Saturday, June 29, 2013

Patrick Moraz – I

   The pioneering and most creative period in progressive rock history was a span about six years around 1970. After great success of progressive rock groups in early seventies, market demanded more records and concerts while musicians were more and more exhausted. This was the time many musicians started independent projects in various settings. And probably the clearest was turn made by members of Yes. The great success of the band in first wave of progressive rock gave musicians series of long lasting tours with meticulously prepared shows. After Yes released Relayer album, group activity was suspended and musicians decided to release solo albums. During this time all five members of the band (Jon Anderson, Steve Hove, Patrick Moraz, Chris Squire and Alan White) had authorized projects signed with their own names.
   Patrick Moraz was the member of Yes group for less than two years period only. In fact it was time from beginning of Relayer sessions in August 1974 to early 1976. So when he started recording sessions for his own album, he was still the Yes keyboardist. Before his debut LP has been released he quit the band. The original title of the project was I – on the cover graphics, the ridge, labels and notes, even in The Story of I printed inside, small letter “i” designed in characteristic “pin” shape was clearly the title. During next years it became personal logo of Partick Moraz. The I album was also by many listeners considered as self titled. For more convenience in later CD editions album has been called as The Story of I – according to title of the original story published inside the gatefold cover of LP edition.

Patrick Moraz – I (1976)

   As composer and arranger Patrick Moraz gave this album the quality of original concept and consequent finishing. He played vast variety of keyboard instruments, marimbaphone, many additional percussion instruments and alpine horn. The sound of the album is filled with leading singers John McBurnie and Vivienne McAuliffe, many additional singers with Veronique Mueller and The Children of Morat, guitarists Ray Gomez and Auguste DeAnthony, bass player Jeff Berlin and Jean Ristori playing double bass and cello. The augmented group of percussion instruments recorded with more than dozen percussionists of Rio de Janeiro, Rene Moraz and Jean-Luc Bourgeois. On side A of the album featured drummer was Alphonse Mouzon, while on second half of the record drums were played by Andy Newmark.
   Great musicians, especially drummers playing with natural expression are a kind of counterweight for intellectual complexity of this work. From formal point of view, this is precisely made composition in cyclic form of suite type. Patrick Moraz made new and very personal vision of synthesis comprising all individual and universal ideas. It was quite a challenge for progressive rock musicians since late sixties. In seventies this was the area of exploration for different world music artists. Patrick Moraz balanced his own crossover style connecting elements of jazz and rock, world music and classical formal discipline, popular and experimental, semantic and structural. Motoric intensity in some parts generates more fusion jazz than rock associations and reminds of some earlier folk rock ideas, especially these of trance and rhythmic energy advantage. Four stars for idealism and consequence.

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