Saturday, October 3, 2015

Solution - 1972 - Divergence


01. Second line (8:44)
02. Divergence (5:58)
03. Fever (4:22)
04. Concentration (12:28)
05. Theme (0:38
06. New dimension (6:25)

- Tom Barlage / saxes, flute
- Willem Ennes / keyboards
- Hans Waterman / drums
- Guus Willemse / bass, vocals

Second album from this group, now reduced to a quartet, having lost their percussionist Steve Boston who went un-replaced,, but more importantly they lost singer/bassist VDSande, but they managed to find Guus Willemse for both tasks. This changed the sound quite a bit, although remaining jazz-rock, but a lot more sung, and somehow having a reduced musical spectrum over their debut album. Recorded in 72, released on Harvest this time and again produced by the same Schuursma, the album sports a picture of a strange modern sculpture, most likely unrelated to the title or the album's content, six tracks, with one serving as an intro.

The opening almost 9-mins Second Line starts out as déjà-entendu, both in VdSande's vocal line and delivery (he sounds like Boston's vocalist Boudreau) as well as the song's general sound (the Secret Oyster resemblance is more evident on this second album). The shorter title track reminds me of a cross between Colosseum and Secret Oyster as If Knudsen (SO) had met Heckstall-Smith (Col) and you'd have a hard time believing Focus didn't listen to this album after hearing Fever's flute.

The lengthy Concentration opens the flipside with plenty of interplay between all four members, especially again between Barlage and Ennes , the latter even winking at McCoy Tyner once or twice, just before or after the former played homage to Trane. Theme is more of an intro to New Dimension, probably the most future-AOR and cheesiest track of the album and not the best way to end an album.

Solution will than take a break to fill military duty, but their next album Cordon Bleu is from 76 with a complete line-up overhaul and the music changing to a certain kind brass-rock and gaining more attention. But for this second album, I'd say it' has lost the debut's spark, but is a more even and maybe jazzier affair, but it's definitely still worth investigating.

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