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Ekseption - 5 CD (album) cover



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4 stars At the time of writing this album has yet to be released on CD. This album starts off with Beethoven played by Rick on church organ, and it ends with Beethoven on church organ. In between we are in for a very diverse musical treat, where the famous Ekseption formula of mixing classical with rock and jazz is mingled with original compositions from the leader of the band, Rick van der Linden, as well as one arrangement of Keith Emerson's For Example. Just for the record, Rick's mixes of various styles with an original theme of a classical composer is far more than just an arrangement, he does it very effortlessly, as opposed to many other albums out there which have so called 'popular reworkings of the classics', Rick's own way of melting it all together is anything but dull. He definitely has created his own signature by means of his style of writing as well as his instrumentation, which makes him very recognizable. One composition of Mozart (A la Turka) and three of Bach are also featured on this album in addition to Beethoven. The longest piece on the album (a little over 10 minutes) is the composition 'Midbar Session', an original from Rick. It's a great piece of music, and suddenly in the middle where Rick improvises a solo on the Hammond he plays the first measure of the Dutch nursery song 'Alle eendjes zwemmen in het water' ('All ducks swim in the water'), very funny. It probably has to do with the fact that he had become father, and a recording of his newborn son crying can be heard on the intro to the song 'My Son'. Again a very enjoyable album from Ekseption.

Report this review (#32843)
Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Yuck. When it comes to Symphonic Progressive Rock, Ekseption lacks the "progressive" and "rock" aspects. By the time this album was released (1972), marrying rock instrumentation and symphony orchestra was nothing new (see Procol Harum, Deep Purple, The Moody Blues, etc.) Simply combining the styles can't automatically be called a progressive gesture. There must be something more there. And I can find no trace of rock here. Ekseption's music lacks that viseral element necessary for anything labelled "rock". There might be drums and electric bass guitar here, but their role is downplayed, and their rhythmic attack, if you can even call it that, is feeble.

There is no doubting Rick Van Der Linden's talent. He certainly possesses plenty of inspiration to even try modern interpretations of Bach and Mozart pieces, and his stabs at original composition are commendable. But too many times the final result is less crashing symphonic color and more cheesy lite-jazz inflected pop (ie. early Chicago). Not even a song co-written by Keith Emerson ("For Example/For Sure") can stave off the album's dull plod.

I would give this one star because it's so unattractive to my ears and, I imagine, the ears of many symphonic prog fans who would rather hear Eela Craig, The Enid or indeed, ELP, do this sort of thing. But I'll give it another star for the band's inarguable talent, and because Van Der Linden does produce a few squiggly synth sounds that can't help but make even the most discerning prog fan smile. Most of it just makes me cry, cuz I spent $12 on this piece of vinyl and will probably never be able to sell it back at half the price. More fool me.

Report this review (#62895)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ekseption is with no doubt the most successful progressive rock band (yes, it is rock) when it comes to fusing rock and classical music. And quite a bit of jazz of course.

This happens to be Ekseption at their very best, and it deserves no less than a masterpiece rating.

Report this review (#63031)
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of my preferred albums and I consider it really a masterpiece of progressive music. It has a special place in my collection of LPs. I still like to listen Ekseption 5 music after more than 30 years, and it is one of the few LPs I like to listen from the beginning to the end. The piece I like the most is 'My Son', followed by 'For Sure' and 'Midbar Session'. I have appreciated also the use of the pipe organ ('introduction' with a few measures from the fifth and 'finale' seamlessly connected to the corale end of 'My Son') If I came back with memory to the years when the album was released I can remember that the sound of Ekseption 5 was really very original and impressive for that time. 5 stars from my point of view.
Report this review (#122427)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Symphonic prog without rock from Holland. An album where some cries masterpiece !! and other cries poor !. It is a love/hate record. It is probably a love/hate band too.

The beef: The nearest reference to this album and Ekseption is Sky, The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But where these three bands is edgy, creative and innovative; Ekseption just add rock and jazz to the classic pieces they use here. There is no synergy between these three music styles. There is not much rock either. There is not much there at all.

The use of saxophone is pretty horrendous and destroys any hope of a good record. The result is also too much muzak and the likes of music you hear in the shops around Christmas time. Is shoptoyoudrop music in the shopping mall the same as good progressive rock ? Not in my view. This album is plain boring and nothing more. Ekseption fails miserable where Keith Emerson succeed with The Nice and ELP. It's a shame, but I choose The Nice and ELP any day instead of Ekseption. What a shame.

Report this review (#185707)
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Quite a disapointment , really. True, I knew Ric Van Der Linden from the band Trace in the mid seventies and I was expecting something in that vein. I mean, good, symphonic prog rock. And instead what I got was an instrumental album that triees to mix, unsuccessfully I should say, jazz, rock and classical music (very few rock, be aware). The results are far from satisfying, bordering the ´cocktail´ jazz-pop type. After so much praising I heard from a lot of prog fans i could not help but feeling they were talking about a different record.

