Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Story of I
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
1994 reissue on Virgin of 1976 solo album for Charisma by Moraz, who has been a member of both Yes and The Moody Blues. Moraz paints and sculpts 14 sonic structures via his keyboard playing here, including 'Impact', 'Warme... more »
1994 reissue on Virgin of 1976 solo album for Charisma by Moraz, who has been a member of both Yes and The Moody Blues. Moraz paints and sculpts 14 sonic structures via his keyboard playing here, including 'Impact', 'Warmer Hands' and 'Symphony In The Space'.
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Mark D Burgh | Fort Smith, AR United States | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Moraz joined Yes for only one album and two tours, just in time for the solo album. A Swiss musician and composer, Moraz had toured with the world with a South American musical review, joined up with ex-Nice members to form Refugee, and in 1974, became part of Yes just as they topped the charts with the album Moraz should have played on "Tales From Topographical Oceans." Some Yes listeners don't like this album because of Moraz's musical choices - more third world than they might like, more jazzy than they can tolerate, less Yes-like that Steve Howe's or Jon Anderson's solo work, but this album is as good as any in the Yes canon. Moraz displays his keyboard prowess and compositional chops on "The Story of I" in a vein that is more a true fusion of world, jazz, classical and rock music that other more well-known prog efforts. Set in a uptopia/dystopia, The Story of I is critical of materialism, alienation, and the Western Capitalist system. Inhabitants ot the mysterious tower of I rise up to the pinnacle of material success and then leap off into space.Moraz's music is vicersal and exiting, combining his speed riffs with dense arrangements of Brazilian percussion on some tracks like "Dancing Now" (used in the Moog promotional film for the Polymoog), or meditative piano and multiple voices in the distinctly classical "Intermezzo." This album is underrated; the playing is superb, and the compositions have a unity that is binding and compelling. The sound of this album isn't as clear as it ought to be, so the years haven't been kind to Patrick Moraz's album. The digital transfer is sort of murky too, but that may have more to do with the original's density.Moraz has a distinct sound on the synthesizer, impressive piano chops, and a good ear for dissonance. He explores his ideas fully, given full-reign to as his conception, playing, and melodies blend into a unified whole. If you're looking for an off-beat first-wave prog classic, "The Story of I" is a good CD to start with. I wish more musicians had gone down this road. Listening to what the current crop of proggers like Spock's Beard or the Flower Kings are doing makes me realize the one ingredient that differentiates these current musicians from the golden era proggers - not musicianship, certainly, but imagination; "The Story of I" is work of dazzling imagination, musical and narrative."
An essential album to open-minded proggers
Mackinnon | Sweden | 03/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Moraz started out training in classical piano, but decided in his teens "to break the mechanism" of this kind of playing: he wanted to keep the school discipline as a means to step free. It's obvious when you listen to his playing that he's got it in his backbone, but he often uses a wide range of keyboards and on this album - his first solo disc - he brings out a very inventive mix of samba, disco rhythms, flowing ballads and keyboard fire. No other Yes solo album comes near Moraz, to my mind.
The only albums that would compare are the debuts of Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny; both came around the same time as this one. There's the same floating sense of melody, the interest in percussion, and the way every track seems to tap a different style, but not in a patchy way. The opening six minutes: a ferocious fusion of singing, piano and glittering, aggressive synths and a drum track that speeds it on. If you've heard Yes' "Sound chaser" you're prepared, but you'd never guess the same man wrote the tender ballads "Best Years of our Lives" and "Like a Child in Disguise". Moraz has terrific chops but he never loses sight of that the music should tell us something.
There's some sort of theme to the album, on the vinyl LP an original story by Moraz told of a couple living in a cold and dehumanized hi-tech skyscraper world, where all true values and standards - life, love and death - are denied, and of how their love sets them apart. I don't know if this story is included in the new CD's booklet; my copy is of a japanese edition (around 1990). The music has the warmth and joy of a Rio carnival, but it often seems to play against a backdrop of cold and loneliness ("Descent" and the following funeral march, with actual chant and drumming from a Brazilian jungle tribe). The singers help make a great album even better, and they never seem drowned by the keyboards.
If you're new to prog music, you'd hardly guess that Moraz was a member of Yes at the time. The music floats and splashes, and it won't try to prove "I'm the greatest"; it's a quest driven by joy, which sets the music free and makes it, at times, almost cinematic. No one who is interested in the prog 70s, or just in music , should miss this album."
Pure New Age/World/Progressive Rock, with a cootie or two...
Doug Vencill | Independence, MO United States | 12/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad I'm not the only mutant on this planet who feels that Patrick Moraz was Yes's greatest keyboardist. Wakeman was astoudning in his own way, Tony was passable, and Igor is great in his own way as well...but on RELAYER, which was arguably Yes at their peak, Moraz brought a sound out of the band unlike any they'd even approached. I actually had to listen to RELAYER many, many times before I developed an appreciation for it (mea culpa, nobody's perfect), and although I can't gush over this CD the way I did for Jon Anderson's OLIAS, this, for me, is my close-second favorite Yes solo. Moraz does absolutely brilliant soloing from start to finish, and I can forgive him for such ill-thought clunkers as "Like a Child In Disguise" (gag me). The story behind this CD is about as nebulous as the tale of Olias, but, as one reviewer put it, it's the music, and nothing more. I highly recommend this album to anyone who loved RELAYER as much as I did, and has an appreciation for today's burgeoning World Music movement. And finally, can someone please Email me and tell me why Moraz was only with Yes for one album? I'm sure there's quite a story behind this, and I've been trying for 24 years to find out exactly what it is. Peace........."