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4 stars Denis Rea and his Moraine live at Nearfest 2010.

It is odd when a band release one studio album and then follows it up with a live album. In this case, the matter is not that simple. Yes, this is a Moraine live album. But the material here also incorporate Denis Rea's material from outside Moraine too. He released the excellent solo album Views From Chicheng Precipice in his very busy year annus stressilis 2010. Maybe not good Latin, but you get my drift. And then there was the Iron Kim Style album too.

Moraine gives us over an hour of intense eclectic progressive rock which reminds me about the music Mahavishnu Orchestra gave us back in the 1970s. Moraine is in the same territory. Listening to this album is a perspiring experience due to the intensity of the music. But this album and the live performance also have a more thoughtful segment in the form of a ten minutes long suite (Disoriental Suite) lifted from Denis Rea's abovementioned solo album Views From Chicheng Precipice. A superb suite, it is. The rest of this live album is also great with an emphasis of breaking down barriers between jazz and prog. The rhythm structures is eclectic. The music is played as in fusion. This album straddles both genres with some Yes structures played with a Mahavishnu Orchestra like intensity and musicianship.

This is by no means easy listening music so beware. But this album is worth checking out if intense eclectic prog, bordering to fusion, is your thing. But don't expect an easy ride.

4 stars

Report this review (#574508)
Posted Thursday, November 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars One year after their stunning debut Moraine found themselves at NEARFest, by which time the line-up had changed. Stephen Cavitt was now sat in the drum seat, but the most interesting change was the departure of cellist Ruth Davidson and the introduction of James DeJoie (baritone saxophone, flute and percussion). This has changed the dynamic of the band for the better, as they have even more depth and width than previous. The album itself contains interpretations from Dennis's solo album 'Views From Chicheng Precipice', which although not released until 2010 had been recorded prior to Moraine's debut and featured all of those who had been involved with 'Manifest Density' as well as James, plus of course songs from the debut plus some that have yet to be made available elsewhere.

This is fusion combined with avant-garde combined with prog combined with whatever on earth they feel like playing at the time. Although there is more improvisation with this album than with the debut, as would be expected in front of a live audience, there is still the complex control that made the debut so impressive. The use of baritone sax definitely gives the band a bottom end that previously was unavailable, and the loss of the cello is not noticed. There are times in some of the longer numbers when the guys suddenly take off and it is if they are as one, a multi-armed multi-headed being that is in total control although it may seem that anarchy is going to prevail. They can go from chaos to structure at will, and the change is so dramatic that it catches the listener off guard.

I gave the debut 5 *'s, and rightfully so, but I want to give this one more!!!!

Report this review (#910846)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013 | Review Permalink

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