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Solution - Cordon Bleu CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This third album is the last one I heard and I have never seen other albums be it on CD . I have not heard the vinyls either. This is still interesting music to proghead , but I find every album thy made less interesting and slightly more commercial than its preceding . If the debut was almost instrumental , the sophomore was well sung , this album however makes mistakes ( fautes de gout) in the vocal department sometimes ruining the otherwise good music . So unbearable that I rarely listened to it and got rid of it as I needed shelf space. Still worth a spin , but I warned you about it so get a listen before buying. I was generous with the rating of this album , but the music is still correct.
Report this review (#31599)
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What a great fusion album! This fusion band from Netherlands have a seriously developed sense of catchy & addictive rhythm: they produce very accessible (although not simple), melodic, lively & slightly romantic sax-oriented jazz-rock compositions. The omnipresent melodies and harmonies coming from keyboards and multiple saxes proudly stand on "solid as a rock" foot beating rhythms provided by the drums, the bass and sometimes low pitched keyboards. The omnipresent keyboards occupy a very important place in the music: catchy & jazzy piano, floating organ, joyful clavinet?, tender Fender Rhodes, and some other more modern floating keyboards. The bass, very rhythmic and complex, is quite loud and full of bottom. The impressively elaborated & varied drums have the Phil Collins' style of the mid 70's. Shall we mention the presence of some very good male lead & backing vocals. There are very rare acoustic and electric guitars, but they are so discreet that the album sounds like no guitars are present. The final last track has a beautiful flute part, contrasting with all the previous sax marathon! The overall sound is ABSOLUTELY pleasant, fresh and clean! All the tracks are excellent! The sax parts and vocals sound a bit like the ones on the Passport's Earthborn album (Klaus Doldinger's band); the "Cordon bleu" sound is however less modern.


Report this review (#31601)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
5 stars Many years ago, I owned a copy of this album. I had found it in Arnhem whilst on holiday after searching for days and it was one of my most cherished possessions. One day, my wife saw it's scruffy, battered cover and threw it out. I was very upset and, soon after, I divorced her. I have trawled round many second hand record shops for a replacement, so far without success.That is how highly I rate the music of this band and this album in particular. Whilst the vocals do not quite match up to the instrumental parts, they are perfectly acceptable and the tracks are predominantly instrumental anyway, full of brilliant keyboard/sax interplays with an inventive and extremely tight rhythm section to back it all up. The feel is very jazzy but laid back with a mix of floating mellotron and other keyboards, some superb piano work and some virtuoso sax playing. There is a little guitar on this album, which is unusual for the band, and it is discrete and very well integrated. All the tracks are of a high standard, perhaps the pick being Whirligig and Black Pearl parts 1 and 2, which has excellent lyrics. The recording quality on vinyl is also fabulous. The album is noteworthy for its complete lack of commercialism, the sole aim appears to have been to create great music. The Dutch have produced some excellent progressive bands who are hardly known in Britain but who are appreciated in their own country and noted for virtuoso musicianship (FOCUS, TRACE, EKSEPTION). SOLUTION are another and well worth seeking out. I can only say that I would far sooner have another copy of this album than another wife. Enough said!
Report this review (#31602)
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album by Dutch band SOLUTION is an enigma in many ways. The style of the band seems to occupy the grey area that exists between full on fusion and romantic R&B. That is to say, it takes elements from WEATHER REPORT style jazz fusion, and marries them to occasional moments of blue eyed soul a la HALL & OATES or TODD RUNDGREN. The result is a marvelous blending of the two, jazzy enough to give the musicians a chance to shine (check out the smoking opener Chappaqua), but R&B enough in moments (as exemplified in Third Line Part 2) that certain songs wouldn't sound out of place on AOR radio. The saxes and keys are wonderfully played, and the rhythm section is spot on. The occasional vocals are well done, and slightly reminiscient of the aforementioned RUNDGREN. Don't misunderstand, this is not "smooth jazz" (which is evil), but great fusion jazz that is smooth. If you don't mind a bit of romanticism in your fusion, this is certainly one to check out.
Report this review (#85865)
Posted Saturday, August 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars In their beginning Solution was perhaps the Dutch answer to Soft Machine. By the year 1975 the band turned into a pop-infused fusion group with bass, drums, piano, wind instruments and cheesy vocals. With a perfect recording sound and an endless stream of spot on melodies & jazzy chords patters the band still managed to record a very impressive album. Whilst the album is never particularly progressive; it does fare well on that specific melodic melancholy that does so much to keep the listener interested. The album can be quite exciting and adventurous without ever becoming bombastic or overblown. Most of the album is instrumental, but there is also a song like 'A Song For You', which has some great wind instrument melodies, but questionable poppy vocals. 'Cordon Blue' has a nice flow and tells a musical story as a whole and should be seen as among the sweet spots of Dutch progressive music (if you're not totally allergic to it).
Report this review (#245530)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 really

Solution from Holland was one of the enjoyble bands from early to late'70's from progressive jazz fusion realm. Haveing a moderate succes in this field specialy for their third album Cordon bleu from 1975 with each album rlease after they become more an more mainstream jazz fusion, ligher and almost gone towards comercial side. Anyway this third album issued at Elton John's label Rocket records in 1975 keeps the flag high in jazz fusion world, being one of the pleasent surprises coming from Holland in that period. The album alternates from long instrumental pieces like Chappaqua and Whirligig with short pieces those being with voice. The musicianship is great, the thing that I'm not agree that this is their best album is that the song writting is to usual, I mean I can hear this kind of arrangements on many jazz fusion bands from that period, but in the end the album is not bad at all only common to my ears. So, a pleasent album, nothing really spectacular, well played and with some nice instrumental passages.

