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(38:54, Esoteric Recordings)
TRACK LIST: 1. Second Line 8:48 2. Divergence 6:00 3. Fever 4:27 4. Concentration 12:31 5. Theme 0:42 6. New Dimension 6:26 LINEUP: Guus Willemse – bass; vocals Willem Ennes – piano, organ Tom Barlage – sax, flutes Hans Waterman – drums
Prolusion. Please read here.
Analysis. A year can be a long time indeed in the world of music, and the first two albums by SOLUTION document this statement quite nicely. On their first production they came across as an untamed, eccentric entity striking out in a number of different directions in a fairly unpredictable manner. But just one year later, "Divergence" is a creation very much tamed, controlled and fairly predictable at times too. Opening piece Second Line must have been a severe shock to those who bought their first album on first encounter, with new bassist and vocalist Willemse smoothly singing on the composition that is a piano ballad at heart, nicely flavored with a tight and fairly sophisticated drums and bass foundation admittedly, although the mournful sax soloing that followed again spoke volumes of a piece that seemed destined for popularity on FM airwaves rather than amongst adventurous music fans. The second half of this cut does showcase why the album is named as it is though, and while perhaps not extremely innovative, it's a fairly sophisticated jazz rock excursion that is explored in the second half of this opening piece. Title track Divergence documents that Solution is still able to pull of refined efforts without the need for a smooth, mainstream oriented initial half. Still a finely controlled piece of music however, and fairly smooth in expression too, staying well put within jazz rock territories. The following number Fever, opening with a feverish keyboard display, eventually finds its way to a controlled but refined jazz rock expression too. Concentration kicked off the second side of the original vinyl release, and replicates the approach used on opening track Second Line, somewhat more sophisticated and somewhat longer, but again a feature that is a piano ballad at heart heading off into more adventurous territories in the second half, within a jazz rock framework. The brief mood piece Theme is a pleasant but forgettable atmospheric interlude, and concluding number New Dimension is another excursion based around a piano ballad. This time with a brooding organ undercurrent as a constant element and with majestic instrument surges adding a slight touch of unpredictability to an otherwise smooth but refined excursion.
Conclusion. Solution's second outing "Divergence" sees the band replacing the eclectic, innovative excursions on their debut with a smoother variety of jazz rock. Competent and accomplished musicians add a number of refined, subtle details to the proceedings to elevate it above the plain and ordinary, and occasionally the band showcases an inclination towards a more experimental expression. But by and large this disc appears to have the jazz rock crowd as its key audience, and in particular the section of it that doesn't mind an occasional flirt with mainstream oriented music.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 1, 2012
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