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CD review for fAZE 3 magazine

Liquid Tension Experiment (1998)
-Portnoy, Petrucci, Levin and Rudess
contact info: Magna Carta/ 208 East 51st Street/ #1820, NY, NY 10022
Ph: 716-381-5224/Fax: 716-381-0658
Email: magcart@aol.com

	Well, I dunno, here goes nothing. This CD shows excellence in musicianship, tight 
guitar-hero oriented rock. Dream Theater's drummer, Portnoy and axeman, Petrucci jam out with 
bassist legendary and extraordinaire Tony Levin. Jordan Rudess does faultless and fast keys. 
	This CD is the result a marketing idea along the "supergroup" slant. Get a group together 
of sorts, think up some tunes/jams with room to stretch and call it progressive rock.
	I don't think so. Decent jams but for the most part, predictable, and not progressive.
	Track one, "Paradigm Shift", lets Petrucci stretch in a very, very David Chastain style of 
guitar rock. If you're into that then it's fine. Not enuff funk, syncopation, nor naked soul for me.
Next "Osmosis" does the ethnic/gnu age meander that starts nowhere and winds up there. Filler.
"Kindred Spirits" is a Steve Morse's Dregs piece that is a good mimic. And mimic is all cuz only 
Steve Morse can do his style stuff and pull it off. Unfortunately, this piece suffers what I call the 
"Boston curse", buy the first album and you own all the rest. Not noteworthy, sorry. "The 
Stretch" approaches Miles Davis' keyman, Adam Holzman's stuff, at times, but is too short and I 
gotta ask myself, "What is this snippet for anyway?" We then flow into "Freedom of Speech", a 
Satriani type ballad from his "Surfin'w/the Alien" days. AT LAST THEY TOUCH ON THE 
PROGROCK SHORES!! A keyboard/bass break fugue pulls the blinders of bland rock away and 
we hear Jan Hammer, jazzrock fusion soundbytes of 1970's vintage. Alas, Petrucci just doesn't 
have that true ear for J.McLaughlin, B.Connors, A.DiMeola, or S.Whitaker, and the piece falls 
short of what jazzrock fusion is all about. GET WEIRD AND PLAY YER SOUL GUYS! 
STRETCH! The next track is 2:21 long. That's enuff said about it. "State of Grace" follows with 
a tender Satriani/Beck melodic ballad of inspiration with Roger Williams styled keys and heart-
felt guitar. I give it an okay but it's been done before . . . better. "Universal Mind" blasts you off 
your seat after the previous track. I would've put this on as track two myself and put new agey 
"Osmosis" here. Oh well, too late, unless you're into listener-set program play mode. I get to 
hear Levin some more here on this track but not as much as I'd like. I guess this piece is late 90's 
Steve Morse Band if you need a comparison. A guitar hero piece that ends like a circus tune.

	Last but not least is the final 28:31 minute track, "Three Minute Warning". At last, these 
guys let it all out. I CAN HEAR LEVIN!! Finally! This monster has 5 parts/movements? that are 
pure unadulterated, open jam improv. This is the best track on the CD!! I wished this 
spontanaeity had been breathed into the rest of the CD. You got it right on this one guys. 
BRAVO! I heard the soul of jazzrock fusion and progrock here. Try another CD guys with more 
Tony Levin up front and more improv built around his sound structures. Great musicianship all 
around but the source of inspiration wasn't tapped enough until the final track. Better luck next 
							-John W. Patterson
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