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SOLUTION

Solution

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 51 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars An oddly shaped Dutch quintet from The Hague, Solution played an enchanting variant of mainly instrumental jazz-rock mixed with symphonic prog, not unlike Supersister, Focus, Earth & Fire, Finch and others?. I wouldn't speak of a Dutch school, but it wouldn't be so strange either, although Solution seem to lack some of the humour of Focus and Supersister. Lead by Tom Barlage on sax and flute and keyboardist Willem Ennes, Solution managed to release a few albums during the 70's, but mainly the early ones are of interest to progheads. With urban canal sleeve artwork, this album dates from 71 and was produced by John Schuursma and contained just four tracks. It was released on a small local label Catfish

The opening instrumental Koan is abased on a repetitive riff played on keyboards and sax, but it lies on solid layers of synths. The tempo changes rather often, lead by VanDe Sande's bass ruling over a strong drummer and a percussionist, and resting a while on a mid-tempo while Barlage's sax and flute take it away. After the all too obvious Preview as an intro to the 12-mins Phases, a slow developing spacey Floyd crescendo with a faraway flute until bassist Vande Sade sings (a bit in an early Peter Gabriel mode) a few lines before the track takes on a slightly menacing turn veering VdGG and Secret Oyster.

The flipside opens the descending riff of Trane Steps and first install a VdGG mood before Barlage does pay tribute to Coltrane, but he's showing that he's fully integrated this influence. Definitely my fave of the album,, especially before the almost brutal awakening of the French composer Ibert burlesque adaptation of Circus Circumstances, where for the first minutes the assault is a real drawback until the track gets into place and the tracks ends superbly. Again the sax and electric piano are reminiscent of Secret Oyster's Karsten Vogel and Ken Knudsen.

While certainly not perfect and essential as other jazz-rock fusion of the time (the movement was in full swing that year), Solution's debut album had the guts to mix in some more "symphonic" prog to its music and in itself it's definitely worth setting an ear on it.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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