Scroll down for a review of Patrick's 2000 piano CD, "Resonance"


Patrick @ the Highland 11/14/97


Photo: John Stone

Three years with YES, eleven years with the Moody Blues, 10 solo albums, and countless guest appearences mark the career of one of the most prolific keyboardists of our time.1995 saw the release of Patricks solo piano debut release, "Windows of Time", hailed as a monumental work by Keyboard Magazines' Bob Doerschuk.

Some of Patricks many awards include: *Outstanding Contribution to British Music (Ivor Novello Award) 1995*Keyboard Magazines Top Five in the World for: Classical Synthesist Composer, Overall Keyboard Artist, Lead Synthesist, Rock Keyboardist. 1985*1976 Best Keyboard Album for "Story of I" (Keyboard Magazine)*1976 Best New Talent for "Story of I" (Keyboard Magazine)*Zurich Music Festival - Best Youngest Keyboard soloist.



Friday November 14, 1997

Highland Theatre - Akron, Ohio

Matt Riddle

Thursday night (13th): Patrick's limousine arrives at Falls Music around 7:00p.m. The store is full of fans, employees, and people who are just curious about what's happening. Patrick played several selections on the 9ft. Baldwin that would soon be transported to the theatre for the next evenings concert. Most of this was pure improvisation, but I recognized bits of melody from "Story of I" and other solo albums. Also included was an incredible rendition of "Lost Way" from "Windows of Time". Needless to say, everyone in attendance was amazed at the artistry and energy that Patrick was able to coax from the piano. The "curious" people were pretty much floored.Next Patrick was asked to autograph the instrument, which already bears the signatures of Bruce Hornsby, George Shearing, Marion Macpartland, and Dave Brubeck among others.Always eager to make a connection with fans, Patrick then signed autographs for everyone in the store.

Friday: 4:00p.m. Patrick arrives at the Highland Theatre for soundcheck. Soundcheck lasted for approx. 3 hours. He simply didn't want to stop playing! Falls music had the piano brought over ,Guitar Center supplied a Kurzwiel 2500SX, and Korg Trinity, Gettysburg Address Recording supplied a Korg O1W, and Minimoog, and Pat brought his own Yamaha VL1. With a rig like that it was easy to see why he was eager to play.

The show started just after 8:00p.m. with Patrick emerging on stage to welcome everyone and say a few words about what he's been up to. Anyone who's seen Pat knows that he usually has alot to say, and often interjects stories about how this or that piece was composed throughout the performance.The concert (which lasted for almost 3 hours and only seemed like 45 minutes) opened with a 24 min. piano improv that was absolutely amazing! First melodic and sensative, then bluesy, jazzy, classical, nearly every form of music prodigiously displayed. Changing from one form to another effortlessy, traditional harmonies, abstract harmonies and every "feel" imaginable were woven together for a truly startling and artistic piece of music. After this the audience gave him a standing ovation.

Next was an "instant symphony" based on a theme of Mozart. Completely arranged and performed for the first time while we listened, music flowed from both electronic keyboards and piano to create a truly symphonic work of art.One piece entitled, "Gentle Storm" was very evocative and moody. An eerie flute could be heard whispering the opening melody from Beethovens' "Fur Elise". This was a real gem. I hope it shows up on the next CD.

Bits of spontaneous improvisations were interspersed with actual "pieces" throughout the show. These unaffected offerings displayed alot of personality and genuine emotion, allowing the audience to see the "real" Patrick Moraz, artist to audience, and were in many ways the core of the performance.Also included was a stirring rendition of "Caprice of the Gods" on the Baldwin, an atmospheric Japanese sounding piece which is also new, "Free and Alive", "Best Years of our Lives", and a very interesting tune composed from one note called "The Door is Ajar".Near the end of the show, Pat invited keyboard players from the audience to come on stage and jam with him. This was alot of fun and was another example of Patrick "bringing the audience closer".The show concluded with "Awaka Deo", and Patrick received another standing ovation.


Me jamming with Pat at the Highland


Photo: John Stone

Afterwards, Pat kindly stayed to sign autographs and talk to everyone.I urge anyone who hasn't been to one of Pats' concerts to go see him.His music is beyond mere keyboard playing, he is truly an artist.



Here's a review of a CHAT II concert I sponsored in 1995

Monday, October 9th

Steinway Hall

Matt Riddle

Those of you who have experienced Patrick Moraz's pianistic abilities at close range can appreciate what a truly unique opportunity his "Coming Home America" Tour has provided for his fans, and his performance at Steinway Hall in Akron was exceptional. With about 60 people in attendance, and a 9 foot Steinway at our disposal, the third floor recital hall in the "turn of the century" mansion was perfect for this event.

