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EKSEPTION

Eclectic Prog • Netherlands


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Ekseption biography
Founded in Haarlem, Netherlands in 1967 - Disbanded in 1989

EKSEPTION is a Dutch band that was famous during the late sixties/early seventies for the way it combined themes from classical composers with contemporary rock and jazz in a blend of dominating, virtuoso keys and trumpet plus sax(es). The story of EKSEPTION as we know it begins when they won the first prize at the Loosdrecht Jazz Festival in 1968, and they were rewarded with a record contract with Philips. At the suggestion of Rick van der LINDEN, the band's keyboard player, they decided to record rock versions of Beethoven's "Fifth" and Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance". Although initially the single with "The Fifth" did not catch on, three months after it was released suddenly it began to sell like hotcakes, and the basis for the now famous EKSEPTION formula was established: a cocktail of classical music with (symphonic) rock and jazz. Following the success of the single, their first album was recorded, which contained a mix of covers, classical themes in a rock/jazz setting, and one song written by the band.

Rick van der LINDEN emerged as the band's artistic leader, and on their second album ("Beggar Julia's Timetrip") he was responsible for arranging and writing the music. Although EKSEPTION's first album was entirely instrumental, on the second as well as the third one, "Ekseption 3", a singer was included in the band (on "Julia Beggar's Timetrip" the singer was Michel van DIJK, who later joined the Dutch band ALQUIN, while on "Ekseption 3" Steve ALLET replaced Michel). The role of the singer was very limited on those albums, which featured only a couple of vocal songs, so after their third album the singer left the band, and EKSEPTION once again became an all instrumental band. The fourth album shows a band that had evolved into a tight symphonic rock ensemble, playing side by side with the ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA in a performance of the centre piece of the album: "Piccadilly Sweet", a suite for orchestra and rock band written by Rick van der LINDEN. The next two albums show a matured band with their own distinct sound and their unique brand of music. However, after the album "Trinity" Rick van der LINDEN was forced to leave the band, and with Rick the musical identity of the band disappeared as well. Rick's successor in EKSEPTION, Hans Jansen, had a different musical background, leaning much more towards fusion music, and the albums made after Rick's departure clearly show t...
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EKSEPTION discography


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EKSEPTION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 80 ratings
Ekseption
1969
3.38 | 78 ratings
Beggar Julia's Time Trip
1970
3.81 | 85 ratings
Ekseption 3
1970
3.76 | 74 ratings
00:04
1971
3.34 | 71 ratings
5
1972
3.98 | 67 ratings
Trinity
1973
3.71 | 40 ratings
Bingo
1974
3.05 | 28 ratings
Mindmirror
1975
2.44 | 23 ratings
Ekseption '78
1978
2.91 | 17 ratings
Danse Macabre
1981
3.19 | 12 ratings
Ekseption '89
1989

EKSEPTION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.83 | 8 ratings
Live In Germany
2003

EKSEPTION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 3 ratings
The Story Of
2003

EKSEPTION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.63 | 10 ratings
Ekseptional Classics - The Best Of Ekseption
1973
4.74 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits - Classics
1975
3.00 | 17 ratings
Back To The Classics
1976
3.96 | 4 ratings
With Love From Ekseption
1977
3.55 | 14 ratings
Ekseption Plays Bach
1989
3.00 | 1 ratings
Greatest Hits
1990
3.30 | 6 ratings
The 5th
1998
3.44 | 9 ratings
Selected Ekseption
1999
2.63 | 4 ratings
Air
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Best From Classic
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Universal Master Collection
2003
4.48 | 11 ratings
3 Originals
2004
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Lost Last Live Concert Tapes
2009

EKSEPTION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Ekseption at ABC
1966
2.00 | 4 ratings
Talk About Tomorrow
1967
2.00 | 2 ratings
Laura
1968
3.91 | 3 ratings
Air
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
Ritual Fire Dance
1969
3.00 | 2 ratings
The 5th
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
Another history
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
Adagio
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
Italian Concerto
1970
2.00 | 1 ratings
Cantita
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bank Ekseptional
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
Ave Maria
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
Peace Planet
1971
3.50 | 2 ratings
A La Turka
1972
2.50 | 2 ratings
My Son
1972
2.95 | 2 ratings
De Fietser
1974
3.00 | 3 ratings
Persian Market
1974
2.50 | 2 ratings
Sabre Dance
1981

