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Moraz & Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Moraz & Bruford Music For Piano And Drums album cover
3.26 | 44 ratings | 8 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Children's Concerto (4:54)
2. Living Space (3:53)
3. Any Suggestions (5:39)
4. Eastern Sundays (6:48)
5. Blue Brains (4:49)
6. Symmetry (3:42)
7. GalatŤa (5:22)
8. Hazy (6:25)

Total time 41:32

Bonus tracks on 2004 remaster:
9. Blue Brains (Live) (4:48)
10. Flags (Live) (4:22)
11. Hazy (Live) (10:38)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Bruford / drums, co-producer
- Patrick Moraz / piano, co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Ralph Augsburger painting

LP Editions EG ‎- EGED33 (1983, UK)

CD Editions EG ‎- VJD-5006 (1989, Japan)
CD Winterfold ‎- BBWF001CD (2004, UK) Remastered by Nick Smith with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to Artur Pokojski for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MORAZ & BRUFORD Music For Piano And Drums ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MORAZ & BRUFORD Music For Piano And Drums reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The title of this album talks by itself: "Music for piano and drums". Despite the 2 musicians involved played for Yes, this record has NOTHING to do with the progressive rock band. The music here consists in sometimes lively & joyful sometimes dark & enigmatic rhythmic and/or delicate piano with a strong jazz influence combined with absolute jazz drums! Bill Bruford has a COMPLETELY different style here to what he used to show us in the past: for the first time, he really focuses on the cymbals arrangements; and he succeeds EXTREMELY well! Patrick Moraz is really an OUTSTANDING piano player, and he clearly shows it here! He can play VERY fast and scattered significant parts, and his piano has a really pleasant, rich & colorful sustained sound. The OUTSTANDING side 2 is much more catchy and accessible, and it remains VERY elaborated and complex. The side one is more experimental, although is still remains very good and structured. We have the proof here that Bruford with Yes does not use all his talent...Moraz & Bruford together is a WINNING combination!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Review by Rizal B Prasetijo

While the two names are considered as the progressive rock gurus, you shouldn't think Moraz-Bruford's Music for Piano and Drums (October 1983) is a progressive rock album. In fact, this is probably one of complicated 1980s progressive jazz albums that I've ever heard.

It is no strange for me that both well respected musicians played the genre as Moraz, who was classically trained at the Conservatory of Lausanne, played jazz before entering the prog rock ring, while Bruford was influenced heavily by American jazz when he was a teen.

The album is opened up by a 4:54 composition titled Children's Concerto, describing the happines enjoyed by children seen from the adult perspective. While you might not fully remember and, thus, appreciate your childhood, you must sometimes miss the joy that you had while you were kid. And that is precisely what these two gurus want to convey in their musical languages. Moraz's fast piano tempo and Bruford's forceful, highly precise, polyrhythmic drumming style, especially by articulating his cymbals and bass drums, are able to portray the laugh and happines of these children (or being kids). Amazing!!!

The next compositions: Living Space (3:53) and Any Suggestions (5:39) are more expiremental compositions for my ears. In my interpretation, both musicians attempted to describe the three dimensional nature of a room (achieved by the combination of Moraz's forceful stacato and Bruford's snare drums) in the Living Space, threw out line of notes, and asked listener how well their musics are in Any Suggestions. Bruford's jazzy cymbals and bass drums blended well with Moraz's piano liners in Any Suggestion, but I do not clearly see the essence of his almost 60 solo drumming at the end of the composition.

The 6:48 Eastern Sundays portray a rather hazy slow Eastern Sundays as a start. The description was achieved by playing a relatively slow tempo at the beginning. However, when Messrs. Moraz and Bruford altered their tempo post the 3:00 and injected a doze of energy into their works, the ambiance is somewhat changed, though I could sense that it still pictures a hazy Eastern Sunday.

My brain and sixth sense were forced to work hard in interpreting the next 4:49 Blue Brains. I was initially unaware that the album's cover painting is also called Blue Brains--a sketch of nude male moves in a slow motion. Moraz's forceful mid tempo low octave notes and Bruford's percussions smartly described the slow motion of the nude male painted in the album cover. Listen carefully and you could sense that he is walking, dancing, bending his body, and jumping in front of you.

Unlike other composition in this album, the 3:42 Symmetry is an experimental song, capitalizing on the stereo recording technique. It is opened by Moraz's relatively fast tempo piano and Bruford's forceful tom tam and cymbals on the right channel, before the sound of their instruments gradually moving into the center. Unless you are using solid state, or INPOL, or OTL tube amplifiers, you'll certainly miss the dynamic of Moraz's piano and Bruford's drums in this composition.

