Patrick Moraz
The Story of I


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (127 Reviews)
November 12th, 2018 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is one of the best solo albums released by Yes’ members. But unfortunately, even today, it remains relatively unknown.

“The Story Of I” is the debut solo studio album of Patrick Moraz and was released in 1976. The line up on the album is Patrick Moraz, John McBurnie, Vivienne McAulife, Ray Gomez, Jean de Antoni, Jeff Berlin, Alphonse Mouzon, Andy Newmark and the Percussionists of Rio de Janeiro.


Patrick Moraz is a Swiss progressive rock keyboardist with a classical musical education acquired at the Conservatory of Lausanne, in Switzerland. He also played jazz primarily before entering into the progressive rock world and he has also been highly acclaimed for his musical virtuosity. However, he is best known as the keyboardist of Yes, which happened between 1974 and 1976. With Yes he wrote some of the best Yes’ pages on their album “Relayer”.

Moraz moved from Switzerland to England in 1973 when he met Lee Jackson and Brian Davison and formed Refugee. Refugee was the band that replaced The Nice, when Emerson left the group to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With Refugee, Moraz performed on two albums, the studio album “Refugee” and the live album “Live In Concert”. In 1974, he had the chance to replace Wakeman in Yes and performed on their album “Relayer”. He also played in the world tour of that album. He appears on some Yes’ tracks on their live album “Yesshows”, too. In 1978, he began touring with The Moody Blues on their album “Octave” tour, replacing their former keyboardist Mike Pinder, and became a band member until 1991. Since then, Moraz has primarily concentrated on his solo works, particularly on his solo piano pieces.

“Story Of I” is the debut solo studio album of Moraz and was released in 1976. After the release and the world tour of “Relayer”, Yes took the decision to do a break with the intention of each band’s member can be able to make a solo album. However, at the time that “Story Of I” was released Moraz was no longer a member of the group. Wakeman had returned to Yes. The “I” of the title of the album is in reality a Moraz’s personal logo, a kind of an inverted triangle shape with a sphere above it. But, the album isn’t a self-titled album and its story isn’t properly an autobiography of him.

“Story Of I” is a conceptual album based in a romantic story of a massive tower in the middle of a jungle. The tower lures people from all over the world because inside it, people are able to live their desires and fantasies. The only problem is that the people inside the tower can’t be in love with each other. However, two persons inside it do so, and since the tower acts as a prison because the people are slaves of their own desires, they decided to escape from it.

It’s interesting to say that Jon Anderson was involved with the concept of “Story Of I”. When Anderson and Moraz were on tour with Yes, they saw a massive tower and they began to think what was inside of it and invented many theories about it, which they shared with each other. Anderson encouraged Moraz to make his solo work with a tower’s concept.

“Story Of I” has fourteen tracks. All music was written by Moraz and all lyrics were written by John McBurnie. The tracks are all joined into each other and flow like a single piece. The only exception is between the seventh track and the eighth track, due to the technical impossibility of the 70’s to go from side A to side B on a LP without a break.

“The Story Of I” was partly recorded in Geneva and partly in Brazil, where it fused progressive elements with Brazilian music. Several Brazilian percussionists and singers appear on the album along with more famous musicians. Musically, the material here is a blend of Jazz and Classical Music with certain references to percussion driven acoustics and Brazilian rhythms, based on Moraz’s keyboard capabilities, from tricky, complex instrumental pyrotechnics to soft Folk Fusion affairs on keyboards and hand drums and light piano driven Classical introductions. There is a definite Fusion flavour throughout the album, especially on the synthesizer/guitar parts and the regular drumming, but the stylistical diversity allows the listener meet with Moraz’s unique and wide musical taste. We have lots of cinematic interludes and heavy instrumental stuff, only interrupted by occasional vocal pinches. This is an album with a very complex music.


Conclusion: “Story Of I” is usually accepted as Moraz’s best and most progressive solo album. He is a very talented and virtuoso keyboardist that unfortunately always was underestimated. He had the serious problem to be always the number two. He was number two of Emerson of The Nice, Wakeman of Yes and Pinder of The Moody Blues. “Story Of I” is a unique album in the panorama of the progressive music of the 70’s. It’s an album of fusion progressive music with many influences from several styles ranging from pop, rock, jazz, classical, oriental and electronic with a very special touch of the Brazilian traditional music, samba, which made of it a special and unique work. It’s an incredible album that flows like a single piece with many musical changes. But, “Story Of I” is unfortunately an underrated and in a certain way a misunderstood album that deserves to be known because is a very special and unique progressive rock album.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (11)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
November 12th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, after my three reviews about Wakeman, it's now time to another great keyboardist that passed by this great and fantastic band, Yes. His presence was very short but very striking for both, Yes and Moraz.

So and naturally, my journey through the world of Yes, would be incomplete without his solo debut piece "The Story Of I". It's another album recorded by Yes' members in the yatus of time, after the live tour of "Relayer". It's true that when it was released Moraz was no more member of Yes. Wakeman had already returned to Yes. Still, it was planned during the live tour and is generally considered one of those five albums.

This is probabbly the most difficult, challenging and different album of all those albums. It's not an acquired taste and isn't for everyone's taste. But I really think that it deserves be better well known due to its originality and creativity. It's, in my humble opinion, one of the best and most complex fusion albums I've ever heard.

I really hope you can enjoy it too.