EKSEPTION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ekseption by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.38 | 80 ratings

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Ekseption
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Neo-classical, early-enough Dutch Prog maestros Ekseption released their self-titled debut in 1969, housed [I must mention] in a sleeve with art (most/more) suitable for a compilation record representing the era; in a sense the art does hold up, yet feels generic, to say the least (or the nicest?). I've always been impressed with the little I've known from the band (seriously only this debut until a month ago), led by briefly-yet-will-be Trace keyboardist Rick van der Linden. Rick was fundamental to the band's sound and success, I'd firmly say, much like other [(co-)leading] keyboardists of this Proto- and early-Prog era, such as The Nice's Keith Emerson and Uriel/Egg's Dave Stewart (and, to a perhaps lesser extent in usually barely larger Rock ensembles, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge, and Clouds' Billy Ritchie). Regardless, with the power of van der Linden, Ekseption's 'backing' ensemble should likewise be considered right on up there, and, here, right from the get-go.

In a truly unabashed, even gutsy manner--looking at it now, it would be suicide to be this basic, honestly haha--Ekseption begins with "The 5th", a rendition of Beethoven's ever famous, known-by-all Symphony No. 5 [Ya know: "Duh duh duh duh..."]. And its first 30 seconds or so is what I can only describe as a seemingly purposefully lo-fi sample of a symphonic recording of the piece, met soon enough and then completely replaced by the rhythm section (Peter de Leeuwe preforms a very Jazz-Rock beat on drums, each downward strike illuminated by Cor Dekker's warm, full bass). Rick's shining organ underlays the horns as they continue this first section (Rob Kruisman on sax, Rein van den Broek on trumpet, likely guitarist Huib van Kampen on tenor), and by the first minute, with the sample totally overshadowed, the favor switches to Rick's acoustic piano. The drums never drop out, leading to a very successful, gripping tension, as the keys are banged and the horns sing solemnly and forthright. I think, despite its now-obvious pitfalls, this is an excellent early-Prog Jazz-Rock tune, set to the tune of an unavoidably classic piece of classical music.

Up next is "Dharma For One", a forward-driving number written by Jethro Tull, naturally led by Kruisman's flute. This is pure Jazz-Rock. Clive Barker, Tull's drummer, co-wrote this piece with Ian Anderson, and boy does it show! We get an extended drum solo from de Leeuwe, and it's a mighty fine one at that. In that, of course, its staying power is only defined by the listener's feeling on the medium of drum solo. Is what it is. I liked it alright, certainly. Then we get the only Ekseption original, "Little x Plus". One of its winningest factors is the flute-backing sound of vibes (uncredited? or is it early keyboards putting in the work?). And then this rhythmic drone from the bass... Wowza. The theme is quite charming. Next is a familiar number, in both title and sonics, Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" . A playful number, they pull all the stops, utilizing their larger Rock ensemble numbers to their advantage, as horns dance around bright keys. The use of percussion, what sounds like congas, is likewise winning. Really great fun, and a lot less corny than you would expect from a composition such as this. And then Holy Sh*t, the piano solo!!! Yow! Wicked fast and, much like Hot Rats distinguished most certainly and importantly by multi-instrumentalist Mother Ian Underwood, the production of this sounds incredibly modern! It holds up. Big fan. Best thus far [and overall].

