Dream Theater songs and strips them to the bone. What remains are breathtaking, pure but above all beautiful piano versions of e.g. ‘Through Her Eyes’, ‘Lifting Shadows Of A Dream’, ‘The Silent Man’, ‘Hollow Years’, ‘The Spirit Carries On’ and ‘The Answer Lies Within’. This is the ideal album as a background when friends are visiting for dinner, a romantic tête-a-tête or as a relaxation therapy while taking a hot bath or while reading a book. Even when you feel the need to develop deep philosophical thoughts this album might help to get into the right atmosphere. Although it might prove to be very hard to not be distracted by the recognizable melodies and you might find yourself humming rather than thinking. You can buy this album on Jordan’s website (jordanrudess.shop.musictoday.com).
Dominique Van Hauteghem