TwigTW
November 12th 2018


3825 Comments


Hi there e. I've never listened to a Moraz solo album before. I never liked his work with Yes enough to explore further. But Relayer has been growing on me lately, so it seems like a good time to give this one a spin. I'll keep an open mind and see what happens while I read your review. Although, from your description, it sounds like this will take a few listens to fully appreciate.

e210013
November 12th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah Twig. The keyboard style of Moraz is very different from Wakeman or Kaye. It's much jazzier, and in this case, it has a very strange and special fusion between many genres, even the Brazilian samba. So, this is a very strange and original "beast" of an album. So, don't expect nothing too much close to Yes. "Story Of I" is, in my humble oipinion, one the two most original albums of the members of Yes in that yatus of time. The other was "Olias Of Sunhillow" of Jon Anderson. But as I mentioned before, it isn't an acquired taste and isn't to everybody. You must listen to it several times to can appreciate it, eventually.

Tell me something later, if you want.

Divaman
November 12th 2018


4495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice job, e. I've always liked this album, and would have reviewed it eventually. But I'm happy that you saved me the trouble. Twig, I think you might enjoy this album.

Digging: Bayside - Interrobang

e210013
November 12th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, Diva. I always appreciate your opinions.

Jethro42
November 13th 2018


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wish the album would have contained more ambient, atmospheric passages. Moraz is really a talented keyboardist, but I find his style to be too much busy and nervous. I'm not really a fan of the Brazilian adding stuff, but album is better than I thought at first, so I'll give couple more listens to see what I can do. I've relistened to Refugee, and there is good stuff there too. I also like Moraz' collaboration with Bruford. Moraz knows how to jazz it up.

Very informative and interesting review, e21 bro.



e210013
November 13th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I already knew that you aren't a great fan of the keyboard style of Moraz, but I continue thinking that he is a very talented keyboardist, especially in terms of jazz. But I didn't know either that you aren't a great fan of samba. But I'm not too. Still, I think Moraz was able to create a very good and interesting mix of fusion between many varied styles of music in only single piece, even using samba, which isn't prpperly a prog style or even easy to fusion.

I think the only thing that he can be accused is that he probably tried to fuse too many styles in only one sole piece of music. Still, I continue thinking that he was able to do that in a very effective and elegant way, which wasn't surelly an easy task, and that he was able to create a vey original prog album, one of the most original albums I've ever heard.

What you really think? Do you think that "Story Of I" is a mix of a sandwich with too much ingredients?

Thanks for you comment and pos, my friend. It always a pleasure to switch opinions with you, especially when it seams that few people on Sputnik are interested on prog reviews of unknow albums, in these days.

Divaman
November 13th 2018


4495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

For me, the Brazilian influence is one of my favorite things about the album. I actually considered using this album next time Friday throws a prog contest, although I think I've decided to go in a different direction for the next contest instead.

e210013
November 13th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I agree with you. It's a very unusual and strange thing for a prog album, but it works very well.

Jethro42
November 15th 2018


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

''What you really think? Do you think that "Story Of I" is a mix of a sandwich with too much ingredients?''



Yes, a kind of. Too many keyboard layers...Too many keyboard notes per minute, and because of that, we lose the flavour and the direction Moraz wants to take. There are parts that I like but they don't last long enough. I find great ideas not enough developed and also filler parts he insists on.

Finally, he tries too much to be grandiose. I wish he kept it more simple, and more inspired.





TwigTW
November 15th 2018


3825 Comments


I gave this one listen, and I can see I need to give it more time, but for now I'll say it's... interesting.

e210013
November 15th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, Jethro. It was I thought.

Hawks
November 15th 2018


73729 Comments


Patrick Menoraz

e210013
November 15th 2018


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Twig, at least it's very interesting. With more listenings maybe you can like it very much.

wham49
February 5th 2019


4931 Comments


I picked up a few weeks ago Out in the sun. In the need to spin pile, any thoughts on that release

Divaman
February 5th 2019


4495 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've always liked it, Wham.

e210013
February 5th 2019


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice wham. I hope you like it, as we both like, Diva and me.

Jethro42
March 22nd 2019


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is still a 3/5 for me. While I can see the well crafted work Moraz did here, there are only few parts/songs i'm really enjoying. The Brazilian parts of the first few songs have good ideas, but not enough developed, so they are good but not great. I can understand that kind of music pleases you that much, e21...I guess it flows in your vein.

''Indoors'' is easily ny favorite. ''Best Years Of My Life'' is a pretty good ballad. The piano solo named Impressions (The Dream) is great when compared to most of the songs. ''Symphony In The Space'' is a good closer, it sounds good but is too linear. Songs are kinda half baked, but album is good nonetheless. 3/5. Moraz demonstrates us he knows how to play the keys, although the songwriting could be better.

e210013
March 22nd 2019


2615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm glad that you like of the album more than in the first listenings. Anyway, I must confess that it isn't an easy listening. About the Brazilian parts I'm not a huge fan of samba, in what is concern to music. I like samba as a great show in what concerns to Carnaval. You know, the ladies. Lol. Still, I think it results very well on this album. Besides, I'm a great fan of percusions as a complement of the drumming work in the music. I love it particularly on the live shows. And you know that many bands, even prog bands, use that in some of their live venues.

Jethro42
March 22nd 2019


15969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah samba is warm, sensual and upbeat music made for lascivious dance and for the eyes ;)

Story of I explores that music only a bit here. I enjoy parts of it, but I feel he could use of more developed ideas.

I think Moraz likes to demonstrate he can speed up in his playing, same for Rudess in Dream Theater. Both musicians don't seem to like to slow down and to be more melodic instead.

Same as you, I like the percussions that support the drums. It makes me think of Santana ;)



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