As if "The 5th" wasn't enough, they take a page right out of Procol Harum's book with "Air", and like Gary Brooker's inescapable mark on history, the beautiful "A Whiter Shade of Pale", it covers Bach's "Air on the G String". Remarkably still(!), "Air" not only put Ekseption on the charts in the Netherlands, but it hit their #1 spot! In as Baroque-modern a manner as possible, the lead is tenor sax. The piece opens up for a quirky shift into Jazz, and it honestly takes a few seconds, I thought, for the band to catch up to the change haha. The return to a near-straight-on rhythm is far more jarring though. Instrumentally, I think this does have it going on, the rhythm section really carrying the charge forward. It loosens again to a sort of Ringo-drag, which I'm always (all) for. Despite its strengths as mentioned, "Air" is only as 'Good' as its weakest points allow. In a funky, post-Jazz direction, "Ritual Fire Dance" is a rockin' rendition of this title by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. This feels a bit more like the earlier 'exotic' experiments from this decade's first half.

Coming back to material just as familiar as the greats they've already covered here, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" follows. And I think they do a fine job of distinguishing themselves on this cover! It's got a ton of energy and spunk. We enter the Bop as van den Broek solos on buzzing trumpet. And we get another win for Team Rhythm, with the drums and the bass just pushing out some wild, wild sh*t. This classical material is really funked up throughout, but just as good an example is "This Here", a composition by Bobby Timmons. Not counting the obvious Jazz-Rock in which we find ourselves in '69, it really does sound likewise early-60s (it's originally off Timmons' 1960 sophomore album). And this is so '60s, and really in the best way. It's got soul and character to spare. Next is "Dance Macabre Opus 40", a bombastic, truly Romantic composition by Camille Saint-Saens. The name is fitting. After its organ-led triumph at the start, the song didn't offer much. They're great players, but they've done that much more just a couple tracks ago. This is also the second time on the album we hear sampling of the original piece, presumably as originally intended. And finally, we get "Canvas", a Rock 'n' Roll number turned a little more Jazzy, originally performed by Brian Bennett, drummer of The Shadows. There are these really cool, tense moments at the song's bookends. I'd recommend, if you're a fan of what you hear here, checking out Bennett's original 1967 recording off Change of Direction. Ekseption is pretty true to the Bennett model.

Seriously, Ekseption is a great debut album, [List Time!] worthy of placement alongside other releases of this neo-classical persuasion and early, eclectic Jazz-Rock, such as Days of Future Passed, Shades of Deep Purple, The Family That Plays Together, Blood[,] Sweat & Tears, Those Who Are About to Die Salute You, Chicago Transit Authority, Hot Rats, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Emergency! (Tony Williams Lifetime), Third, Emerson[,] Lake & Palmer, The Polite Force, Focus II, and anything out of The Nice's catalog. Tis good. Worth a listen, even if what you may find most appealing differs from me. Enjoy!

 Beggar Julia's Time Trip by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.38 | 78 ratings

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Beggar Julia's Time Trip
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Beggar Julia's Time Trip is this Dutch group's sophomore release, following their still-early-Prog '69 self-titled. Not inaccurately considered a Classical Crossover band, Ekseption covers compositional material from the broad classical/art music canon, though significantly less here than with their debut. Instead, the vast majority of tracks are penned by keyboardist Rick van der Linden, who 4 years later would briefly depart to form and record with the Prog trio Trace, featuring early Focus drummer--and somehow bearing no relation to Rick--Pierre van der Linden (the same surname and you're not even cousins? on paper or anything? haha).

The album begins w/ a van der Linden original, "Ouverture", a Baroque-style instrumental with a clean sound to start and a very tasteful flute solo from Dick Remelink. Midway, the track softens and then slowly builds into classic Jazz Rock. The synths which close out the high-intensity church organ are really something for the time (no surprise coming from a master such as Rick). To follow is a monologued "Prologue". With a deep, though quiet drone and the constant clashing of cymbals, the track is almost like Tolkien. I found the writing to be impressive and gripping. Seamlessly, we are then musically introduced to our album's protagonist, "Julia". A bizarre, increasingly-frustrated counting of ump-teen hundreds is heard immediately following for a very short 30 seconds on "Flying Power". All tension there is abandoned with the warm buzz of electric organ at the start of "Adagio" (by Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni). This gets rapidly jazzier, as Rick offers a plunky solo on what I assume to be spinet (what sounds like harpsicord). This solo is its strongest element, but it disappears as quickly as it entered the mix.

