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Moraz & Bruford - Music For Piano And Drums CD (album) cover


Moraz & Bruford


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.25 | 36 ratings

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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

Gatot | 3/5 |


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