Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Interview : Patrick Moraz (solo, YES, The Moody Blues)

HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: We had the great honour to talk with a great keyboardist:Patrick Moraz. He was a member of YES from 1974 to 1976 and of The Moody Blues from 1980 to 1990, though, technically, he had been doing two Tours with them in ‘78 and ‘79. Previously he had formed Mainhorse with Jean Ristori and Refugee with Lee Jackson and Brian Davison, former members of The Nice. He has an interesting and prolific solo career and he has recorded with Chick Corea and Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson). This year, he took part in the “Cruise to The Edge”. Read below the very interesting things he told us:

patrick1Was it an interesting experience to record “L.A Woman” with Jimi Jamison (Survivor) and Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash) for the tribute album, “Light My Fire – A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors”?
It was a great experience because it made me rediscover The Doors, of whom I knew the music before and I was asked to do the keyboard part without copying Ray Manzarek. The record company wanted us to keep some of the original passages, the instrumental passages and so on and I had fun doing it. I did all the keyboard parts: you know, solos on the keyboards, on the electric pianos and searching sounds. I think it was my idea to have the door opening and shutting in the very beginning of the track. I did all the piano lines and so on. I had a very good rapport with Billy Sherwood, whom I know personally of course, because he was also in a group I used to be a member of as well, YES. I was having a lot of fun experimenting with the song they provided me, with the basic backing track. It was a very rich sonic experience for me to do that. The singer Jimi Jamison did a very good job, as well as Billy on bass and the guitarist, Ted Turner, and the drummer, Scott Connor, as well. I just heard it for the first time yesterday (ed: 15 June), would you believe? It’s a really-really good surprise.

What are the current projects you are involved in?
I’m currently in Los Angeles to finish a big production. It is for an excellent drummer and very good friend of mine, Greg Alban. I composed and arranged all the music and played keyboards and acoustic piano. It also features some excellent musicians such as bassists John Avila, Patrick Perrier and Matt Malley as guest sitarist, as well as percussionist Lenny Castro. I also have been working on the continuation of my own solo album for which I am in the finishing process right now.

Did you enjoy the “Cruise to the Edge”?
We had a fantastic time. I was very happy to be part of the “Cruise to the Edge”. In addition to my two concerts with electronic keyboards & piano, I was asked to do an additional concert, playing on an acoustic grand piano exclusively. I also did a Master-Class which was a lot of fun! It was full of people and the cruise was excellent. I was even able to do a song from the YES repertoire of the time, “Soon” with Annie Haslam, a very good friend of mine, who is, as you know, the lead singer of Renaissance. I think she did a fantastic job, because we only rehearsed a couple of times. It was a very impromptu version like that, but we really enjoyed it.
Live In Princeton 
DVD - £12.99

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