In what I'd consider an awfully positive turn in the album, "Space 1" (credited to J.S. Bach) acts as a truly spacy, still futuristic (and I feel somewhat ahead of its time) interlude. What follows is another Bach credit, "Italian Concerto in F BWV 971 (1. Allegro)", one of the more confident Symphonic Prog songs thus far. This morphs into what I'd consider broadly Post-Bop in the middle before returning to overtly classical. Pretty strong track. In a totally other tone, "Concerto" (Tchaikovsky) is a triumph, filled with positivity so obvious , you may get a little sick from it haha. Thank God then for the little tension later provided. This composition, I would think, should be very familiar (starting around 1:00, at least) to anyone old enough to retain memory of (at least), I don't know, 15 years of their life. It's pretty iconic. And what they do with it is certainly pleasant, especially with the inclusion of some backburner, back-of-the-mix lead guitar (uncredited?). Despite what I said at the start, this is one of the strongest songs of the whole, with a range of tones, colors, emotions, and other synonyms.

To follow is the next interluding track, "Space 2", a mysterious tone, suddenly broken up by the thumping groove of "Pop Giant". The horn stabs are reminiscent to Chicago, especially (much welcomed). Likewise welcomed are the honestly great vocals from percussionist Michel Van Dijk. And then there's this sultry sax solo on something so markedly feeling, it may as well have been Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments". This is delicious, proggy Jazz Rock! Continuing in the same tone, following the fleeting "Space 3", "Feelings" is next. So natural, and yet revealed to be so much brighter. The bass from Cor Dekker is very Psych Pop (so it's incredible). It's so high in the mix and I'm really feeling that choice. This is one of the more clear examples of Classical Crossover on the album [Many tracks on Beggar Julia seldom meld Jazz and Classical so tightly]. Queue fading sax solo as we then bleed into "Epilogue", a dark and eerie tune with a final monologue. Julia must've had one helluva trip, huh? Who's ready for their next? We then finally have the "Finale: Music for Mind / Theme Julia". And Rick really takes us to church here. The organ reminded me of the stellar Prog Pop song "I'm O.K." by Styx, some 8 years later.

Overall, a very handsomely packaged, cohesive album of early Symphonic Prog (with happy sprinklings of Jazz Rock). Its highs are notable, yet, as with any album of this just-secondary caliber, only carry her so far. Certainly glad I listened.

True Rate: 3.5/5.0

 Ekseption 3 by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Ekseption 3
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars I was quite taken away when I first heard Ekseption at the beginning of my prog-rock listening career because it sounded so unique to me to blend classical rock with music. As years went by, I find their music highly derivative, with little additional input and lacking the one-of-a-kind stamp. It cannot be denied that the players are skilled and can switch from classical music to rock or jazz-rock. The greatest attraction is never a dull moment playing by Van der Linden, his array of keyboards is astounding and there are so many different moods, from solemn, celebrating to pompous, laid-back or uplifting. Not an album that you would listen to multiple times to discover new aspects - just listen to the tight interplay, great keyboard solos and ignore the classical music rip-offs. For those searching for more substance and sense of originality, go listen to "Trace" also with van Der Linden behind the keyboards but better developed. To listen to more ambitious prog-classical music, you'd better spend time with ELP, Nice or the first two albums by Electric Light Orchestra.
 Trinity by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.98 | 67 ratings

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Trinity
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by Spacegod87

4 stars An incredibly innovative accomplishment, and although other bands were doing similar things, Ekseption really carved out their own sound with this album. Combining a number of different genres across the entire work, including classical, rock, folk, jazz and world music. But despite mingling different genres together, I think it is safe to say that there is a definite overall classical theme on this album.

The classical themes, intermingled perfectly with breakneck playing, is both impressive and a pleasure to listen to. This album does not leave you bored or wanting to skip a single track. If you are an open-minded prog fan, the entire experience of listening to this album is a vibrant and exciting one. And if you are an avid classical music fan, you might be a bit unsure about how well they have put their own touches on a few classical pieces. I consider myself both a prog and classical music fan, and to me, it sounds fresh. I also believe that it holds up to this day in regard to being innovative. I do not believe they sullied those timeless Beethoven and Rimsky-Korsakov classics, but instead added their own unique prog charm to them.

