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Focus - Focus II [Aka: Moving Waves] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 680 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
3 stars Originally the houseband for the Dutch theatrical production of "Hair", this album introduced the greater European audience to the masterful playing of Jan Akkermann and Thij Van leer, who were to go on to carve separate careers in jazz and jazz rock.

The album was produced by the legendary Mike Vernon and was released through Polydor in the UK but with his Blue Horizon association well displayed. Perhaps Vernon had thought he had discovered another band to follow in the bluesy rock footsteps of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack or (alas, the forgotten) Duster Bennett. However, enthuiasm for British blues had cooled and besides Focus were a jazz-based musicians who used rock rhythms and threw in occasional English lyrics to their songs. An edited version of the novelty song "Hocus Pocus" with yodelling, piano accordion and all, got UK radio play and they were a hit.

This album will appeal to jazz rock fans and to those who like excellently played solos. It should also be used to remind fans where Jan Akkerman start from before now being one of Europe's premier guitarists. However, it is one of those albums that bought on the day of its release in the UK, I can't say it has come down from the shelf that regularly in the last decade. Once seen live circa 1973, Focus were one of the few bands that had me leaving a gig well before it was finished - an interminable dull drum solo did it to me and perhaps a degree of sameyness in many tunes (but that was the British drummer not the original ).

Dick Heath | 3/5 |


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