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Trace

Trace

After Trinity it was the end of Ekseption, Rick van der Linden had to leave after internal problems. He did not throw the towel and started an ambitious project with a bass player and a drummer, called Ace. Later on Ace was changed into Trace as a consequence of 'copyright problems' with the name.

Hearing this group on record, the question arose how Van der Linden could possibly play all those keyboards simultaneously in a live performance. In many situations you simultaneously hear piano, Hammond on two claviers, harpsichord and Mello­tron. Counting hands, you soon notice that it comes to a lot more than two. Anyhow, the technique of dubbing was quite well known in those days as well.

I had seen Trace playing on TV (black and white when I was young), so I just had to have their first record Trace. It was fine craftsmanship in arrangement and composition by Rick van der Linden. As we were used to, the album had a few classics Gal­liarde with a Bach theme and The Death of Ace with the well known theme from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.

The music by Trace was quite different from the one by Ekseption. The keyboard was king, but the bass of Jaap van Eik and the drums of Pierre van der Linden were part of the royal family at least. Trace was a kind of Dutch Emerson, Lake and Palmer, without vocals.

I found the first album by Trace in the shop-window of Sacksioni’s guitar shop in the Ruysdaelstraat, a few blocks away from my high school. I visited this shop quite often to admire all those beautiful classical guitars I could not afford at that time.

Before I buy a record, I want to listen to it. They did not have headphones at Sack­sioni’s, so they played it quite loudly on the speakers. Galliarde -the first track- started with an arrangement of the third section of the Italian Concerto for harpsichord by Bach, a worthy start in the district around the famous Amsterdam Concert­gebouw. There were a few people around, so soon the ‘first impression reviews’ started. After five minutes of listening my doubts were gone: this record was a Must-have! Away with five weeks savings from the paper round!

Later on this situation would repeat itself in a most remarkable way. I was much older and lived in Hengelo when I decide to buy a piano performance of Bach’s harpsichord works on CD. The record shop I visited did not have headphones either, so just like it happened at Sacksioni’s many years ago the record was played through the speakers.

The classical recording started with -guess what- Italian Concerto. The immediate comment of one of the guys in the shop: “Hey, I know this track, wasn’t it played by Ekseption? Van der Linden wasn’t it?”

There you see the remarkable influence of Ekseption on the Dutch pop-musical perception. Bach would have appreciated the humour!