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Rachmaninoff to Grieg

Ivory tinker extraordinaire Jordan Rudess talks about the heaviest keyboard riffs of all the time. Watch out for Jon’s entry, and it’s probably not what you think…

9 Comments to “Rachmaninoff to Grieg”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m not surprised at all, it’s also Rick Wakeman’s favorite Hammond B3 solo. Plus the only commercial chart topper with a Hammond solo of that length (and that wild!), it just goes on and on and on.

    Fact of the matter is that Jon – schooled by his lengthy solos with the Artwoods – was already a great improviser on the early Mark I releases while Ritchie was still finding his feet (Ritchie didn’t come into his own until In Rock was recorded, but when he did he was a real trailblazer).

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Wonderful insights from Jordan Rudess & his favourite heavy keyboard moments. So many, if not all of my favourites right there. Excellent to see Edvard Grieg, (Greig) was the original spelling from Scotland (Clan Gregor) before his grandfather placed the i before the e after relocating to Norway. Just a little nod to my Scottish surname from my fathers side. Go Edvard, wonderful as always. How is that Edgar Winter ‘Frankenstein’ instrumental. I only mentioned that recently regarding the origins of the term ‘heavy metal’ comments. Thanks for posting this article, excellent. Cheers.

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    Did I name Edvard Grieg ‘Edgar’ thinking of the Edgar Winter ‘Frankenstein’ music? Anyway of course it is Edvard Grieg. Cheers.

  4. 4
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    It was Jon’s Hammond playing on those first 3 DP albums that got me hooked on DP! Brilliant!!

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    Classic rock keyboard players. Tony Banks is probably the most melodic player I have heard along with Richard Wright. Keith Emerson the most technically gifted & outrageously dominant. Rick Wakeman the most flamboyant, versatile & progressive in many ways. Jon Lord the best at the blues & classical power playing & the wonderful Ken Hensley, heavy, dramatic & dark but subtle also. That is my take on them anyway, in a nutshell & from many of my favourite bands of course. A great list from Mr Rudess. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Never mind O’Gregor, we knew what you meant.

  7. 7
    Dr. Bob says:

    How about adding Don Airey’s riff on Mr. Crowley to make it an even dozen and representation of a heavy metal song?

    I enjoyed the inclusion of Uriah Heep. I actually got into them before I knew about Deep Purple. A very underrated band in my opinion.

    Juxtoposing heavy rock and heavy classical music riffs was an interesting way of showing the influence of musicians with classical training on the development of heavy rock.

  8. 8
    MacGregor says:

    @ 7 – yes indeed the classical & jazz influenced players in the rock music bands from the earlier era’s really opened up rock music in general. Don’t get me wrong I really do enjoy the simplistic approach to songwriting & catchy melodic songs & history has many wonderful moments of great songs for us to enjoy. However there is something very special in the ‘progressive’ & ‘fusion’ bands & musicians that are approaching rock music with greater influence & diversity. Where would we be without it? Bored senseless probably. The classical & jazz influence in rock music makes it far more interesting to my ears. Talking of interesting, I often wonder how Jordan Rudess plays in a ‘metal’ or ‘progressive metal’ band like Dream Theater. All that chugging guitar riff noise would be getting in his way of really showing his chops I do think. I have always wondered why DT have a keyboard player in many ways. Apart from a ‘symphonic’ approach to certain arrangements at times, there isn’t any room for a virtuoso keyboard player to my ears. Each to their own as we say. Cheers.

  9. 9
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    For whatever it’s worth with perhaps trivial music details, I first witnessed Jordan on stage with The Dixie Dregs circa 1994 (My NY Rangers won their last Stanley Cup!) at dinner theater Club Bene in New Jersey, a club myself and countless others hung with Steve well after gigs. This prior to Jordan joining Dream Theater. I asked around the club who this cat is/was and a few in from Long Island filled me in. Fast forward to Moogfest 2005 when I sat next to him watching Keith and Rick performing. A total down to earth cat, I must leave it at that!

    At the end of the gig, Bob was just ahead of me walking out to 42nd St. I had a copy of he on the front cover of Keyboard magazine. I exclaimed pleasantries and asked him to sign it. He asked me my name, that being Bob, and he sh*t eating grin said “What a great name!” And God rest his soul, he passed Above And Beyond just a few months later….

    Ted :>

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