Patrick Moraz Biography

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Birth Name: Patrick Phillipe Moraz
Born: 1948/06/24
Birth Place: Morges, Switzerland
Years Active: 1967–present
Genres: Progressive Rock, Electronic, Jazz Fusion


Patrick Philippe Moraz (born June 24, 1948 in Villars-Ste-Croix, Morges, Switzerland) is a progressive rock keyboard player. He is best known as the keyboardist for the progressive rock band Yes, from 1974 to 1976, and the Moody Blues from 1978 to 1991. He was classically trained at the Conservatory of Lausanne, but played jazz primarily before entering progressive rock and has been highly acclaimed for his virtuosity.

He first toured as a solo performer opening for major jazz artists throughout Europe in the mid-1960s. He then formed the group Mainhorse with Jean Ristori in 1968, which released a self-titled album on Polydor. He then moved to England and in 1973 formed Refugee with Lee Jackson and Brian Davison. Davison and Jackson had previously teamed with rock keyboardist Keith Emerson (famous for his work in Emerson, Lake & Palmer) in the group The Nice.

Moraz rose to prominence in 1974 when he replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes, playing on their album ''Relayer'' and world tour. Although Vangelis was the first candidate to join the band, he was finally discarded in favour of Moraz, because of legal issues related to work permits in the United Kingdom. On the ''Relayer'' album, Moraz brought in a more jazz/fusion sound that was a departure from Yes' more classical approach. In 1976, all then-members of Yes released solo albums, and the Moraz album, titled ''Story of I'', received acclaim from musicians. In the interim, Moraz had moved to Brazil, and incorporated Brazilian rhythms and performers on the album, making it an important staple of world music. He would then leave Yes. He then recorded another album, ''Out in the Sun''.

Moraz began touring with The Moody Blues on their ''Octave'' tour in 1978, replacing their former keyboardist Mike Pinder. He subsequently played on their 1981 album ''Long Distance Voyager'', which reached #1 on the US charts. He continued touring and recording with the Moody Blues until 1991. During this time, Moraz was also credited as co-writer on the Moody Blues song "The Spirit", along with drummer Graeme Edge, and it appeared on their 1986 album ''The Other Side of Life''.

Patrick Moraz's Aquarius Studios in Geneva, Switzerland with engineer Jean Ristori, was a creative magnetic for recording signed European progressive rock bands, including John McLaughlin and the Swiss progressive rock band Flame Dream.

Even while with the Moody Blues, Moraz toured and recorded extensively. He toured with his group from Brazil, recorded with Chick Corea and released two prominent albums of duets with drummer Bill Bruford, another former member of Yes. His solo albums ''Future Memories I'', ''Future Memories II'' and ''Windows of Time'' have been critically well-received.

In 1992, Moraz left the Moody Blues, and subsequently sued them for royalties he felt were owed to him as a member of the band for nearly 15 years. The Moody Blues denied that he was a member of the band, but rather a hired musician, despite the fact that his name was listed with the band members on the original record sleeves and booklets. The case went to court in California, and was shown on ''Court TV''. Although Moraz won a judgment, it was for a minor amount rather than the millions that the suit claimed.

Since then, Moraz has primarily concentrated on solo works, particularly solo piano. In 1995, Moraz performed throughout the USA on his C.H.A.T. tour (Coming Home to America). The tour was unusual in that Moraz booked everything himself, and for a flat fee of $800 would come to your home, club or other venue, and play a private or semi-private solo piano concert. All that had to be provided was a place to play, and a suitable piano. Moraz played for anywhere from 2 to 100 people at these shows, one of which was recorded and released as ''PM In Princeton'', on both CD and video. Other solo piano recordings from this period include ''Windows of Time'' (1994) and ''ESP'' (2003), as well as a solo piano album titled ''Resonance'' (2000).

He now lives on the west coast of Florida with his wife.

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