Jordan Rudess / Steve Horelick – Intersonic (2018) review

JORDAN RUDESS / STEVE HORELICK

Intersonic (2018 – LAZY BONES RECORDINGS – USA)

http://www.lazybones.com/artists/jordan-rudess-steve-horelick-electric

It may surprise many people who listen to this recording but it was all improvised. Yes, both musicians simply sat down, played each instrument, responding, listening closely to each other and themselves, the tones, textures, phrasing, timbre and atmosphere, and thus the music was created. Of course many years of experience performing this way is the success of such an outcome. The compositions are a million miles from piddling, pretending or amateurish hodgepodge. In fact, the music is outstanding. And that is what one would expect if you know anything about Jordan Rudess (former keyboard whiz for Dixie Dregs and now permanent member of Dream Theater, designer of several musical synth apps and founder of Roli Seaboards), or Steve Horelick (founder of The Electronic Art Ensemble, an experimental electronic noise band, and more well known for his incredible amount of television theme music and film scores – such as a baseball documentary HBO series called “When It Was a Game,” which earned him his first EMMY nomination – Steve has done over 350 scores for films, TV, and games).

Using a long list of instruments (and of course gadgets/software/wonderment), Jordan and Steve build magical musical structures that at times remind me of Mark Isham (without the trumpet), Jam Hammer, Colin Towns, Bjorn Jason Lindh (in his ‘Atlantis’ period), Keith Jarret, Duncan MacKay (on his ‘Score’ solo), with alternating flavors of Roedelius, Rick Wakeman, Vangelis, Tony Banks, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. That is what adds to the eminence of ‘Intersonic’. Piano and all else trade celestial with stellar beauty. The balance between experimental and song format is blameless. Same goes for the atmospheres created going from sparse to rich and huge engulfing washes, and grand themes. Some very highly engaging moments reach epic soundtrack style in the mold of such greats as Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. You can certainly hear the input of Steve Horelick throughout. Nothing about this set of compositions seems like improvised music, so for all ye skeptics, put your money on ‘Intersonic’ for a truly great listening experience.

A bonus download card comes with the CD so you have three more tracks to download and add to the main songs. I truly loved this release and added it to my permanent library. It surprised me how scored and detailed it was. As if it took them a couple of years to put together and record. The piano parts alone are stunning and unforgettable. You will want to listen many times. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Reviewed by Lee Henderson 3 – 27 – 2018

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