Ekseption's finest release is Ekseption 5, which was also its only LP released in the U.S. This Dutch quintet, led by keyboardist Rick van der Linden, blends elements of classical, jazz, and rock within its music. The band sounds much larger than a quintet. The leader begins with the an excerpt of the famous theme of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5," played on a pipe organ. "Vivace," taken from J.S. Bach's "Concerto for Violin and Strings in A Minor," is turned into a lively fusion vehicle as van der Linden plays piano, Hammond organ, and harpsichord, and Rein van den Broek adds some tasty flügelhorn. But one of his most intriguing arrangements is the medley of "For Example/For Sure"; the former is a piece written by Keith Emerson while he was with "The Nice," while the latter piece is credited to van der Linden but seems very similar to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Living Sin," which was released the same year. "For Example" is sandwiched around "For Sure," and has some of the album's best solos, including van den Broek, Dick Remelinck's tenor sax, and a playful synthesizer feature by van den Linden that never turns bombastic. There are several originals by the leader, including the somewhat plodding "Midbar Session," the brief feature for solo piano "Pie," and the cheerful easygoing ballad "My Son," which features the howling "vocal" of his infant son Rick van der Linden, Jr. Sadly, van den Linden left the group not long after this release to form the trio Trace, and Ekseption steered more toward run of the mill rock during the remainder of its existence.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden