[Review] Patrick Moraz (1978)

Moraz is joined by a small army of percussionists in this concept album about a clash of civilizations.

Kronomyth 3.0: Combate rock.

Patrick Moraz’ tale of the clash between “primitive” and “civilized” cultures brings together the seemingly disparate elements of Brazilian jazz and the burgeoning field of electronic music. As might be expected, the album runs hot and cold; the melodies are often warm and ingratiating (something he shares with Pat Metheny, along with a hair stylist apparently), but the more synthetic sections fail to fuse with the “primitive” percussion of Djalma Correia et al. Moraz himself seems to be ambivalent toward electronics, assigning them the role of the aggressor in this battle.

Despite the somewhat dour subject matter, the music is often upbeat and enjoyable, with the opening “Jungles of the World” and “Temples of Joy” providing the album’s most memorable moments. Things fall into disarray on “The Conflict,” recalling the early work of Vangelis and limiting the synthesizers to stereotypical sounds. The machines take over on “Primitivisation,” a funky number with some effective vocals (via vocoder) from Moraz, giving way to human voices (courtesy of Joy Yates) on “Keep the Children Alive.” An acoustic piano improvisation follows, “Intentions,” which allegedly recycles some of the themes from the album so far and gives the best indication of Moraz’ ability. The earlier, joyful themes resurface on “Realization” with a reconciliation between primitive and civilized cultures.

As concept albums go, it’s an interesting idea (although I can’t recall the last time a concept album didn’t have a title), but its appeal is limited by the decision to phrase all of the action with keyboards and percussion. Moraz remains a remarkably talented musician with a boundless appetite for different sounds who continues to push electronic keyboard music into interesting directions. The complexity of his concepts and unusual instrumentation choices make him something of an acquired taste, however, while Rick Wakeman understood the importance of sticking with the classics.

Original elpee version

A1. Jungles of the World: Green Sun, Tribal Call, Communion (5:56)
A2. Temples of Joy: Opening of the Gates, Overture, The Feast (A Festa) (6:07)
A3. The Conflict: Chamada (Argument), Opposing Forces, The Battlefield, Dissolution, Victory (9:35)
B1. Primitivisation (5:24)
B2. Keep The Children Alive (3:27)
B3. Intentions (3:56)
B4. Realization (4:17)

CD reissue bonus track
8. Museeka Magika

All songs written by Patrick Moraz.

The Players

Patrick Moraz (keyboards, synthesizers, marimbas, vibraphone, effects, percussion, vocals), Djalma Correia (percussion) with Wilson Carnegao (percussion), Paulo Roberto Correia (percussion), Nenem Da Cuica (percussion), Doutor Da Repique (percussion), Renaldo Martis Da Silva (percussion), Paulinho Do Pandeiro (percussion), Claudio Dos Santos (percussion),
Jorge Garcia (percussion), Carlos Eduardo Goncalves (percussion), Gordinho (percussion), Claumir Jorge (percussion), Edson Santos Leite (percussion), Guiseppe Lima (percussion), Milton Manhoes (percussion), Armando Marcal (percussion), Geraldo Sabino (percussion), Tommy Strebel (military snare drum), Joy Yates (lead vocals on B2). Produced by Patrick Moraz; engineered by “Professor” Jean Ristori, mixed by Alan leeming, overdub and remix supervision by Neil Slaven.

The Pictures

Cover by Cooke Key. Photography by Brian Cooke, Doctor Phildius, Jesus Moreno and Picturepoint.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in September 1978 in the UK (Charisma, CDS 4015), the US (Charisma, CA-1-2201) and Canada (Charisma, 9211 4015) with lyric inner sleeve.

  1. Re-released on expanded compact disc in 2011 (Voiceprint) with one bonus track.

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