Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman - Jan Akkerman - 1977 - Atlantic

This is an excellent, sophisticated, instrumental jazz rock/fusion album with a great funky feel. Stunning guitar work from the great Focus axeman, and check out Joachim Kühn's terrific keyboard work. Great stuff, and one of the best jazz rock albums of the seventies. This is the kind of music that never dates. "Streetwalker" is a perfect example of this fresh contemporary sound. HR by A.O.O.F.C. Have a listen to Jan Akkerman's brilliant "Passion" album, and if you haven't heard "Live at the Rainbow," the classic Focus album, then buy the remastered album. It is a must have album for any lover of great music. Focus combined blues, jazz fusion and progressive rock on this album into a sound that has rarely, if ever been equalled. It is also worth listening to Joachim Kühn's great "Hip Elegy" album.


Side 1

1.) Crackers (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 3:50
2.) Angel Watch (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 10:05
3.) Pavane (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 5:30
Side 2

1.) Streetwalker (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 6;55
2.) Skydancer (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 5:05
3.) Floatin' (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 5:10
4.) Gate To Europe (instrumental) (Jan Akkerman) - 3:00


Jan Akkerman / Guitars
Joachim Kühn / Keyboards
Cees van der Laarse / Bass
Bruno Castelucci / Drums
Pierre van der Linden / Drums on "Floatin'"
Neppie Noya / Percussion


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


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


Anonymous said...

Jan Akkerman is, I think, an underrated guitar player, whose name isn't mentioned as often as Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton among others. Thank you for spotlighting the artist.


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

Hi! -->D.Moose. Thanks. I agree. Many people remember Focus, but not the names of band members. Jan Akkerman is as good as any of these "greats" we hear so much about, and many of them are not in Jan's class! Jan is the kind of artist I am continually trying to promote. I have a lot of Akkerman stuff if you are interested. Keep in touch. I value your comment

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering back,A.O.O.F.C.!
yes, when it's possible, I'll like to see more Jan akkerman stuff on here. i can only hope that others can hear his work...'cause it ain't gonna get help from the radio! [R.I.P. hee,hee.]

Thanks again A.O.O.F.C.!

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

Hi! anon. Thanks for comment. You're DEAD right about radioplay...R.I.P/DEAD..Get It? Yes, Iv'e lots of Akkerman. Any albums you haven't heard from Jan? Keep in touch.

Anonymous said...

Hello again A.O.O.F.C!

Is that offer for other Akkerman stuff still available? because I just remember an album i heard once called "Profile." i Think the cover has his rather somber face on it, rather grainy too if I remember correctly. If you do have, can you post it up? Thanks yet again!!


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

Hey, -->D.Moose. Offer is stll there. I have album. The snag is that it seems to be on permanent loan to a Focus freak I had the misfortune to lend it to. Gotta make a few calls, and I'll post it soon. Talk to you soon