Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Music Update January 2007
Patrick Moraz. Do you know the name? He is the answer to one of my favorite prog rock trivia questions: Who is the only keyboard player to replace not only Keith Emerson but also Rick Wakeman? It's not 100% true, but it is a fun question nevertheless. If you are a big Yes fan, you know that when Rick left Yes, they brought in Patrick Moraz to replace him. But many people didn't know that after Keith Emerson's The Nice broke up and Keith formed ELP, the rest of the band found Patrick and formed Refugee. With just this alone, you know that Patrick Moraz is one hell of a keyboard player. I recently received a box of reissues of Patrick's solo work and some bands he has been in. This has been so much fun, discovering and rediscovering Patrick's music. The CDs have been remastered and released in the UK at Voiceprint Music . You can purchase them all there. Here are the first ones that I have added to the stream.
Refugee - Refugee
This band was somewhere between The Nice and ELP. It is a good classic keyboard driven prog record. Patrick did a great job leading the old Nice members, but he had so much more to offer.
Patrick Moraz - The Story of I
This has always been my favorite Patrick Moraz CD. 70's Prog rock was often accused of not having any passion or soul. By adding South American rhythms and percussion, Patrick Moraz added a warmth and energy that most progressive rock bands never came close to achieving. Each side of the original album had the songs segueing together into a unified work. It is a great CD. I have been playing this one for some time now, but will replace the previous tracks with the new remastered tracks along with one jazzy variation that is included as a bonus track.
Patrick Moraz - Patrick Moraz / Out In The Sun
These two CDs continue the South American themes and sounds. They are at their best when the percussion kicks in and Patrick puts it in gear.
All four of these CDs from Patrick are worth checking out. During 2006 I added several CDs including:
Stomu Yamashta - The Go Sessions
Maybe not the best re-mastering, but the entire Go catalog is included in this 2 CD set. The first CD is fantastic featuring everyone from Al Di Meola on guitar to Steve Winwood on vocals to Klaus Schulze on electronics and keyboards. The Live From Paris CD is also good, although its sound quality isn't great. Go Too, the final CD in the collection is a lot more commercial and not nearly as interesting. Still a great CD to own. Go to http://www.ravenrecords.com.au for more info.
Greg Smith - Above The Clouds
A CD from 2006, this guitarist has some wonderful guitar licks to play for you. More info available at http://www.gregsmithguitar.com
Phil Manzanera - 6PM
If you enjoyed the 801 Live CD and its follow up, you should like this 2004 release. Very similar to the 2nd 801 CD. I enjoyed it a lot.
Alien Cowboys - Zero Gravity
Don't ask. I have no idea. Bill Drescher sent me this cool jazz/prog CD from 2005. Not many bands doing this kind of stuff. More info at http://www.aliencowboys.com .