You won't remember this, but I brought this round to your room just after I got it, because my turntable was 70 miles away at the time. Not long before I'd been making the case for Bruford as an innovator for his use of electronic percussion. For his work in King Crimson in the early eighties he had renounced cymbals. So we put this on your Dual 505 and dropped the needle. Sure enough the first percussion you hear is a traditional cymbal. You made me squirm uncomfortably, and, as usual in such circumstances, my brain seized up. I forgot that there was a perfectly straightforward rationale for this. Bill wasn't using the ersatz cymbals for the sake of it. He was avoiding the cymbals because they produced frequencies that overlapped with electric guitars. On Music for Piano and Drums, no guitars, hence no ban on cymbals. It's 26 years late, but there's the answer I should have given.
As I said earlier in the year, this is a better album than the duo's second and final collaboration. Much, much better, in fact. I really enjoyed it as accompaniment to a Sunday morning cup of coffee and a book.
I saw Messrs Moraz and Bruford play together at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 19 July
20051985. This was just a few hours after Robert Fripp's appearance on the other side of town (Fripp was asked if he was going to the gig — he said he was booked in the studio). I can't remember if Moraz had his electronic keyboards on stage, but I'm reasonably confident that Bruford would still have been using an acoustic kit.
My hunch is that Bill took on this album as an experiment, and enjoyed it enough to give it a second go. The second put him off, but memories of the first were enough to try a second keyboard and drums duo with Michiel Borstlap two decades later. Music for Piano and Drums sent me off to download some of their work from eMusic. I wish I'd seen them live when I had my chance, but Bill's retirement caught me out.
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