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Solution Solution album cover
3.76 | 48 ratings | 8 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Koan (7:50)
2. Preview (0:51)
3. Phases (12:19)
4. Trane Steps (10:19)
5. Circus Circumstances (7:03)

Total Time: 38:22

Bonus tracks on 1988 CD release:
6. Second Line (8:43)
7. Divergence (5:55)
8. Concentration (11:29)
9. Theme (0:42)
10. New Dimension (6:25)

Total time 71:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Willem Ennes / piano & electric piano, organ
- Tom Barlage / alto & soprano saxophones, flute
- Peter van der Sande / bass (1-5), vocals (3)
- Guus Willemse / bass & vocals (6-10)
- Hans Waterman / drums

- Steve Boston / congas & cowbells (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Janos Barendsen (photo)

LP Catfish ‎- 5C 054-24377 (1971, Netherlands)
LP Decca - 5124 (1972, UK)

CD EMI-CDP 7 90751 2 (1988, Netherlands) - w/ 5 bonus tracks from 1972 LP Divergence
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2337 (2012, UK) 24-bit remaster by Ben Wiseman

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Esoteric 2012
$21.46 (used)

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SOLUTION Solution ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SOLUTION Solution reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars actually...

A great band coming from The Netherlands that doesn't fear to blend jazz rock with eclectic prog,hard rock and some space elements!The debut self-titled album of the band was released back in 1972 and,in my opinion should have come as a mindblowing shock by that year.The musicianship is at times close to space/jazz rock,other times gets just nice and complex...Trully nice mix which demands a few spins to be full appreciated...

''Koan starts it all and this is a jazz/rock version of GENTLE GIANT with dynamic drums/keyboard entrance,jazzy following arrangements and flute-dominated ending theme...''Preview'' is a very nice piano/keyboards intro to the next track,the excellent ''Phases''.The track starts with almost 4 min. of amazing,hypnotic,spacey Floydian keyboard sound (EELA CRAIG come also to mind) which gets even more experimental afterwards with the addition of flute,bass lines and soft drumming.By the middle the band starts to really rock with the help of Peter Van Der Sande's rocking voice (a sound in the vein of BURNIN' RED IVANHOE) and,before the same rocking end,comes a KING CRIMSON-esque schizophenic interplay between guitar,bass,drums and saxophone...Woww,thrilling music!...This is also the only track of the album that has some vocals...''Trane Steps'' comes next and ,although it's a good track, it comes as a rather weak follower to the previous epic with a typical jazz/soul/blues rock format with a few experimentations in the vein of KING CRIMSON and GENTLE GIANT due mainly to the amazing work of Tom Barlage in the saxes...''Circus circumstances'' has a funny title and a humorous opening theme that reminds me of ''The Benny Hill show'' (!!!),the track gets a prog rock format on the way and ends with another jazz rocking style with interesting sax...

Another obsure jazz rock band from the early 70's which was progressive in nature and desreves much more attention...Fans of a more eclectic/jazz style of prog rock as well as Canterbury lovers will like this one a lot...

Review by Warthur
4 stars A mainly fusion band with some leanings towards a symphonic sound here, a dash of Canterbury there, Solution's debut album is a confident piece of mostly-instrumental early 70s jazz-rock with Tom Barledge's saxophone and flute and Willem Ennes' keys the main soloing instruments, the interplay between the two being the main draw.

Phases is probably the most uncharacteristic song on here, starting as it does with a long spacey sequence before breaking out into a symphonic number that's reminiscent of early Yes (except in the vocals department, in which bassist van der Sande is slightly weak). The rest of the album stays more in a fusion sphere, with Circus Circumstances starting off with circus music (hence the title) and breaking out into a sprawling instrumental reminiscent at points of Zappa's material on Hot Rats if you took out the lead guitar and layered on some thick saxophone and organ. Not a perfect album, but a very strong debut indeed, and certainly worth a listen if your taste in fusion extends to the Canterbury/Zappa-influenced end of things.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The early seventies appear to be an endless source of amazing music. It blows me away everytime I discover a great album from that era done by a band i've never heard of. When will it end. Hopefully never, but here's another one. SOLUTION were from Holland and played a Jazz / Rock styled brand of music but not limited to that. Sax and flute along with the usual instruments are featured on this 1972 release. Love the album cover as well.