The 5:22 Galatea (the Greek's mythology character) is started with somewhat complicated piano notes, but post the 1:58, the composition changes into a subtle gentle piano composition. Bruford's jazzy beats accentuated the romantic side of the song. As you may have been aware, Galatea is actually an ivory statue brought to life by goddess Aphrodite as the answer of prayer of King Pygmalion who had crafted her with his own hands. The King fell in love and both finally married. The complicated part of the composition must, therefore, depict how worry the King was before his pray was answered, while the romantic side portrayed how happy their marriage was.

Bruford's jazzy cymbals, hi hat, and bass drums produce strong colors in the 6:25 Hazy. It blended well with Moraz's forceful stacato piano chorus notes. Bruford's polyrhythmic drumming at 4:45 to 5:10 was particularly impressive. Again, you need to use solid state, or INPOL, or OTL tube amplifiers to listen and feel the dynamics of this composition.

In general, this album isn't easy to be digested. You shouldn't listen it because you want to relieve your stress. In fact, interpreting compositions in the album is pretty much similar to digesting what your calculus professor told you what dx/dy was in your university days. That said, I am amazed to the ability of Messrs. Moraz and Bruford to create these complicated compositions.

Finally, as an audiophilist, I would recommend track #6 (Symmetry) and #8 (Hazy) of the album as reference materials to test your audio system. While this album was recorded at low decibel input (you need to really cranck up your audio volume), Moraz's piano is suitable as the reference of your mid-range, Bruford cymbals and hi-hats are good to examine your hi frequency, while his bass drum is obviously for your low frequency. If you have the right system, the dynamic of these two songs should blow up your ears. Happy listening. Regards, Rizal B. Prasetijo

Review by Gerinski
4 stars Excellent album but beware, this is not a prog-rock album and it has nothing to do with the music of Yes, King Crimson or the Moody Blues. Rather, it is a hybrid between jazz and contemporary classical music for, as the title makes obvious, just grand piano and drums.

I guess neither Patrick Moraz nor Bill Bruford need introduction, both being among the most respected musicians from the prog scene of all times, and their love for jazz is also well known. After both having released a few solo albums with a supporting band, they joined for this peculiar duet album where they reconfirm even more if possible that their reputation as top-notch musicians is more than deserved.

You might think that a complete album with just piano and drums may get tedious and long, but being just 41 minutes long (I have the version without bonus tracks) and with good variation throughout the tracks, besides the amazing virtuosity of the two guys, this is not the case, although certainly you have to be in the right mood for it.

The opening "Children's Concerto" is a wonderful jazzy track, joyful and by far the most accesible in the album, with a catchy melodic line. It's a very uplifting song, reminds me of some pieces by the great Michael Camilo (although this album is older so I should say it the other way around).

"Living Spaces" is more like contemporary classical music, quite experimental, a bit similar to some sections of ELP's Toccata.

"Any Suggestions" draws more from free-jazz although it has some Emerson tints here and there as well. Both Moraz and Bruford deliver a terrific performance, as if the two of them are improvising on their own but still perfectly matching eachother.

"Eastern Sundays" starts softly in a slow tempo, on which Moraz's hands quickly start to sweep at high speed from end to end of the keyboard. The middle section picks up tempo and intensity and ends softly again. This track is a great example of dynamics control.

"Blue Brains" is based on a very rythmic, almost tribal drum beat, and Moraz's piano is also more rythmic and less chromatic than in the other tracks, more based on rock forms than on classical-jazz ones.

"Symmetry" is again quite experimental, with very fast playing by both, an impressive display of technique and coordination.

"Galatea" (after the statue from the Pygmalion myth, the same which inspired Yes "Turn of the Century") starts experimentally with an intriguing atmosphere but at 2 minutes it makes a surprising turn to melodic, and from there it cleverly switches between experimental tonalities and scales and melodic ones. Quite original and interesting.

The closer "Hazy" has a bit of it all, making a very good wrap-up for the album, and is maybe the closest to the prog track concept as we are used to, even if the instrumentation is limited to just piano and drums.

Surely this is not a record for everyone or every moment, I myself would not listen to this music all the time, but if you are in the right mood it's an absolute delight to listen to these two outstanding musicians letting their talent loose.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars The first album by Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz was a welcome release. It was three years since the Bruford band had broken up, and while King Crimson was back (at the time), it was a less than powerful edition, passing off layered fingered exercises as innovative music (well, I suppose it was, in a way). Hearing Bruford in his own setting is always rewarding. And with Moraz, no slouch in his own right, along on piano, this album had to be great. And it is.

As the title says, the album is only piano and drums. No synths, no drum pads. And by nature, because of the instruments, and the musicians' inclinations, it's an album mostly of jazz. However, Moraz, with his classical training, brings a bit of classical style as well. As for Bruford, the worlds' greatest drummer is just that.

Review by richardh
4 stars Picked this up almost by accident as I was trying to find an album download that would enable me to take advantage of a 2 for £10 offer. As it turned out it was not part of the offer but I got it anyway.

