Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trace - 1975 - Birds


101. Bourrée 2:27
102. Snuff 2:25
103. Janny – In A Mist 1:13
104. Opus 1065 7:45
105. Penny 2:42
106. Trixie-Dixie 0:26
107. Birds – suite 21:59
  Bonus Track
108. Birds 3:39 – single version

201. Birds 5:16 – live
202. Tabu 11:47 – live
203. Gaillarde 11:06 – live
204. King-Bird 2:15 – live
205. Gaillarde 6:26 – live
206. Snuff 2:32 – live
207. Gaillarde – reprise 3:29 – live
208. Birds 3:15 – live
209. Peace Planet 4:02 – live

- Rick Van Der Linden / keyboards
- Jaap Van Eik / bass, guitar, vocals
- Ian Mosley / drums, timpani, gong, tambourine

- Darry Way / acoustic & electric violin on 4
- Coen Hoedeman / assorted monkeys on 1

Excellent prog album of the 70´s that I had the pleasure of having it at the time. It´s my favorite Trace work, even if drummer Pierre Van Der Linden was gone by this time, replaced by english studio ace Ian Mosley (who would join Marillion in the 80´s). I have always loved their arrangement for Bach´s Bourree; I remember playing this track again and again when I was 16. But Birds have other good tracks like Opus 1065 (with great violin playing from Curved Air´s Darryl Way) and, specially, the great, 22 minute suite, King Bird.
That epic is worth the price of the CD alone and have fantastic passages, with lush keyboards, fine drumming and excellent bass parts done by Jaap Van Eik. Van Eik also plays some excellent electric guitar on this song (very much in the Jan Akkermann style). He also sings a little bit here (nice, but with heavy accent). There are some fillers on side A of the vinyl (mostly Van Der Linden´s tendency for pop jazz) but I can live with that. Their style is often compared to ELP, of course, but they actually remind me more of the great german group Triumvirat then the english trio. It is only a pity that those guys could not come up with a better follow up to this fine record and broke up soon after that.

Birds remains Trace´s finest moment and a worthy record to have if you like the mix of rock, classical music and jazz. Not perfect, but an excellent addition to any prog music collection.