Artist/ Band: Moraz/Bruford
Title: In Tokyo
Label: Winterfold Records
Year of Release: 1985/2009
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

2009 certainly proved an interesting year for music. About twenty-five years ago, a couple of Yes alumni who shared a certain enthusiasm for all-instrumental music and the cointegration of acoustic and electronic elements in rock and jazz music partnered up as a duo. Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz had recorded Relayer with Yes and an eponymous album with a couple Nice guys as a trio called Refugee before that. By the early '80s, he was well into a solo career, though he also joined the Moody Blues as their keyboardist for several albums and tours. Bill Bruford had recorded and toured with Yes, King Crimson, U.K., and his own fusion quartet Bruford — but also toured with Genesis as second drummer on the Trick Of The Tail tour. Two prolific musicians, to say the least.

A few years back, Bill Bruford kickstarted a pair of self-owned labels, Summerfold and Winterfold, which, respectively, issued remasters of the full Bill Bruford's Earthworks and Bruford discographies. Also remastered and reissued on Winterfold (the electric, or "fusion" outlet, if one must guess) were Music For Piano And Drums and Flags, the pair of mid-'80s Moraz/Bruford albums. In Tokyo is Winterfold's newest offering, a suped-up document of the duo's Tokyo '85 gig on July the 4th in Akasaka, at the Laforet Museum. This means ten compositions in an hour, and the full range of electronic synthesizer and percussion sounds in addition to acoustic piano and drums, as Moraz and Bruford employed back then. Vibrant renditions of M/B material abound, expectedly, from "Blue Brains" to "Eastern Sundays" and the Max Roach-credited title track of Flags. Fans of these two progressive music veterans know they can expect the nuance-drenched technique from each that was honed on many albums throughout the '70s. Moraz's colorful, precise synthesizer articulations and solos were a huge part of the appeal of the duo's sound, regardless.

Where the live album surprises is with three — yes, three — selections from Moraz's solo discography. From ten years earlier on his very first, now-classic solo album, The Story Of i, he and Bruford perform an arrangement of "Cachaça." Not to disappoint, two tracks from arguably the best (untitled) solo Moraz album, his third from '79, close the album. "Jungles Of The World" and "Temples Of Joy" are probably not to be found on any other officially-released live album, and certainly not in the context they were performed here. A real treat, to say the least. With such a dynamic, one must wonder why a composition from Future Memories II wasn't played, either.

An excellent progressive fusion release, to say the very least.

Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr. on January 24th, 2010


01. Blue Brains
02. Hazy
03. Eastern Sundays
04. Cachaca
05. Galatea
06. The Drum Also Waltzes
07. Flags
08. Children's Concerto
09. Jungles Of The World
10. Temples Of Joy

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