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Patrick Moraz - Patrick Moraz III CD (album) cover


Patrick Moraz

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars We have tons of Latin influences here: there are lots of percussions, like xylophone and its derivatives. Some piano parts are very complex and well played, as always. Some songs are very colorful and loaded. This is maybe not exactly an album suited for party, but definitely the songs are not depressing at all. Moraz's pieces are rather dynamic. The keyboards sound a bit like on the Refugee's album. There are his typical moaning mini moog and floating organ parts. The songs are rather progressive. Sometimes he goes into experimental textures, and IMO it doesn't really sound interesting. The more rhythmic songs and piano parts are quite more enjoyable. Moraz is a great keyboards player, but his compositions are sometimes bland or uninteresting. This is not a bad album
Report this review (#33323)
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really like that album and I think its one with the most catchy songs of Moraz. Its really happy music with all this latin dense rythm textures and mixing in a huge pallete of sounds. Alone Primitivisation would be worth to consider the whole album, a piece with a smile and a philosophic touch at the same time.
Report this review (#33324)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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.

Report this review (#114832)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars My version of this album has a slightly different track order compared to what is listed above. The version I have has six tracks instead of seven, but that is only because Temples Of Joy and The Conflict have been put together as one long track. This 15 minute plus piece opens my version and is possibly Patrick Moraz' best solo composition ever. Despite some flaws, it easily betters the best parts from Moraz' debut solo album The Story Of I. However, that first album holds together much better as a whole than this third album.

The first part of this first track - Temples Of Joy - is especially good. As indicated by the title it is a rather joyous number. The Conflict, on the other hand, as similarly indicated by its title, is supposed to be a bit darker and more dramatic. This attempt is somewhat lost, however, because of its lack of instrumental depth and power. Comparing it to a very dramatic and powerful piece like Yes' Gates Of Delirium, for example, (a song which is also about conflict and war) on which Moraz played, it becomes painfully clear what is needed here - a full band. After all, how interesting would Gates Of Delirium be without guitars, bass, vocals and with lots of discrete Latin percussion instead of rock drums? However, the keyboard sound reminds me a bit more of Moraz' previous band Refugee than his sound on Yes' Relayer album. But here the keyboards are less varied and has a somewhat thinner sound. I would love to hear this epic song with a bit fuller sound.

Despite these obvious flaws, I must say that I have been listening to this song quite a lot lately. And I do find it highly enjoyable. If only the remainder of the album could be as good as this first 15 minutes.

The second track (on my version) is called Intentions, it is a decent piano solo number, possibly a studio improvisation. It demonstrates Moraz' impressive piano skills and his unique playing style very well, but it is moderately interesting as a composition. Realization follows and it is another up tempo, very joyous number with Latin percussion and keyboards and not much more. Again, this is good but only moderately interesting from a compositional perspective.

The Latin/Brazilian influences continue on Jungles Of The World which is a jazzier piece with good keyboard playing. On my version this is track four, but above it is listed as the opening number. I feel that it is a bit too low key to be a good opening number.

The two remaining tracks are, surprisingly, vocal numbers and here is where the album kind of loses its direction. These songs are not very interesting and hardly progressive. Primitivisation has a very repetitive rhythmic pattern and 'computorized' vocals. Keep The Children Alive is an quite conventional song with female vocals that I feel is even more out of place on this album. You get a strong feeling that you incidentally shifted from CD to radio on your stereo when this song starts. Too bad that the album would end like this after such a promising start!

This album could have been much better. The addition of a full rock band would have helped a lot. As it stands, the sound of this album is a bit thin. The quality of the compositions is all there is to keep you from getting tired of the same synthesiser sounds. Adding more instruments had helped things a lot, I think. Avoiding out-of-place- vocal material would have helped things along even more.

Still, this is worth having if you are a fan of Patrick Moraz' interesting style. Especially for the very good Temples Of Joy/The Conflict. Three stars because of that one.

Report this review (#208977)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink

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