The appeal here is two fold. You have a couple of the best musicians in prog and in addition you have something highly original. I suppose this could easily be filed under 'jazz' and totally forgotten but these two greats are able to rise to the challenge and create something interesting and at times quite special.Moraz is one of the most fluid players I know of while Bruford's command of rythmn and 'feel' is legendary. Words like delightfull and delicate spring to mind but also there is an intensity that is pleasing. Nothing is too forced and the semi improvisational stylings are ever so smooth. Does it get boring? Not really. They know just when to pick things up and they are not averse to pushing each other. At times its reminescent of Emerson and Palmer doing their jazz thing during the unplugged section of Welcome Back My Friends. Beyond that it is hard to draw any comparisons with any prog.

My version also includes the three 2004 bonus tracks where Bruford uses some electronic percussion and Moraz a little light use of synth (or maybe sampling). It still retains the acoustic feel avoiding anything that could be termed 'heavy' . The last 3 tracks are recorded live btw.The extra tracks brings the length to a healthy 60+ minutes. If you fancy something a bit different then could be just the ticket for you.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars The title says it all

Any major Yes fan like myself will initially find a project like this one at least somewhat intriguing. After all we have here two previous members of that band, though never at the same time. Bill Bruford had moved on to other things by the time Patrick Moraz joined Yes. The present collaboration between the two Yes-men has however musically nothing whatsoever to do with the music they did with Yes. Instead this is a jazzy and classical affair performed on grand piano and drums only.

Moraz and Bruford of course has a mutual interest in jazzier things which is probably what brought the two together, but even the Jazz side of their respective careers is better explored elsewhere such as on Burford's late 70's Jazz- Rock/Fusion albums with Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Berlin, and Dave Stewart, and some of Moraz' solo albums. Anyone looking for something similar to these will be sorely disappointed.

Music For Piano And Drums is a rather bland and monotonous recording devoid of any Prog excitement. Comparing this to the duo's second album Flags, one notices that the latter has a larger variety in instrumentation with Moraz adding some tasty synthesizers to at least a few tracks. Flags is hardly an essential album but it is the better of the two albums and the place to start with Moraz & Bruford. With the greatest respect for the people involved, Music For Piano And Drums is really only recommended to completionists.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Here's a case where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Bill Bruford is my favorite "prog" drummer, hands down. I don't have a favorite keyboardist, but Patrick Moraz had a lot to do with Yes's fusion-laced Relayer, which I consider the best prog-rock album ever. Music for Piano and Drums suggests, though, that while musicians of the caliber of Moraz and Bruford may be necessary for the creation of a great work, neither of these musicians is sufficient to ensure greatness.

Music for Piano and Drums was entirely performed and produced by Moraz and Bruford, and Moraz wrote six of the eight songs, with the others being Moraz-Bruford compositions. As a prog-rock LP from former members of Yes, Music for Piano and Drums seems restricted by its lack of input from outside writers and/or producers. On the other hand, we can tell from the title that the duo didn't intend to produce a prog-rock LP by former members of Yes.

The concept of this album was to create music for two players, one on a grand piano, the other on a traditional (acoustic) drumkit. There are no overdubs. So there are no vocal overdubs - - no singing at all - - and absolutely none of the studio embellishments that often adorn Yes and Moody Blues albums.

That means that the quality of Music for Piano and Drums rests on the performances and the compositions. In terms of performance, both Bruford and Moraz are, as they say, on fire. Moraz is particularly spectacular, and it's wonderful to be able to hear him so clearly. With its focus on improvisation and extended soloing, Music for Piano and Drums is actually as much like a traditional jazz album as a rock-fusion or "smooth jazz" recording where postproduction and atmosphere play a bigger part.

The compositions are solid, although they're nothing special in my book. There are exceptions; for example, on "Blue Brains" Moraz cleverly perverts the vamp of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman." "Children's Concerto" is akin to a fanfare, and is a nice way to open the proceedings. Most of the rest seems to have been largely improvised in the studio, and here is where I think an independent producer or outside composers could've made a difference. But again, Music for Piano and Drums wasn't that kind of album.

This is an album for fusion fans who value conceptual purity, and for fans of piano-based jazz. It's also a must for Yes completists and for Moraz or Bruford collectors. But for those interested in Yes-like music without the word "Yes" on the cover, I'd suggest Starcastle. If you want to hear rock music played by former members of Yes, there's always Flash. There's also The Steve Howe Album and Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, on which both Moraz and Bruford are featured.

Finally, I'll mention Moraz and Bruford's second album, Flags (1985), which is similar to, but in my opinion improves upon, Music for Piano and Drums.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I'm reviewing the 2004 re-master, with bonus live tracks. The simplicity of piano and drums with no other instruments and (as far as I can tell) no overdubs is a great combination, provided the instrumentalists are up to the task, and there's no doubt both Patrick Moraz and Bill Bruford are. B ... (read more)

Report this review (#70296) | Posted by Phil | Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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