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Ekseption - Bingo CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 35 ratings

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4 stars In the first half of the 70's there seems to have been quite the lucrative market for pop-ified interpretations of the classical masters. ("Bach goes pop" and what not.) Ekseption was certainly one of the grestest of them all in the genre where the merging of classical and pop took place. We would, supposedely, call it prog. Others pop. No matter what, it seems pretty fitting that classical and rock would meet. It wasn't that uncommon, Jethro Tull had been doing it and Ritchie Blackmore surely found inspiration among the masters of old, but interpreting classical music in the way Ekseption (and others) did was all about bringing them up to date and reminding everyone that the works from ages ago could stand the test of time, rather than including elements of classical music into newly written material.

I am just as fond of Ekseption as anyone. I mean, I like them as an entity but I rarely listen to their albums. I get bored. It is not because the music lacks in excellence. The musicians are all top notch and the execution flawless. It's just that I am not one for classical music. At times I come across something that catches my eye (or ear) but on the whole? I am sorry. It doesn't appeal to me to the extent I'd wish it did, unless it is intertwined into progressive rock of any kind. So, having said that I will conclude to elaborate on classical music and head straight into "Bingo!".

A change in direction might prove fatal but it can also be very rewarding. I don't know much about the politics in the bandcamp, other than that Rick Linden got the boot. The remaining members decided to take a rather different path and the shift from classical into all out jazz-rock with infectious grooves is quite a daring leap. Not that jazz-rock was lacking in their past but this time the material was mostly selfpenned and focusing on that rather than the old masters works.

There are some hints to the past, as in "Sabre dance", and despite what I've said previously I find it to be working very well. I suppose the truth being that I have a hard time swallowing an entire albums worth of classical music, progressive or no. For the most part the music would fit well in with any (then) contemporary crime-series on TV. It is very much the jazz-rock of the 70's, making head and body twitch and nod at every beat, stab on the keyboards and wah-wah laden guitar. The opener "From Ekseption" is a very good example of this. It holds everything dear to me in the genre of jazz-rock. The frantic, fast paced rhythms in the first section, the heavy riff and delicate electric piano and the groovy drum solo. It is the best track on the album but the rest of the material is nearly as strong. "Brother Rabbit", "Sunny revival" and the "Bingo-Bingo" than ends it all. This is an album of extremely competent and swinging music.

To me this is the finest album Ekseption made and I have listened to the previous ones on several occasions. I find it that, many didn't I suppose, this is where it all came together. Blending jazz-rock and throwing in the odd classical bit to even things up is a stroke of genius. Ekseption was never better than this. I love it and it grooves ever so nicely. "Bingo!" is a very nice and spirited album, well worth listening to, if you're into groovy jazz-rock from the 70's.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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