For such a small country, The Netherlands could certainly produce some musical giants! Trace was a progressive/classical/jazz trio put together by keyboard player extraordinaire Rick van der Linden, who first learnt to play the piano when he was seven years old. He later studied the organ, achieving honours in piano, organ, harmony and counterpoint. He became a teacher at the Haarlem Conservatoire and also taught elsewhere, later developing an interest in rock, jazz, ballet and classical music. In 1965, he joined the "Occasional Swing Combo", essentially playing jazz standards, but, at the same time, he was touring Holland playing with symphony orchestras and appearing as soloist in concerti by Bach, Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Van der Linden later joined an outfit called The Incrowd which ultimately evolved into Ekseption. He remained with Ekseption for six albums before leaving in 1974 to form Ace ( later changed to Trace when they learnt that an English band of the same name was already in existence ), with drummer Pierre van der Linden ( no relation) from Focus, on drums, and Jaap van Eik, ex-Cuby and the Blizzards, on bass. They released their first, self-titled album in September 1974 and it sold in excess of 50,000 copies in The Netherlands and quickly attained gold status.It also did very well in the rest of Europe, the US and Japan. For this second album, English drummer Ian Mosley, previously with Walrus and Darryl Way's Wolf ( Way appears as a guest violinist, accompanying van der Linden playing harsichord, on the incredible "Opus 1065"), replaced Pierre van der Linden. This second album, released in July 1975, also did well for Trace, and they had the perfect opportunity to promote themselves that month as they shared a bill with Osibisa and Curved Air at a festival near Eindhoven. A third and final Trace album, " The White Ladies", was released, with a number of ex-Ekseption musicians, in 1977. Van der Linden reformed Ekseption when Trace split up and recorded three further albums with them. He also appeared with Jack Lancaster in "Wild Connections" in 1978, and he worked with the likes of flautist Chris Hinze and Dutch group Kayak, to name just a few. Drummer Ian Mosely, in the meantime, went on to find fame with Marillion. All three Trace albums have been released on CD by the French Musea label, and are essential listening.
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Trace - 1974 - Trace - 2.5/5

Trace - 1975 - Birds - 2/5

Trace - 1976 - White Ladies - 1.5/5



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