Report this review (#602318)
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #2

I'm reviewing My Greatest in no specific order, mind you, so #2 here doesn't mean second best.

But let's do them justice, 'cause these dutch guys reached on this album a balance not easy to obtain:
The fine equilibrium between lightness and immediate enjoyability, on one side, and enough complexity and sophistication to make you want to come back and listen again and again.

Global Appraisal

The whole record, from the first to the last note, flows seamlessly in a mood I would call Soft Fusion, if you know what I mean ? Good overall musicianship, tasteful jazzy arrangements, the occasional sax or guitar solo, joyful and melodic compositions (but never syrupy, no smooth jazz or easy listening here!).

I would say it's not even a question of taste, how can anyone not enjoy this music, but more of disposition; when you, like me, are in the mood for demanding complexity this won't do, but the rest of the time you'll get unrepentant immediate rewarding.

In spite of roaming frequently in the well-populated "smooth ballad" territory (as Martin highlighted in the biography the album was produced by Gus Dudgeon of Elton John fame) I don't think Solution got major inspiration from any other band of its time (it's 1975, man!).
They are to my judgment a singular case, not particularly original or influential but anyhow with a distinct personality of their own, let's be fair.

Doesn't sound dated, it's really in-temporal the pleasure I keep getting since the days I listened to the LP on my cheap pick-up until today. I hope it works that way to you too, give it a try.

Well, the cover art says it all: clean, bright, uncomplicated but with a glimpse of fantasy.
Sad note: later recordings would go further in a funkish trend, so don't be too hopeful for proggyness.


I like the vocals as they are, clear and unpretentious (others would disagree), because I sense they blend well with the light mood of the music. Anyway the longer themes happen to be instrumentals.

Although the strength of the quartet resides mainly on the strong cohesion of the interplay, the saxophones really set the tone and that is honey to my ears.

Willem does a good if discreet job on keyboards and you get the chance to taste his working the Elka Rhapsody, one of those now vintage analog string synthesizers of the day (Jarre, K. Schulze, T. Dream, Supertramp)

Report this review (#1487643)
Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is insanely good. Way ahead of its time.

Progrock seems to be a little lifeless sometimes, but folkrock and jazzrockfusion always has more soul and groove to it. And that's exactly what the band has: groove and soul. And the production is superb! Crystal clear and in-your-face. Nice melodies, great drumming and very thick basslines. Good vocals and very nice sax/flute work.

Where Supersister has more humour and aims towards Canterbury, Solution is much more serious. Less rock than Focus but heavier still than Alquin.

I cannot understand I have never ever tried this band before. But know that I have, I know I will play this record a lot.

Highly recommended for people who like the crossover of jazzfusion and progrock.

Report this review (#1913604)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. I might prefer this one slightly to their second album "Divergence" but the debut is my favourite by far. The singing on this and "Divergence" drops my ratings in both cases, just not a fan of his voice at all while the debut just had vocals on one track but at least he could sing in a style I liked. There's two great tracks on here though, both all instrumental and both the longest songs on here hence my 3.5 rating. This was released in 1975 and is a Jazz/Rock affair.

"Chappaqua" is one of those two excellent numbers clocking in at 10 1/2 minutes. My hopes were high after my first listen to this one that's for sure. Relaxing organ then sax before it kicks in around a minute including bass and drums. Such a beautiful sound here. It turns jazzy around 2 1/2 minutes and a little more intense. It relaxes again with that sax after 3 1/2 minutes but the drums are busy this time. Nice keyboard sound as well. A change before 5 1/2 minutes as it becomes more intense again. Great sound. The sax is back around 7 1/2 minutes but not for long. The bass and drums really impress. More sax before 10 minutes in this energetic closing section.

"Third Line Part 1" opens with bass and cymbals in this relaxing piece before keys and sax join in. Mellow is the word. It blends into "Third Line Part 2" where the vocals join in and I don't like them. It's ballad-like here although it will build some with drums and organ but it's still very relaxed. The vocals stop before 2 minutes and the sound becomes a little more intense and the tempo picks up. Vocals are back before 4 minutes.

"A Song For You" makes me a little sick to my stomach every time I hear it. A ballad that sounds like it's done with the Reo Speedwagon singer. Yikes! "Whirlgig" is the other track I really like clocking in at around 9 minutes. A mellow start with cymbals, sax and not much more. It kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes, very jazzy but settles back just as fast. Funky bass and a beat as the sax kicks in and synths after 2 minutes. I like this. It settles back again as the tempo continues to shift until that steady jazzy groove arrives. Another calm after 7 minutes before kicking back in late.

"Last Detail Part 1" opens with sax, bass and drums, keyboards too. This is good. Organ just after a minute. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes unfortunately. "Last Detail Part 2" has the vocals returning quickly and while I like the instrumental parts I'm not into the rest.

"Black Pearl Part 1" has spacey synths with bass, piano and drums then it kicks into gear quickly to an uptempo sound. Organ too then it calms right down with sax. Nice. It blends into "Black Pearl Part 2" as the sax comes in with some power. Vocals replace the sax quickly. Again I like the instrumental parts best. More powerful sax but again it's brief. I'm not a big fan of the sax to end it.

So much excellent music but not a 4 star album in my opinion.

Report this review (#1940946)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2018 | Review Permalink

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