The progressive rockgroup Scope was founded in Zwolle, The Netherlands in 1971. The band was founded by Henk Zomer (drums) and Rik Elings (keyboards, flute) who knew each other from high school where they played together in a band called Strange Power. Under this name they recorded two singles in 1971, That's the way/Turn me loose and Tenderfoot/Spring. With the addition of Rens Nieuwland (guitar) and Erik Raayman (bass guitar) they became Scope. In the coming years they play a lot throughout The Netherlands and Germany. In 1974 they record their debut in Germany for the Dutch label Negram.
In 1975 Rob Franken (keyboards) joins the band, Raayman leaves the band and joins Medusa, and Elings switches to bass guitar. With this line up they record their second album, also in Germany.
In 1976 drummer Zomer leaves the band and is replaced by Robert Vink for a short time. The next drummer is Roland Zeldenrust. In the same year they see a new bass player, Pablo Nahar. All these changes lead to end of the band in 1976.
Guest: Jochen Petersen: Soprano saxophone
Produced by Jochen Petersen and Scope.
Engineered by Volker Heintzen
Photography by William Reppel
Design by Giovanni Tonino and Scope
Recorded at studio Maschen te Hamburg, Germany
LP Atlantic 40553 (1974)
Scope is an obscure Dutch band from the 70's that was raised from the ashes of Strange Power. The fact they are almost unknown in the Jazz Rock / Prog scene does not make justice to their ability of playing infectious / grooving / highly enjoyable pieces of music. Their songs are inventive and refreshing, all instrumental, and with the virtuoso interventionism of most of the players. With emphasis on the Drum work by Henk Zomer, the guitar soloing of Rens Nieuwland and the occasional flute derivations of Rik Elings.
The tempo changes, jazzy soloing and perfect rhythmic section are easily capable of capturing the listener's attention and make him bounce his head while shaking his body (oh yeah! This is what happens to me when listening to this lost jewel). The music is mainly set upon 70's jazz-rock / fusion standards, with reminiscences of Mahavishnu Orchestra, but it also drinks from the fountain of their contemporary Dutch Symphonic Prog peers, like Solution and Focus. This results in an explosive mix that has conquered my affection.
This is a great album to revival the origins and roots of the scene we still love and cherish after all these years. And if it is true that the fusion genre has been largely developed and enriched throughout the years, it is also true that some of its best works come from its cradle years. Scope I is a living proof of that!
This is a pretty good cd but nothing special. I like instrumental cds but this one could have used some vocals. For a fusion cd it just seemed far to average. Its a good cd to listen to for laid back moods or back ground music but nothing innovative in my opinion. Maybe I should give it another listen. I defiantly will in fact, its a very chill cd, just nothing that blows my mind.
Formed in Zwolle in 1971,SCOPE were a four-member Jazz-Prog outfit, who was born out of the ashes of the band ''Strange power''. Founding members were drummer Henk Zomer and keyboardist/flutist Rik Elings. Reportedly the band started as a Symphonic rock group, but soon they switched to a more jazzy progressive style. SCOPE played a lot of gigs in their country and Germany and finally they recorded their self-titled debut for their Negram Label on German ground.
Their style is a combination of Classic Progressive Rock with Canterbury influences and Jazz Rock of the RETURN TO FOREVER school. Guitarist Ren Nieuwland performs fantastically with a variety of tempos, as he was given a lot of space for endless, improvisational and delightful solos, not far from JOHN MCLAUGHLIN's work with the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. Elings is also on the top of this performance with his nice electric piano in the vein of CHICK COREA, while he also plays some dominant organ parts in a couple of songs. The funky bass lines belong to talented bassist Erik Raayman, while Zomer is also present with some steady and confident drumming. Parts of the album are characterized by the massive interplays of the members, reminding of their fellows SUPERSISTER and there are also some really dark parts with haunting flutes and slow guitars, where the band comes closer than ever to Classic 70's Progressive Rock. For fans of varied, instrumental, jazzy progressive rock played with inspiration and talent, this is a great musical adventure. Essential for the fans of the afore-mentioned styles.
Produced by Jochen Petersen, Rik Elings and Rens Nieuwland.
Engineered by Volker Heintzen
Cover by Jan Anthony
Recorded in studio Maschen te Hamburg, September 1974
LP Atlantic 50078 (1975)
The second Scope album sounds similar to the first. Maybe it is a bit more jazzy and funky and less progressive. So what you can expect is some good instrumental music. I prefer however the first album.
(Dutch Progressive Rock of the Seventies)
Archival release with tracks recorded in 1976
CD Jive Music 9006317401029 (2010)