Exposé Online banner

Levin Minnemann Rudess — Levin Minnemann Rudess
(Lazy Bones Recordings 7 39523 37924 8, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-01-22

Levin Minnemann Rudess Cover artYou throw Tony Levin and Jordan Rudess together in a studio, and people are going start thinking it's a Liquid Tension/Trio Experiment session and Mike Portnoy hasn't showed up yet. Then in walks Marco Minnemann, and you wonder what's going on. The end result is a lot like LTE without much guitar (though Minnemann plays a bit of guitar, it's not dominant in the arrangements), which in theory might resemble other keyboard trio line-ups. Theory mostly fails in this case, partly due to the wide variety of different sounds Rudess gets from his keyboards, some of which sound very guitaristic. Maybe it's my background as a keyboard player, and maybe it's because I (like many) have a nostalgic view of classic analog keyboard instruments, but I often have trouble with digital instruments, especially when they're used to immitate and warp the sounds of other instruments. My attitude is: "If you want a guitar sound, get a friggin' guitar!" And when you do something like cross the waveforms of two instruments and then apply pitch-bend to the notes in a way that neither original could, it's just a sound that annoys me. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way. But on this release, Rudess doesn't delve into too much of that kind of stuff. You'll hear some tones reminiscent of classic instruments, and a lot of things you can't really identify, but for the most part it all comes off well, even if a purist more hard-nosed than I might still object. The tunes, as one might expect, are complex and full of technical fire, but none of these guys is a mere show-off out to prove how many notes they can squeeze into a bar. Music like this walks a fine line between quality and excess, and seems to polarize a lot of listeners. This listener finds it leaning to the quality side, relatively cliché-free and a lot of fun.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Marco Minnemann, Tony Levin, Jordan Rudess

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Legendary Pink Dots - 25th Anniversary Single – 2006 marks the 25th anniversary of The Legendary Pink Dots and the band toured extensively in the US and Europe this spring and summer. It is rare occurrence that a band remains together this long and...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues