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


Moraz & Bruford


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.25 | 37 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Gerinski | 4/5 |


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