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26.6.08

Jan Akkerman




Jan Akkerman - Profile - 1972 - Harvest (EMI) - The Netherlands [Re-released 2000 on BGO Records]

This album is full of excellent electric & acoustic guitars and Baroque lute parts. Akkerman here can be classical (Baroque), hard rock and even slightly bluesy, and sometimes a bit folk. He includes some powerful rhythmic elements on this album. The album is very original and unique. The first track is an epic track of nearly 20 minutes, full of good moments, sometimes melodic, although it may sound experimental, improvised and raw like the more bizarre stuff of Jimi Hendrix, if you consider the visceral electric guitar notes and the fast drums: it is reminiscent of Lenny White's "Venusian Summer" album. Most of the other tracks re short, and of full of acoustic and electric string instruments, with sometimes good bass and drums parts. Jan Akkerman proves here that he is an outstanding guitarist. Check out his 1977 self titled album

@ J.AJJERMAN/1977


Info on Lenny White's "Venusian Summer" can be found @ L.WHITE/VSUMMER

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

"Fresh Air" (Jan Akkerman) – 19:55
"Kemp's Jig" (anonymous) – 1:34
"Etude" (Matteo Carcassi) – 1:33
"Blue Boy" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:26
"Andante Sostenuto" (Anton Diabelli) – 4:09
"Maybe Just A Dream" (Jan Akkerman) – 2:35
"Minstrel/Farmers Dance" (Jan Akkerman) – 1:46
"Stick" (Jan Akkerman) – 3:41

MUSICIANS

Jan Akkerman - Guitars, Classical guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano, Lute
Pierre Van Der Linden - Drums on "Fresh Air," "Blue Boy," "Maybe Just A Dream."
Bert Ruiter - Bass Guitar on "Fresh Air," "Blue Boy," "Maybe Just A Dream."
Ferry Maat - Piano on "Stick"
Japp Van Eyck - Bass Guitar on "Stick"
Frans Smit - Drums on "Stick"

BIO

Jan Akkerman was born on Christmas Eve 1946 and first picked up a guitar aged 5. Legend has it that he played accordian aged 3, and was entirely self-taught on the guitar, but in actual fact he took classical guitar lessons, studied at Amsterdam Music Lyceum for 5 years and won a scholarship. His father was a guitarist, and his mother played the accordian. He took a keen interest in group music-making, joining local bands The Friendship Sextet and The Shaking Hearts. In 1961, aged 15, he recorded his first single with his current band, Johnny & The Cellar Rockers, which also featured Pierre Van der Linden. The Cellar Rockers became the Hunters, and the first hit was scored with a cover of "Mr Tambourine Man", but an even bigger hit came from an original song called "The Russian Spy and I", inspired largely by the Shadows, but with a notable guitar solo from Akkerman. During the mid 1960s, Akkerman visited England, where he saw the guitarist Julian Bream performing Mediaeval lute music. This was an inspiration that was never to leave Akkerman. In the late 1960s, he formed Brainbox, with his old friend Van der Linden on drums, who negotiated a signing to Parlophone. During a recording session, Akkerman, who was fond of jamming and session playing, hooked up with the embryo Focus, and was ejected from Brainbox as a result. Brainbox's first (and only) album is regarded as a Dutch Prog Rock classic in some circles.
Not to be deterred, he recorded his own material, assisted by his friends from The Hunters; a solo album called "Talents for Sale", and joined Focus for recording the backing music to the musical "Hair", and their debut album "In And Out Of Focus". In 1971, Akkerman's old sparring partner Van der Linden is taken into Focus on drums, and "Moving Waves" is recorded. Despite the international success of this album, Akkerman relentlessly carried on recording his own material with the albums "Profile" and 1974's "Tabernakel", which features Akkerman's playing his newly acquired lute, and carries a Mediaeval flavour. Following "Moving Waves" and "Focus 3", Akkerman was pronounced best International guitarist by Melody Maker, in a poll that put him above Clapton, Beck and Page. In 1978, Akkerman's contract with Atlantic was ended due to the high costs involved with his insistence of hiring full symphony orchestras and low record sales, and Akkerman went off to persue other musical avenues, pausing only to attempt a Focus re-group. The album of this year "3" is an unusually funky album with very little ecelcticism. This didn't work out, so Akkerman carried on working, attempting to reform Focus once again in 1984, producing the rather raw "From the Basement". In 1989 he had a more successful collaboration with Miles Copland resulting in the successful "Noise of Art". His collaborations and various projects from then until now are too numerous to mention one by one, including work with B.B. King, Mike Kenealy, Alan Price, Charlie Byrd and Ice-T, but 1999's "Passion" is particularly notable. On February 16th 2005, Akkerman was awarded with a Golden Harp award at the Harpen Gala, proving that he is still not only going strong, with his favourite annual Dutch and UK tours, but still impressing with his skills. © Prog Archives, All rights reserved

9 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

Anonymous said...

Hi:
Thank you for this fine disc, best whishes.
Esteban

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! Esteban. Thanks for comment. I'm glad you like the great Jan Akkerman

pIman said...

Thanks A.O.O.F.C. for this and many other excellent albums that I have downloaded via your site recently. It's especially nice to get a digital copy of this particular album as I used to have it (maybe still have somewhere...) on vinyl. I've always enjoyed Jan's rendition of Kemp's Jig.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! pIman. Thanks for your kind words. It's a good album. Some of the tracks are a bit short, but the album is full of quality. Thanks for comment, & please keep in touch. Persons like yourself who appreciate good music makes A.O.O.F.C worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

any chance for 320 or even better flac pls....like this album...was looking long time......

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! anonymous. Sorry. Album posted is best I can do. If anyone reads this, info appreciared on higher bitrate/flac etc version of this album. Thanks for comment.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

This is exactly what I was looking for! When I saw the cover, I knew I had remembered it right! Great music!

And you may find this interesting...The McDonald's fast food company has been using "Hocus Pocus" in their latest commerical (something called "Line Rider" where a pencil-line drawing of a guy eating their food has a little guy on a bike riding all over him.

You can see it on http://linerider.com - and it's the actual song itself (well, 30 seconds anyway),not a remake.

Is this the first time a Focus song was used in an ad? I wonder.

Thanks for the album again A.O.O.F.C.

-->D.Moose

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey, -->D.Moose. Thanks for link. Talk about a "Hamburger Concerto!" I'm not aware of any other Focus music used in advertising. Akkerman's ""House of the King" was used as theme music to Saxondale, a British TV show, which I've seen on video. Music is better than program.