"Koan" is uptempo as it hits the ground running. It does settle a minute in to a groovy sound with sax playing over top. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. Flute 2 1/2 minutes in along with a calm. Love the distorted organ reminding me of Canterbury. This is so good. Flute is back after 6 minutes. "Preview" is a short piece with piano melodies throughout. "Phases" opens with floating organ and atmosphere. Drums and more as it builds 3 1/2 minutes in, then it kicks in at 5 1/2 minutes. Vocals too and this is the only track with singing on it. Great sound after 7 minutes when the vocals stop and the sax becomes prominant. Vocals are back 8 minutes in. Such a cool sound 9 1/2 minutes in with those dark piano lines and sax. Vocals again after 11 minutes then it ends with atmosphere.

"Trane Stops" opens with organ as the drums and sax join in. Back to organ only as themes are repeated. I like the drumwork on this one. The guy can play. An interesting drum / organ section before 6 1/2 minutes then the sax joins in. Nice. Some jazzy bass here as well. "Circus Circumstances" kicks in quickly. This is insane as the sax hits us with short, quick blasts over and over. Yes the circus does come to mind until the sax stops and it turns heavier before 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound here. It then settles back before picking up as the tempo continues to shift. A calm with piano, drums and sax leading 5 minutes in then it kicks in one more time.

There's a great picture of the guys on the back cover of this release. This is another gem found, and one i'll enjoy for years to come. A solid 4 stars.

Review by stefro
3 stars An elegantly-forged slice of jazzy progressive psychedelia courtesy of the Netherlands, this 1972 release from the little-known outfit Solution is yet another unexpected European surprise for those willing to undertake the exploration needed to locate such things. However, those familiar with the country's other progressive exports - the likes of Focus, Cargo, Trace, Supersister, Finch, Group 1850 etc - should sit up and take note as this is actually a rather different creation. Instead of flowing symphonic melodies and quirky art-rock, Solution's self-titled debut treads a distinct jazz-fusion path glossed with occasional Canterbury-style moments and one surprise(albeit, thankfully, rather brief) headlong rush into comedic faux-classical goofing. Supersister may be the nearest national Touchstone then, yet even that link may be tenuous at best. Made up of five fairly lengthy pieces and one disposable minute-long time-filler, 'Solution' should more than please those with a taste for Miles Davis' 1969-1975 electric period, Soft Machine's jazz-fusion series and the similarly-intoned sounds of Nucleus, Catapilla and Return To Forever. Highlights include both of the album's longer pieces, with the impressively mellow 'Phases' slowly building up a layered head of steam before morphing into the hazy John Coltrane tribute 'Trane Steps'. Both tracks display Solution's obvious affection for the sounds of classic American jazz, yet the real trick here is the group's seamless blending of complex jazz elements into a wider progressive whole. 'Trane Steps' in particular finds the group stretching out into almost psychedelic territory - some moments also hint towards National Health's first two studio recordings - yet kudos to the group for never quite slipping into the trap of indulgent soloing that blights many a lesser fusion outfit. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dutch band SOLUTION was formed back in 1966, and in a career that lasted until 1983 they explored quite a few different types of music prior to calling it a day. Their most interesting productions from a progressive rock point of view have generally been subscribed to their self-titled debut from 1971 and the following year's production "Divergence". Both albums have been unavailable for a number of years now, until the UK label Esoteric Recordings decided to reissue them on CD in the fall of 2012 ? as usual from this fine label, complete with a nice and good quality digital remastering.

As far as debut albums go, "Solution" is a very interesting one. Innovative, adventurous and broad in musical scope, I'm slightly mystified as to why this album isn't high on the list of classic albums progressive rock fans should sample. The very eclectic nature of this disc will not be to everybody's taste admittedly, but for those with a broad range in musical tastes and a keen interest in early 70's progressive rock Solution's debut warrants a keen inspection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I found this as a 1976 two-for-one that includes their first two albums, released on EMI, in a Eugene, Oregon record store around 2012, knowing that I've been aware of Solution for ages, and that Focus recorded one of their songs as part of "Eruption". I was rather amused of the "EMI" label, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1647973) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first thing that immediately strikes home about the opening section of this album is the assured and accomplished playing, and the beautifully clean recording. Ensemble playing at its best, Tom Barlage leads a four piece Sax/Flute, Piano/Organ/Elec Piano, Bass and Drums outfit with a pleas ... (read more)

Report this review (#831964) | Posted by beebfader | Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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