The various keyboard sounds from Rick Van Der Linden stand out on many tracks and is responsible for the faster, more fluttering sections and livelier phrases. The track, 'The Peruvian Flute' is rich with instrumental gold, and takes you on a strange, unpredictable journey that ends just as strongly as it began. I never thought I would find the pan flute interesting, until I heard this rendition of a traditional song.

The trumpet work on 'Smile' reminds me of a moment in the past. It has a sense of longing, of nostalgia. The track is slower than the rest on the album, but just as beautiful. This leads into the punchy track, 'Lonely Chase' which is definitely the most bizarre but unique track in my opinion. It always reminded me of old video game music form the eighties, in a way. Its speedy insistence is fantastic, and I still maintain that it sounds like boss battle music in parts.

Moving quickly onto side B, the bass and percussion in Improvisation is outstanding. Jumpy, bright and exciting. The whole song could have just been bass and drums and I would have been happy. Props to Cor Dekker and Pieter Voogt. This song is the definition of energetic and crisp, even though the entire album pretty much goes the same route. There is a short, 'blink and you miss it' moment with the track 'Meddle' which adds a folky, medieval flavor; right before falling into their rendition of 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' which mixes their usual bombastic style of playing with some smooth jazz mid-song. Finally, the album fades out with a choir singing in angelic waves, signaling the end of a truly unique and astounding album.

I will end the review by stating that 'Trinity' is mainly a synth, sax and trumpet heavy album with many added elements. And if I could describe the overall feel of it in three words: Bright, Fast and Clean.

 Beggar Julia's Time Trip by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.38 | 78 ratings

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Beggar Julia's Time Trip
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ekseption produced some very interesting material in the early 70's. Their style is somewhat reminiscent of The Nice - full of rock adaptations of classical music of the romantic, classical, and baroque periods. Therefore, do not expect any very sophisticated melodies, rhythms or harmonies - this is pure European tidyness. This record in particular is a great showcase of what these Dutch prog-rockers were able to do. Ekseption consisted of drums, bass, organ, and a horn section - sax and trumpet. This line-up gave them great versatility, which you can hear on this record. "Beggar Julia's Time Trip" is a beautifully twisted mix of classical baroque music, dry, up-beat rock tempos, and excellent, authentic bebop passages, featuring great instrumental abilities from all of the band members. "Italian Concerto" also perfectly presents that and is in my opinion the highlight of the album. You can forgive not the best recording quality and that "dry" factor in the mix. Rick Van Linden is an excellent keyboard player, whose abilities should be put among the greatest - Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks, Dave Stewart or Jon Lord. All of the band members present a great technical know-how and classical training. The record, however, as fun as it is to listen to, has not aged gracefully, sounding very dated, cheesy, and, at times, even commercial. 3 stars is a good rating. It is still recommended!
 5 by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.34 | 71 ratings

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5
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Ekseption 3 by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.81 | 85 ratings

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Ekseption 3
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For this third album from EKSEPTION again there were some changes in the line-up: lead singer Michel van Dijk was replaced by Steve Allet (although van Dijk appears in 'Another History' as lead singer and lyricist), and drummer Peter de Leeuwe returned to the band. For this album Rick van der Linden composed all the original music with the rest of the lyrics being written by Will Luikinga. Producer Tony Vos again appeared as guest playing saxes.

This is another concept album by the band, this time having as central theme Antoine de Saint-Exupery`s book titled 'Le Petit Prince' ('The Little Prince'). This album is even more Progressive than their previous two albums, and it seems to me that with each new album the band was having more confidence, a more stable line-up (with Rick van der Linden, Rein van der Broek, Cor Dekker, Peter de Leewe and Dick Remelink appearing together in this and other three albums during the seventies) and a more stable musical style with less inclinations to Pop music. For this album, van der Linden was increasingly becoming the musical leader of the band and his influence over the musical arrangements is even more clear, with maybe J.S. Bach`s music and Baroque music in general having more influence in the musical style of the band.

