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Patrick Moraz - The Story of I CD (album) cover


Patrick Moraz


Crossover Prog

3.43 | 124 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I remember when this album came out liked it a lot, but didn't really get the use of Brazilian rhythms. This was a time before "World Music", when nobody was really mixing styles like that, or paying much attention to Brazil. Since then I've studied music from there intensively, and was very pleased to hear this record again, and realize that Moraz knew exactly what he was doing. He'd toured extensively with a Brazilian dance troupe, so had really assimiliated the rhythms, and fused brilliantly a Brazilian percussion ensemble with the fusion rhythm section of bassist Jeff Berlin (his 1st album!) and master drummer Alphonse Mouzon (side 2 Andy Newmark).

That's not to say that everything works as well, the classical structures sometimes run along with batucada rhythms without really connecting, but the attempt remains fascinating, since nobody does that, even today (except for the genius Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti, check out his "Academia de Danšas" , 1974, for an amazing example of Brazilian modern classical fusion). You could easily say that Moraz is guilty on this album of all of the excesses that make people hate progressive and fusion music, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. The fact that it works makes this album an amazing acheivement, fueled mainly by the intense passion and energy Moraz poured into it. It's like he wanted to see if he could carry the energy of his solo on "Sound Chaser" (from Yes' "Relayer") over the better part of a whole album, especially in the furious dialogues with guitarist Ray Gomez in "indoors" and the wild synth breaks following. One could also fault the album with having almost no calm or quiet moments in which to recover from the frenzy, but again, that's the game Moraz is playing here, just when you think it's maxed out in its wild furiosity, the next section will up the ante yet again. Not an album for chilling out after a hard day, rather for psyching up for one.

The poppier songs are also high energy, "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "Child in Disguise" are actually quite lovely, and remind somewhat of the better Elton John songs. He's also not afraid to use sort of Bee-Gees-like falsetto choruses typical of the disco music of the time, actually pretty amusing away from the leisure suit ambience of the 70's dance floor. "Impressions" shows a bit of reference to Keith Emerson, as well as the fact that Pat can hold his own to him on piano, in a similiar mix of classical and blues. "Rise and Fall" is where all the elements of the album come together perfectly, the batucada driving the mad synth solos through one dizzying climax after the next, something like Zawinul meets Zappa in inter-galactic duel, culminating in a swirling crescendo, which then subsides in a pretty Orchestron coda (that was Pat's string machine, not the Mellotron), in the first calming moment of the whole album. Here again, he refuses to resolve the work harmonically, preferring instead to spin off into infinity. An audacious, powerful work, unapoligetically progressive.

RoyalJelly | 4/5 |


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