Not that everything here is bad. No. There are some nice tracks like classical influenced Virginal and the playful song My Son (even if the silly child´s noise in the background isa bit too cheesy, he had the right to do so). But most of the time the stuff is uninteresting jazz/rock/classical fusion that goes nowhere. Not really Just plain boring stuff, but I´ve heard this kind of mix done much better by ELP and others. A pity, since it is obvious that the musicians involved are all excellent ones. Even the use of instruments like trumpet and flugelhorn, not very commonly associated to a prog band, could lift it up.

If you´re into some soft jazz, this record may be a good pick. For progheads I found very few worthy moments. To me, 5 is for collectors and fans only. 2 stars.

Report this review (#241818)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Time has gone since I reviewed "Trinity" and now it's time for Ekseption's fifht release with the name and number "5". The record was recorded 1972, three years after the debut record. I purchased it for a cheap amount on a second hand store and got a lot of nice minutes for this morning's work out. The musicians were Rick van der Linden (piano, organ, spinet and syntheziser), Rein van den Broek (trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone), Cor Dekker(bass guitar), Dick Remelink(saxes and flute) and Peter de Leeuwe(drums, percussion and 12 string guitar).

There are some ingrendients that make Ekseption unique. The use a lot of brass instruments - horns and they play often classical music in rock but quite near its original form. On this record I think it's the "classical" pieces that succeed. I like "A la turka" a Mozart piece, "Siciliano in G" a Bach piece and "Finale" a Beethoven thing the most(8/10). Besides classical music Ekseption here play their own form of jazz rock with roots in big band jazz and free jazz. "Midbar session" is such interesting jazz compossion with influences from here and there(7/10) and it's also the album's longest work. "For example/For sure" is another exemple of an eclectic and inspiring song(7/10).

Over all though is this record too modest to reach particular intriguing realms. This music doesn't contain uninteresting or bad notes though and the quality is high so it's definitely a record to relisten and reexamine. For me, according to my standards this is a strong three star record with a great average but with few highlights.

Report this review (#1285508)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars After their '00.04' (1971) album, which is maybe their best, the line-up remained the same for this album. But producer Tony Vos was not present in this album, not even as a guest sax player as in '00.04', but '5' is dedicated to him, and '5' was produced again by Rick van der Linden but with assistance from Rein van der Broek and recording engineer Pieter Nieboer. So, by 1972 it seems to me that van der Linden was having an even more prominent role in the band, with him being the keyboard player, the main composer, the main arranger and also the producer of their albums.

This album stars with a bit of humor (at least for me, I think) with the brief 'Introduction', which has van der Linden playing some bars from Beethoven`s Fifth Symphony, with a Pipe Organ (this was, after all, their fifth studio album, and this musical theme was also used for one of their first singles in 1969, called 'The Fifth', but played with the whole band, but not with a Pipe Organ, of course). 'Introduction' is followed by 'Siciliano in G', which is an arrangement of J.S. Bach`s Second Movement from Sonata No. 2 in E-flat major for Flute and Harpsichord. (This musical piece also has been transcribed to be played in piano only by other Classical Music artists like pianist Wilhelm Kempff). 'Siciliano in G' is my favorite arrangement of a Classical Music piece by van der Linden, played very well by the band, with Rein van der Broek and Dick Remelink playing a very good duet with trumpet and sax, respectively, and also having very good trumpet solos from van der Broek in other parts, and a also a brief but very good piano and spinet solo from van der Linden. Van der Linden also adds very good keyboard arrangements in all the parts of the musical piece. Great playing from the band in this musical piece, in my opinion.

The next track is 'Vivace', which is an arrangement from J.S Bach`s First Movement from the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor. A fast musical piece also played very well by the band.

The next track is 'For Example', composed by Keith Emerson and Lee Jackson and previously recorded by THE NICE, which was one of the bands which originally inspired EKSEPTION to play adaptations of Classical Music themes, like THE NICE did in some of their albums. 'For Example' is played with a Jazz arrangement, and is followed by 'For Sure', composed by van der Linden.

'Virginal', composed by van der Linden, is a very good musical piece with influences from J.S. Bach`s music, but also having some Jazz and Pop arrangements and very good solos from van der Broek.

'A la Turka' is an arrangement of Mozart`s 'Alla Turka from Sonata no. 11 in A-minor'. A fast musical piece played with organ and wind instruments arrangements plus some Pop and Jazz arrangements, of course.

'Midbar Session', composed by van der Linden, is another musical piece influenced by J.S. Bach`s music. It is maybe the most Progressive musical piece in this album, with a length of more than 10 minutes, with a main melody played using a synthesiser, and also some Jazz-Rock arrangements.

'Pie' is a brief piano musical piece by van der Linden, with some Jazz arrangements.

'My Son', composed by van der Linden, and inspired by his son, has a 12 string acoustic guitar played by drummer Peter de Leeuwe, with also having the appearance of Rick van der Linden Junior (as a baby, of course) crying in the background (!). It also has some choral arrangements.

'Finale', like the 'Introduction' in this album, is again played by van der Linden with a Pipe Organ, and also credited as a composition from Beethoven, also reprising other musical themes from other musical pieces in the album.

As a whole, this is a very good album from EKSEPTION.

Report this review (#1448753)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2015 | Review Permalink

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