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Moraz & Bruford - Flags CD (album) cover

FLAGS

Moraz & Bruford

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.77 | 32 ratings

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patrickq
3 stars Flags was the second and final LP by this duo. To me it's very similar to their 1983 debut, Music for Piano and Drums. Both were performed and produced by Moraz and Bruford alone, and except for one cover song on Flags, all compositions were by Moraz or Moraz-Bruford.

The instrumentation on Music for Piano and Drums was restricted to an acoustic piano and an acoustic drumkit, but some songs on Flags also include the Kurzweil 250 synthesizer, which was state-of-the-art at the time, and electronic drum pads (probably Simmons). In another notable difference, Flags includes some postproduction, including overdubs, while Music for Piano and Drums was a very "clean" reproduction of two musicians performing live.

Like its predecessor, Flags opens with a fanfare, "Temples of Joy," which is my favorite song from either album. Unlike anything on Music for Piano and Drums, and nearly anything else on Flags, "Temples" is a structured song as opposed to an improvisation. A few other songs here wouldn't've fit on Music for Piano and Drums, most notably the electronic "Machines Programmed by Genes." Most of the rest of Flags would likely have sounded just as good if rearranged for piano and drums. Bruford takes a solo turn on the Max Roach composition "The Drum Also Waltzes."

The variety in sound and instrumentation makes Flags a more enjoyable listen than Music for Piano and Drums, although it lacks the conceptual purity of its predecessor.

To me, the use of synthesizers on Flags invites comparison to the work of Bruford's eponymous 1977-1980 group, and Flags really pales next to any of those three albums. So, especially for Bruford fans looking for something jazzy, I'd suggest starting with One of a Kind or Feels Good to Me.

patrickq | 3/5 |

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