Jordan Rudess – ‘The Unforgotten Path’ [Review]
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Outside his day job as Dream Theater’s resident keyboard wizard, Jordan Rudess has long been a prolific solo artist in his own right. From out-there electronica (frequently enabled by Rudess’s own range of personalized apps) to the most delicate of solo piano performances, Jordan Rudess has journeyed from the depths of tradition to the ever-expanding outer limits of musical possibility, inviting listeners along for the ride.
The results are, unsurprisingly, consistently beyond world-class. The Unforgotten Path is a collection of improvisations based on timeless melodies that Rudess has repeatedly returned to over the years, a set of personal favourites given a fresh, one-time-only twist. Musicianship-wise, it is matchless.
It would be easy to label The Unforgotten Path as a “for fans only” release – but in reality, anyone with so much as a passing interest in what’s possible with a single Steinway piano and a pair of nimble hands will love this album. For me, Rudess’s renditions of Radiohead’s Karma Police (lyrically melodic, darkly dynamic, and slowly building toward an apocalyptic climax); Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence; and John Lennon’s Imagine (none more timely given the recent Parisian terror attacks) are standout moments – but with seventeen tracks in total, The Unforgotten Path is an album you can keep returning to, safe in the knowledge that you’ll always discover something new.
Overall, The Unforgotten Path is an exceptionally deep and vibrant album you should vanish into immediately.
TMMP RATING: 95% (Essential Listening!)
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