Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
4 for the Music only...package is a * (maybe.)
C. Lichiello | Ohio | 09/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm only typing this review 'cause nobody else has yet. I want to give you an idea of what it's like.
Solution were a 70s Dutch jazz-rock group sporting a sort-of mellow R & B feel and (on all LATER albums) excellent harmony vocals which were trademark to their sound on the albums which received worldwide release. Unfortunately this characteristic had yet to be realized on their first two albums, which this disc contains. Their debut ('72) was self-titled and the follow-up was called "Divergence" ('73.) 'Course you'd never know it looking at this excuse-for-a-reissue since it only has the photo from the first record's jacket and does NOT mention ANYWHERE that the entire 2nd half of the disc is from a totally separate work. Additionally, it is completely DEVOID of any credits from the original Lps except for composer(s) of the individual tracks. At least they put it in a jewel case...
So here's who they were: Tom Barlage-Saxes & Flute; Willem Ennes-Keyboards; Hans Waterman-Drums; and Guus Willemse-Bass. About a third of the songs have vocals but as I don't have copy of either Lp, I'm unable to tell you who sings or on what.
The singing (all solo) isn't a particular strength here but I certainly don't find it annoying either. Actually the only problem I find with the singing is a compositional characteristic of Solution that appears on all four of their albums I've heard. They'll be jamming away on some bass groove or Barlage will be enhancing a jazz vamp with his alto sax and suddenly they'll slow way down or flip (effortlessly I might add) into some major chord 4/4 70s pop and someone will start vocalizing their lost-love pangs or their "heavy-man" survival tactics for teenage anguish. They don't do it for long though. Then it's back to what they do best-play music.
This jazz-rock is not particularly experimental...mostly mellow & melodic with just an occasional spurt of exuberance from the flute or an organ swell. Ennes' piano stylings remind me a bit of those on the earliest Billy Joel albums (say..."Streetlife Serenade"). In VERY general terms, I'd venture that this would appeal to fans of Chicago or Blood Sweat & Tears music FROM THE SAME TIME (early 70s).
If you ever run across a copy of their 3rd album, "Cordon Bleu" for less than an arm & a leg, SCARF IT UP! The track CHAPPAQUA is about the hottest blow I've ever spun off my turntable! WAY awesome! It has immediately lit UP just about everyone I've ever subjected to it. The super-clean Gus Dudgeon production on that one didn't hurt either. This "two-fer" was transferred to digital back in '96 and it sounds like it... But I've been waiting to hear these two titles for about 30 years so the 2nd millenium sound quality isn't a major bother. Price was pretty decent too."