'Peace Planet' is an arrangement from J.S. Bach`s 'Badinerie From Suite No. 2 In B Minor', played with energy. I remember that parts of this track were used in a TV ad in my country in the late seventies.

'B612' has Steve Allet in lead vocals, with very good spinet playing from van der Linden and with very good Jazz arrangements and very good solos from van der Broek and Remelink.

'Morning Rose' is another song which was sung by Allet and with some Hammond Organ playing by van der Linden which makes me remember PROCOL HARUM a bit.

'Piece For Symphonic- And Rock group In A Minor (Part 1: Passacaglia, Part 2: Painting)' has in the first part an orchestra playing mostly without the band, and in the part two the band playing an instrumental Jazz-Rock influenced musical piece, without the orchestra, again with van der Linden playing spinet in some parts and an organ solo.

'The Lamplighter' is an adaptation from J.S. Bach`s 'Prelude And Fugue In Minor' with some Jazz arrangements.

'Bottle mind' is a fast instrumental musical piece with some (uncredited) influences in the melody from 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' from Grieg`s 'Peer Gynt Suite No. 1'. It also has a very good and brief bass solo by Cor Dekker.

'On Sunday They Will Kill The World' is a more influenced Rock musical piece sung by Allet with musical parts taken from Rachmaninoff `s 'Prelude In C Sharp Minor'.

As I mentioned before, 'Another History' is sung by Michel van Dijk and has lyrics written by him. Maybe it was recorded for their previous album ('Beggar Julia`s Time Trip', 1970) and also it maybe has an uncredited Dennis Whitbread playing the drums, but I could be wrong. Very influenced by Jazz and J.S. Bach`s music, and with Hammond organ solos which makes me remember PROCOL HARUM again. This song was also released as a single.

'Rondo' was taken from Beethoven`s 'Piano Concerto No.3 In C Minor', with van der Linden playing the original piano parts in an organ, and with an extended and maybe improvised instrumental Jazz section with him on piano and with very good solos from Remelink and van der Broek. Apparently it was recorded 'live in concert' because it has applauses from an audience at the end (with van der Linden or someone else saying 'Thank you!' to that audience).

I watched on youtube a video (maybe done for TV) with the band playing live in concert some parts of songs from this and previous albums, with 'Rondo' and 'On Sunday They Will Kill The World' being played from this album and with Steve Allet on vocals in this last song. The band appears playing in a stadium, with a lot of energy.

As a whole, this album is very good, and it is maybe one of their most Progressive albums.

 Beggar Julia's Time Trip by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.38 | 78 ratings

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Beggar Julia's Time Trip
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For this, their second album, the band had some changes in the line-up: both Rob Kruisman (saxophones, flute, guitar, vocals) and Huib van Kampen (guitar, Tenor saxophone) left the band, being replaced by Dick Remelink ( saxes, flute). Drummer Peter de Leeuwe also left the band (but returned for their next album), being replaced by Dennis Whitbread. Also the band had a lead singer called Michel van Dijk, plus some guest appearances from Tony Vos (saxes, tonytone, electronic effects, and also the main producer of some of their albums), Linda van Dyck ( voice on "Prologue" & "Epilogue"), and Eric van Lier (trombone, tuba), who also was going to participate in their '00.04' album from 1971.

This album is really a concept album about a beggar named Julia who does a time trip through several centuries (more or less as I understood the concept). The main composer in the original musical pieces in this album is keyboard player Rick van der Linden, with some collaborations with lyrics from singer Michel van Dijk, who really only sings in two songs ('Juila' and 'Pop Giant'), and from Linda van Dyck who does some narration. There are some sections in the album which really are done with electronic sound effects and their function is more to work as links to other musical pieces. These electronic sound effects make this album sound a bit influenced by psychedelia, and they really sound like 'experiments' maybe done with Moogs or with other electronic devices.

