Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
This is the first release from 1974 by the Dutch group Trace, formed in 1973 by keyboardist Rick van der Linden (previously the leader of Ekseption) with drummer Pierre van der Linden (from the group Focus) and bassist ... more »
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This is the first release from 1974 by the Dutch group Trace, formed in 1973 by keyboardist Rick van der Linden (previously the leader of Ekseption) with drummer Pierre van der Linden (from the group Focus) and bassist Jaap van Eik (with various groups). This CD includes as bonus tracks, 'Progress' & 'Tabu' the two numbers featured on the bands single which were recorded during the same sessions but were not previously available on the album. Musea label. 1995.
Mind-blowing keyboard work
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 08/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1974, this album by Dutch band Trace is about as good an example of the fusion of overtly classical styles and rock as it gets. Led by the unbelievable keyboard virtuoso Rick van der Linden, this album is a tour de force display of his breathtaking playing abilities (and his keyboard collection) along with the excellent work of his bandmates Pierre van der Linden (drums - he had previously played with Focus), and Jaap van Eick (bass guitar).
The list of keyboard instruments that Rick uses is so impressive, that I feel compelled to list them here: Steinway grand piano; Hohner clavinet; Hammond organ B3; church organ; small pipe organ; harpsichord; ARP synthesizer (ARP 2600 I think); EMI Synthi A; Solina string ensemble; and finally (my favorite) the mellotron (with string, brass, and choir tapes). The synth tones that Rick gets are excellent and the mellotron is everywhere on the album. Though this is a keyboard dominated album, bassist Jaap is also very good and does not simply lapse into the "follow the left hand part of the piano" approach to bass playing. Although he does use this approach (it makes sense sometimes), he shows enough of his own personality. Pierre of course is a great drummer and his work on this album (as with Focus) is excellent (he has a 3'00" drum solo on The Lost Past). I guess it is worth noting that Pierre did not play on the 1975 follow-up album Birds, and was replaced by the much heavier English drummer Ian Mosley.
The 11 tracks on the album seem to all blend together into a single larger suite, although there are breaks here and there. Although European classical is the dominant style, stylistically, this album is across the board, and elements of gospel and even bebop jazz turn up here and there (the track Once is a good example). I really have to give them credit for trying to play bebop - it is an extremely difficult style to play, especially for the bass player - although for a rock band, they do a pretty good job with it - especially Rick (I swear the friction generated by his playing on the track Once must have set the Hammond on fire!). The ensemble work on this album is unbelievable, and the more rocking sections expend enough energy to power a small city - especially when Rick gets cranking. There are of course, quieter sections that nicely balance the heavier sections, along with some haunting moments too (A Memory).
The bonus tracks Progress and Tabu are very good, although I was more than satisfied with the tracks included on the original album. The liner notes are also very helpful and there is a ton of information and photos. Musea did a nice job with this album.
All in all, this is a fantastic album of instrumental prog that boasts some unbelievably spirited performances (although I really could have done without the drum solo). Unfortunately, the inspiration seemed to dip for the follow-up album Birds, although I think this is simply a consequence of the fact that Rick was too busy. Admittedly, the Birds album does feature Rick's incredible playing and the excellent King Bird suite and is worth picking up."
A sum greater than the total of its separate parts!
Glen Bourgeois | Cheticamp, Nova Scotia Canada | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first glance, I would have thought of this album as a mere curiosity item. Rick van der Linden's previous group, Ekseption, had never particularly enthralled me (except for their first album without Rick, named "Bingo!" and credited to "Ekseption (New Formula!)". And heck, wasn't Pierre van der Linden exiled from Focus due to his supposed technical limitations as a drummer?Once the stylus first hit the well-worn play copy during my show at my former university's campus radio station, I was treated to a lovely Bach fugue, done in early'70s pop-rock trio style. But I was not prepared for what happened next: I was blown away! The group suddenly hit into swing-rock overdrive, in a style not dissimilar to ELP, but definitely not inferior.And for the rest of the album, we get treated to the instrumental trio's prowess in a style similar to this. Rick van der Linden digs up folk melodies from his part of the world, and mixes them in with the aforementioned Bach cantatas and his own compositions. Pierre drums as he's never drummed before on album... or again, for that matter, for he would soon leave the group to retire from the music business altogether. This group was heralded in its time as the three best musicians Holland had to offer. And by the sound of it, this is exactly right.One more note must be made about the superb remastering and packaging treatment given to this project by the label, Musea Records. Musea has re-released all three of Trace's albums with bonus tracks, amazingly extensive liner notes, archival pictures from the original era of the band, and sound that is simply divine. If you've been wanting to replace your album copy, don't hesitate to get this one (and if you have a few bucks to spare, the follow-up "Birds" is also worthy of purchase, although this is by far the best album)."