Moraz Alban Project
CD Baby 2015
Review by David Bowling
Patrick Moraz is a classically trained keyboardist who, despite releasing 20 solo album of progressive and fusion rock, is best remembered for his stints with Yes (1974-1976) and The Moody Blues (1978-1990).
Drummer Greg Alban has been a friend and professional compatriot of Moraz for 30 years and they have finally recorded an album together as the Moraz Alban Project.
Moraz is the driving force as he wrote, arranged, and co-produced the nine tracks. When he is not confined to the structures of a band over which he has little control, he tends to exhibit a creative streak, which pushes his music in a number of directions; sometimes on the same album. While this may not always lead to cohesive reeleases, it does lead to interesting ones, especially if you are an aficionado of keyboards or progressive rock.
My favorite tracks tend to be the ones with just Moraz and Alban. Drum and keyboard duets have existed primarily in jazz music but Moraz takes the form in a different direction with his majestic approach. “Alien Species” is the most avant-garde track as it is Alban giving a cymbal clinic, which is a foundation for Moraz to build his melodies. “Jazz In The Night” finds both instruments playing off of each other. “The Drums Also Solo” is keyboards vs. percussion as they challenge each other on several levels, until finally blending together.
The other tracks have more of a band feel as other instruments are introduced. “Jungle Aliens” thunders as Lenny Castro adds conga’s to the mix. “Canyon Afternoon” and “The Reel Feel” fall into a progressive sound as Moraz takes center position and allows the sound to revolve around him.
When Patrick Moraz conceived and wrote the music for this album he adapted it to a drummer being his partner. The result is music that travels in a different direction and is worthwhile exploring.