When you mention the keyboardist, Jordan Rudess you think of his current tenor with progressive metal band Dream Theater. There is so much more to Jordan outside of Dream theater and on Prime Cuts, you get a glimpse into that world. Starting with his involvement in Liquid Tension Experiment with fellow DT mates John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy along with legendary bassist Tony Levin. Three tracks from LTE are Universal Mind (which starts off Prime Cuts), a Vapourspace remix of Osmosis and Liquid Dreams. All of these selections are Prime (pun intended) examples of that band’s best material.
There are also two vocal tracks from Jordan’s Rhythm Of Time album “Tears Before The Rain” and “Beyond Tomorrow”. Both feature Kip Winger and Jordan Rudess sharing lead vocals. They show the more tender side of the Jordan Rudess spectrum.
Some other songs are “Revolutionary Etude” which was taken from the Magna Carta Steinway to Heaven album. “Faceless Pastiche”, a duet between Jordan and drummer/percussionist Rod Morgenstein , is from Modern Drummer Presents Drum Nation Volume One. These two guys together form an alliance that could be reminiscent of Moraz/Bruford.
Also included is ELP’s Hoedown which was handled expertly by Rudess, Robert Berry, Simon Phillips, Jerry Goodman, and Marc Bonilla. Just in the same way that Robert Berry, Jordan Rudess added his own flavor to this classic piece of music. Well with some help.
Plus as an added bonus, there’s a cd-rom video “In The Studio With Jordan Rudess” where he talks about the songs on Prime Cuts. This compilation makes me, and I’m sure others, go out and get some of Jordan’s solo albums to hear more of his fantastic work. It also is, in my opinion, the best place to start for those unknown to the mastery of Jordan Rudess. I would rank this high on the best releases o2006.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on June 8th, 2006