From the first note, Patrick seized control of his audience, taking us on a twisting, turning musical adventure through his vast repertoire. His set consisted of material from his latest recording "Windows Of Time," as well as other solo material, including a very large chunk of "Story Of I." At one point, while Pat was talking to the audience, a train whistle could be heard through the open window, causing Pat to jump back to the piano and improvise a tune based on the sound of the whistle!

Also included was a very stirring rendition of "Soon," which Pat had recorded for the Yes tribute album "Tales From Yesterday." Later Patrick told me that he was very pleased with this particular rendition, stating that it was more inspired than the "Tales" recording. Pat also favored us with a tribute to jazz great Thelonious Monk, and a sing-along version of "Hey Jude" from the Beatles. Pat topped off the evening by inviting anyone who wanted to jam with him. Accepting his offer were Tim Longfellow (from Macaw), local favorite Rockin' Robin, and myself.


Me jamming with Pat at Steinway Hall

I think the success of these concerts speaks for itself, and I can definitely say that those who have seen these shows are very grateful to Patrick for offering his music to us in such an intimate and unforgettable way.



Patrick Moraz

Resonance

Total time 60'00''

Baldwin grand piano

Reviewed by Matt Riddle

This latest release from keyboard virtuoso, Patrick Moraz, is a stunning sequel to his 1995 piano CD, "Windows of Time". While it bears the familiar hallmarks of his unique style, Moraz finds new ground to explore while maintaining his uncompromising standard of excellence.

"Resonance" opens with a bold masterstroke entitled, "Vortex of Life", which is comprised of four seperate movements. This ingenious suite represents one of the most significant achievements in the modern classical medium today, and undoubtedly places Moraz among the great composers of history.

"Movement 1" features multi - voice patterns that overlap and play around each other, in the style of a fugue, weaving their way through ultra modern harmonies. This Bach meets Debussey blend of tones is at once compelling and ear pleasing.

"Movement 2" continues to explore modern harmony in a slower, more introspective manner. The right hand melody seems to reflect a variety of emotions. At first curious and tentative, like thoughts requiring contemplation, this piece seems to confront an ever widening variety of problems, solutions considered and discarded, only reaching a resolution on the last chord.

"Movement 3" is a brilliant burst of creativity that recalls the genius of a Chopin "Scherzo". A one line under current of notes rushes seamlessly around the piano in a diabolic and hushed tone, that is peppered with an array of louder voices, demanding to be heard. Contrasted with sudden interruptions in forward movement, the whole thing threatens to spin out of control, but never does. The piece gradually takes a turn toward the sublime, closing with a very traditional cadence of chords, very much like Chopin. The technique required to play this incredible composition is unparalleled and Moraz's precise execution and tight control display his virtuosity and total command of the piano.

"Movement 4" ends the suite on a more improvisational note. While reflecting elements of the previous 3 movements, this movement starts out a bit somber, but quickly infuses unrestrained avante guard cadenzas, to create an eclectic blend of ideas that seem to turn in several directions at once. Traditional chord voicings bring the suite to a satisfying conclusion.

"Sundance" has a lighthearted and slightly Brazillian flavor. Featuring improvisational piano superimposed over a rhythm piano track that bubbles away underneath, this piece recalls the joy of life.

"Moondance" reflects Moraz's affinity for the blues. Gutsy and full of swing, this is the perfect vehicle for some stretching out.

"Resonance" seems a bit meloncholy in mood. This sensative and beautiful number is full of warm and friendly chord voicings that seem to suggest quiet hope.

"Colloids Bounce Around" bubbles with energy in a rock meets jazz style, and features trademark Moraz chops over an incredible left hand motive.

"Standing in the Light" is a wonderfully uplifting number. Gospel inflected, it evokes the feeling of being in a sanctuary.

"The Light" is soulful and reverent, slowly building toward some inevitable peace, like the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Birds on a Wire" is a bit neo Classical, and the Beethoven/Mozart influence can clearly be heard in this graceful composition.

The first time I listened to this CD, I was struck by the warm, yet sparkling quality of sound and vast array of ideas. Patricks' fluid and gracious stlye, exceptional melodic charm and formal elegance, reveal layers of depth only hinted at initially. I highly recommend this CD to all piano music connoisseurs.







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