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Ekseption - Ekseption CD (album) cover

EKSEPTION

Ekseption

 

Eclectic Prog

3.31 | 61 ratings

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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.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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