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Ekseption

Ekseption

Ekseption


Ekseption was a Dutch progressive rock ensemble from Haarlem, The Netherlands with changing membership, active from 1967 to 1989, growing out of the bands The Jokers and Incrowd. Ekseption 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 Read more on Last.fm
Ekseption was a Dutch progressive rock ensemble from Haarlem, The Netherlands with changing membership, active from 1967 to 1989, growing out of the bands The Jokers and Incrowd. Ekseption 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 the difference between the two keyboard players ("Bingo-bingo", "Mindmirror" and "Back to the Classics"). EKSEPTION did no longer enjoy the success when Rick was still in the band, and after a third last album ("Back to the Classics") EKSEPTION was disbanded.

The formula of EKSEPTION was too restrictive for its members, so they adopted a different name, SPIN, added a few new musicians, and they recorded two albums under that name. After his departure from EKSEPTION in 1973, Rick formed his own band, TRACE, and he recorded three astonishing symphonic rock albums with this band. In 1978 Rick van der LINDEN and Rein van den BROEK, EKSEPTION's trumpet player, came together and they decided to reunite EKSEPTION with the old line-up: Peter de LEEUWE (drums), Cor DEKKER (bass), Dick REMELINK (sax), and of course Rein and Rick. They recorded "EKSEPTION 78" in a time when symphonic rock and prog rock were not in vogue, and "EKSEPTION 78" did not have the commercial success that was hoped for. Hoping to restore some of that success EKSEPTION released an album in 1981 with new recordings of their old hits together with two new tracks, "Dance Macabre".

But when this album failed to be a success as well Rick and Rein decided to call it quits. In 1989 a new attempt was made at a comeback with EKSEPTION. They recorded "EKSEPTION'89", a CD with again old material in new arrangements as well as a couple of new tracks. Again it did not work out the way EKSEPTION had hoped, and the scenario of 1981 repeated itself.

In 1994 EKSEPTION came together again for some live performances, and a live album was recorded. However, the album contains tepid, uninspired performances of old material, and it seemed that now the final curtain had fallen for EKSEPTION. In 2001 Rick released a solo album where he fused the church organ with rock music in new arrangements of the music he had performed with TRACE and EKSEPTION. He decided to rejuvenate EKSEPTION with some new blood in the shape of Mark Inneo on drums, Meredith Nelson on bass and Bob Shields on guitar. With this new EKSEPTION and his wife on vocals he toured through Holland and Germany in 2003. Rick van der Linden passed away on January 22, 2006 Recently the first four albums were released on CD, and I HIGHLY recommend this double CD (it's called "3 Originals", with the fourth album added as a bonus).

The album "EKSEPTION 78" has also been released on CD, although with a different title (you can check out these releases by clicking on the album). Other than these CD releases, the other albums still are waiting to be released on CD, although some tracks of these albums appear on compilation albums. Of the compilation albums "Air" and "Selected Ekseption" are the best ones. The CD "Live in Germany" is best avoided, it's a registration of a concert of EKSEPTION in the nineties, but it does not at all reflect the energy of the band used to have on stage.

For those of you who cannot wait for an official CD release of the yet unreleased albums of EKSEPTION or who are interested in the two vinyl records made by SPIN, which have not appeared on CD, the Dutch site www.fonos.nl offers people an opportunity to order CD recordings from original albums, which are no longer in print. In short, I highly recommend EKSEPTION to anyone interested in symphonic rock. Although there are other bands who combined classical music with rock, such as THE NICE and EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER, both in their sound and their music EKSEPTION show themselves to be one of a kind. -- www.progarchives.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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