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Patrick Moraz - Patrick Moraz III CD (album) cover

PATRICK MORAZ III

Patrick Moraz

 

Crossover Prog

3.28 | 41 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars So class, remember: acoustic = primitive, electronic = civilised!

Patrick Moraz third album is actually a self titled release, bearing no reference to its ordinal number on either the sleeve or the LP. This is as close as Moraz got to a truly solo album, as he plays the vast majority of the instruments, and provides most of the (limited) vocals. He is joined by percussionist Djamma Correia and a few other supporting percussionists from his native Brazil. Joy Yates provides vocals for "Keep the children alive".

The album is a concept one, based on "the struggle between the primitive world - represented by acoustic instruments, and an encroaching civilised world - represented by electronic instruments". Side one, which is entirely instrumental begins with a positive scenario, as the primitive world develops through evolution. The music is upbeat and happy with synthesiser fanfares and melodic passages.

Things take a turn towards conflict though as the "civilised" world falls into the clutches of war and destruction. This sets the scenario for a sort of cross between "Gates of Delirium" (Yes - Moraz era) and "Karn Evil 9, part 3" (ELP) with the machines and robots destroying the primitives. Thus in the process, the acoustic instruments (piano and percussion) are silenced. The overall effect is an impressive virtuoso performance by Moraz, but I cannot help but feel that the absence of a band environment, and specifically bass guitar, renders the piece slightly toothless.

The second side picks up the story as the machines and robots have gained complete dominance. "Primitivisation" (an amalgamation of "primitive" and "civilisation") repeats the acoustic theme of "Tribal call" from the first track, but this time in electronic format with Moraz singing through a vocoder. Thankfully(!) Joy Yates is on hand to save the world with a plea to save the children by "halting the march of technology". This affords us the rare but undeniably enjoyable diversion of a female vocal on a Moraz song.

The impetus to do something before it is too late, is taken forward by Moraz reversion to piano (primitive, remember?). "Intentions", a delicate improvisation on the various themes of the album, becomes a "hymn" advocating harmony between the two cultures. Thankfully this proposition is accepted, and "Realization" sees the acoustic and electronic instruments playing some of the album's themes together in an upbeat, rhythmic display of unity which climbs to a fireworks like conclusion. I love a happy ending!

This album has much more in common with Moraz first album than it does with any of his disappointing pop based material. There is a genuine prog feel to the suite, which flows as a complete piece. The lack of a band environment does tend to render some of the music less powerful than it really needed to be, but overall his is one of Patrick's finest works.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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