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Patrick Moraz - 2008 - "Change of Space"

(60:00, ‘Timewave Music’)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Peace in Africa 4:54 
2.  Change of Space 8:19 
3.  Sonique Prinz-1 2:17 
4.  Sonique Prinz-2 2:39 
5.  Sonique Prinz-3 5:25 
6.  One Day in June 7:29 
7.  Cum Spiritu 4:53 
8.  Power of Emotion 6:02 
9.  Stellar Rivers & Streams of Lucid Dreams 12:09 
10. Alien Spaces 5:53 


Patrick Moraz – keyboards; vocals; drum programming 
Bunny Brunel – bass; backing vocals 
John Wackerman – drums 
Alex Ligertwood – vocals (2, 8) 
Nicol Mecerova – vocals (9) 
Don Adey – vocals (1) 
Several more musicians and ‘additional’ singers

Prolusion. Although I believe Partick MORAZ has remained active in music since replacing Keith Emerson in on his departure for ELP in Refugee (aka The Nice #2), “Change in Space” is the first Moraz album I have heard for a very long time. I have always been in awe of his ability especially when he came to prominence with Yes on “Relayer” in 1974. This hour long CD features a supporting cast of musicians including ex Brian Auger singer Alex Ligertwood.

Analysis. My frustration from listening to this recording arises not from Moraz’s intentions for few could argue with the sentiments expressed on Peace in Africa, but with the absence of strong material and continuity to justify an hour long CD. The best moments get rather lost inside the intense, rather cluttered and overproduced mass of music. That is not to say there are not moments of brilliance that are up there with the best of Moraz as expressed on his “Story of I”, for example. One Day in June, on which Patrick is accompanied by drummer Ronnie Ciago, is one such example. Also the guitar on the third movement of the multi-part suite Sonique Prinz had me grabbing the CD sleeve to find out who is playing this intense solo only to find no mention of a guitar at all! It is however inexplicable that Moraz chooses to use programmed drumming on so many tracks not to mention him committing the ‘cardinal sin’ of replicating a sax on keyboards.

Conclusion. Moraz’s passion and the Latin influence on early solo albums like “Out in the Sun” are still there, but the inspiration that marked out his contribution to albums like The Moody Blues “Long Distance Voyageur” is. I’m afraid missing. You also get the feeling that he has to prove once again what a virtuosic keyboard player he is and he really doesn’t need to do that. The music must do the talking and, unfortunately, doesn’t on “Change of Space”.

PJ=Philip Jackson: May 17, 2009
The Rating Room

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