Trace — Trace
(Musea FGBG 4144.AR, 1974/1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01
Frankly, it's amazing that this album (and the two Trace albums that followed) has eluded reissue so long! A super-group of sorts, their albums sold quite well and the first two were even released worldwide. The mastermind behind this Dutch trio (a trio for the first two albums, at least) was keyboardist Rick van der Linden, who had previously released five albums with his first band, the classically oriented and widely acclaimed Ekseption. Joining him fresh from Focus was drummer Pierre van der Linden (no relation), and bassist Jaap van Eik, following a stint in Solution. Make no mistake about it, this is Rick's keyboard show from beginning to end, and being entirely instrumental makes the music that much more intense – but he has the compositional skill and chops to pull it off. His arsenal includes piano, synthesizers, Mellotron, clavinet, harpsichord, solina, even bagpipes, but the favored glorious Hammond B3 shines through the mix everywhere. Like it was with Ekseption, the strongest influences here come from the classics, but all infused with the raw power of rock – as well as traces of jazz and blues, the latter seeming to come mainly from the rhythm section's spirited and animated treatment of the material. The compositions travel through a labyrinth of tight turns and changes – with many of the numbers segueing into one another. When searching for comparisons, The Nice would have to be high on the list, as well as some of Wakeman's early solo material, even Matthew Fisher's work with the early Procol Harum. For completists, the a and b side of the band's first single are included here as bonus tracks. Overall, great album and a reissue that was long overdue.
Related artist(s): Trace
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more