Sunday, 3 November 2013

King-Bird (Trace, 1975)

A 22 minutes suite I really like, "King-Bird" is from Trace's second album, titled "Birds" and completely dedicated to our winged friends. This Dutch trio, leaded by keyboardist Rick Van Der Linden, gave a very good proof of their skills in this epic, featuring a great deal of keyboards, with a strong presence of harpsichord and piano. But I also like Jaap Van Eik's calm and sweet vocals and - what a topping for this cake! - in this track (and album) Ian Mosley is the drummer, yes, the Marillion guy.

That's "Birds" cover art...

...and the band: do you recognise Ian Mosley?

Vocal and instrumental themes are so good, sweet and airy, and all the arrangements are smart and original, so that the English prog influence is never too strong and Trace's music is no way a derivative one. They mix ELP's exuberance and Italian prog poetry, classicism and oddity. The final effect is a colourful kaleidoscope of sounds and ideas, a fairy tale full of joy and gentleness. Never too sweet, never too tricky, this suite is a hidden Wonderland I like to explore now and then. Well, now I told you, it's no more hidden, I'm afraid.

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