Patrick Moraz (with Jon Anderson & Annie Haslam) – The Story of I 1976 (Remastered 2006)

(Nacido el 24 de junio 1948 en Villars-Ste-Croix, Morges, Suiza) este eximio tecladista de rock progresivo es mejor conocido como el tecladista de la banda de rock progresivo Yes entre 1974-1976, y los Moody Blues entre 1978 a 1991.

Moraz saltó a la fama en 1974 cuando reemplazó a Rick Wakeman en Yes, tocando en su álbum Relayer y acompañándolos en su subsecuente gira mundial. En el álbum Relayer, Moraz trajo una clara influencia de  sonidos del jazz/fusión que se aparta del enfoque más clásico de Yes. En 1976, todos los entonces miembros de Yes liberaron sus respectivos álbumes solistas, y el álbum de Moraz, titulado Story of I, recibió los elogios de los críticos y otros músicos. En éste, Moraz había viajado a Brasil, e incorporó artistas y ritmos brasileños en el álbum, por lo que es una importante referencia básica de la que llegaría a ser llamada world music.

Muchos desconocen el hecho que Patrick Comenzó a escribir el trabajo de este álbum a partir de algunas ideas desarrolladas junto a Jon Anderson como un eventual nuevo álbum de Yes, sin embargo, Patrick terminaría mucho de este material como un proyecto solista, mientras que otro tanto de este material terminaría en las sesiones de Going for the one, terminados junto a Rick Wakeman, de hecho el tecladista que se logra oír en un par de huellas instrumentales (Velvey y Montreux Themes) No es otro que Patrick, y no Rick como señalan los creditos de las versiones extendidas de Rhino. No obstante, la Salida de Yes de Patrick, no le impidió contar con la colaboración de Jon Anderson además de la destacada cantante Annie Haslam, no obstante, debido a problemas contractuales con los sellos discográficos ninguno de ellos pudo aparecer en el álbum acreditado con sus nombre reales teniendo que usar seudónimos escoceses muy extraños para escapar de las demandas legales por incumplimiento de contrato.

The Story of “I” original story by Patrick Moraz
(this story is on cover-inside)
Located on a plateau, surrounded by a jungle of strange vegetation and animals, stands a building, “i”. A ‘hotel’, offering people of all creeds, colours and sexes the realization of their impossible dreams, people united only in search of the ultimate experience. “i” stands for initiation, identity, idealism, integration, illumination, immortality, infinity… The building is controlled by a sphere hovering overhead, within which is stored all information on the emotions, sentiments and sensations of all the people in the various rooms.

From all over the world people are attracted to this centre. The bait is the possibility of experiences way beyond normal existence… they are offered the fulfillment of all their dreams, all their hopes, all their secret ambitions and desires. And they flock in, the disappointed, those who have realized that any hope of development and personal fulfillment in the outside world is forever gone, that their futures are as barren as their boring presents.

The only price is the same as the reward: ~ life itself. For if, after careful screening, the applicant is allowed to take part in the various ‘games’ on the different floors ~ after he has continued through his own idealized situations he will die. This has been, until this story starts, irrevocable.

However, there is a key ~ a key which so far has not been found ~ a possibility of escape.

After he has entered the building, the searcher can only go up. He must rise through sensations of ever increasing magnitude, artificial situations of greater and greater challenge. Some, despite the delicately beneficial maneuvering of the omniscient sphere, which can slightly aid when difficulties become too great, surpass the abilities of the individual. However, he MUST rise, conquering all obstacles, learning his own final limits, and he can never turn back. He sets his own pace for the ascent, it may take years for the completion of the course, but there is only one direction for him.

All the while, his progress, his feelings, everything he does and is, is monitored by the overhead globe ~ each despair, when the problems seem insurmountable, each stage of triumph over a victory, his pains, his lusts, his pleasures, his ecstasies, are recorded, electronically sorted, and the best sensations transmitted for the most popular entertainment for the rest of the world. And, seven times each year, the winners of the floors, those who have successfully completed the course, are pushed out onto the diving board by the attendants, to plunge in a few minutes the distance it has taken years to mount.

The ground onto which the bodies fall is transparent, and reduces every body instantly to its component atoms. Below, stretching deep beneath the earth, is another, similar building, like a reflection of the one towering above. There, the reconstituted diver will experience the inverse of the previous conditions.

Somewhere, sometime in the building a man and a woman meet and fall in love, deeply, truly, completely. Sometimes they go through the games and tests together, sometimes they are separated, sometimes during the games they are paired with each other, sometimes they compete with each other ~ but always they are in love, and they are determined that their final sacrifice shall be together. So they rise and approach the top.

The days of sacrifice the payment of the ultimate price, life, are always popular. People gather to watch their favorite heroes, whose developments have been recorded and electronically relayed for so long, to take the final step… the end of illusion. But on this particular day all the world waits for the final episode in the love story they have been witnessing for so long, as never before have two people together reached the top. The pair link hands and walk over the crowds, along a narrow plank. Every touch of apprehension, all their mutual adoration and deep feeling of love for each other, is amplified and relayed to the attentive millions. At the very end of the diving board, they look once at each other and take the final step.

And the crowd watches in awe, as the two figures, already dwarfed by the distance, rise from the end of the board and, carried by their love, vanish into the skies.

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.

Tracklist:

1. Impact — 3:31
2. Warmer hands — 3:31
3. The storm — 0:52
4. Cachaca (baiao) — 4:07
5. Intermezzo — 2:49
6. Indoors — 3:44
7. Best years of our lives — 3:57
8. Descent — 1:43
9. Incantation (procession) — 1:51
10. Dancing now — 4:38
11. Impressions — the dream 2:49
12. Like a child in disguise — 4:05
13. Rise and fall — 5:34
14. Symphony in the space — 2:56

Total 46:17

Personnel:

Patrick Moraz – Keyboards, Vocals, Marimbaphone, Additional Assorted Percussions
John McBurnie (Jon Anderson) – Lead Vocals
Vivienne McAuliffe (Annie Haslam) – Vocals and Additional Lead Vocals
Ray Gomez – Electric Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Jeff Berlin – Electric Basses
Alphonse Mouzon – Drums (Side A)
Andy Newmark – Drums (Side B)

The Percussionist of Rio De Janeiro led by Gilson de Freitas

Jean-Luc Bourgeois – Gongs and Tam-Tams
Auguste de Anthony – Acoustic Guitar and Additional Electric Guitars
Jean Ristori – Cello and Acoustic String Bass
Philippe Staehli – Tympanis and Assorted Percussions
Rene Moraz – Tap Dance and Castagnets
The Children of Morat, Switzerland
Veronique Mueller – French and Additional Vocals

All music and themes composed, arranged, and conducted by Patrick Moraz
Orchestrations by Patrick Moraz
English Lyrics by John McBurnie
French Lyrics by Patrick Moraz
Engineered by Jean Ristori and Chris Snoopy’ Penycate
Recorded Autumn ’75 in ‘Aquarius’ Studio, Geneva (Sessions in Brazil, 16th and 17th August ’75)

Produced by Patrick Moraz

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Audio mp3 320@kbps.

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