As in every album by the band, there are several arrangements done to Classical Music pieces (Albinoni`s 'Adagio', J.S. Bach`s 'Italian Concerto', and Tchaikovsky`s 'Concerto'). The appearance of an electric guitar solo in 'Concerto' and its previous appearance as the B-side of the 'Air' single in 1969 makes me think that 'Concerto' was really recorded for their first album, but was finally released in their second album. Of these Classical Music pieces I prefer more 'Adagio' and 'Concerto'. There are also some brief appearances from other uncredited Classical Music pieces in some parts of the album, like some bars from Rachmaninoff`s First Piano Concerto and a bit from J.S Bach`s 'Sicilano in G', a musical piece which the band was going to record in a full arrangement for their 'Ekseption 5' album from 1972.

This is maybe their first attempt for a full Prog album, having a conceptual story, and with each musical piece being linked one after the other without interruptions (other to the natural end of the Side One in the old LP version). The Jazz, Rock, Classical and Pop influences are very present, and maybe in this second album the band sounds more 'mature', more 'serious', and with maybe having less inclinations to appear in the radio, even if they still released some singles.

 Ekseption by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.38 | 80 ratings

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Ekseption
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The band EKSEPTION started as a Rhythm and Blues band, having their start under some different names for the band since the late fifties (The Incrowd, The Jokers). By the mid sixties the name of the band was changed to EKSEPTION, with trumpet player Rein van der Broek (who died in May of this year) being the only musician who was present in all the recordings that this band released during its existence. They first released three singles between 1966 and 1968 influenced by the Rhythm and Blues music style. It was with the arrival of keyboard player Rick van der Linden in 1968 that the band, also influenced by seeing a concert that THE NICE played in Holland, decided to change their musical style to a musical style with a mixture of influences from Jazz, Rock and Classical Music. They became more famous doing arrangements to Classical Music pieces with all the musical influences that I mentioned before. They also composed some musical pieces (mainly composed by van der Linden), but without doubt they were considered more as arrangers and performers of Classical Music pieces. Van der Linden became the main arranger in this band, sometimes with very good results, until he left the band (or was forced to do it) in late 1973.

This first album from EKSEPTION was recorded in 1968-69. It has several musical arrangements of Classical Music pieces (Beethoven`s 'The Fifth', Khatchaturian`s 'Sabre Dance', J.S. Bach`s 'Air', Falla`s 'Ritual Fire Dance', Gershwin`s 'Rhapsody in Blue', and Saint-Saens`s 'Danse Macabre'). Of all these, I think that the best musical arrangements were done for 'The Fifth', 'Air', 'Ritual Fire Dance' and 'Danse Macabre'. In my opinion, the band (particularly van der Linden) did better arrangements for musical pieces which were composed by J.S. Bach. In fact, they recorded more arrangements for musical pieces composed by J.S. Bach than by any other Classical Music musicians. All the arrangements had some Pop influences to be played in the radio, a thing that maybe was suggested by the producers of their albums and /or their record label. So, some of them ('Sabre Dance', 'The Fifth') sound a bit commercial for my taste.

This album also has 'Dharma', a musical piece previously composed and recorded by JETHRO TULL as 'Dharma for One', which also has some flute playing and a brief drums solo. 'Little x Plus', a musical piece being credited as composed by the band, with some Jazz influences, and 'This Here' and 'Canvas' , both Jazz covers.

In this album the band used a bit of electric guitars, a thing which did not happen again until their last albums from 1974-75. Their next album, 'Beggar Julia`s Time Trip' (1970), also included one musical piece with guitar (an arrangement of Tchaikovsky`s 'Concerto', which also was released in 1969 as the B-side of the 'Air' single), which makes me thing that 'Concerto' was really recorded for their first album but was included in their second album.

As a whole, this album now sounds a bit dated. But the band had very good musicians. The recording and mixing are very good, but also showing a bit the passing of time and the changes in recording technologies.

This album was also later released under the "Classics in Pop" title in France, with "Ritual Fire Dance" being replaced by Albinoni`s "Adagio" (from their second album), and with "Danse Macabre" being replaced by J.S. Bach`s "Italian Concerto" (also from their second album). The cover design is the same, only adding the "Classic in Pop" title to the cover.

 Bingo by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.71 | 40 ratings

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Bingo
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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