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Jan Akkerman - Live in Concert, The Hague 2007 CD (album) cover


Jan Akkerman

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars In the period 2005/ 2006 Jan was doing the theater program Fromage a trois. As usual he played no more than one or two Focus songs. In 2007 he finally did some concessions to the audience by playing more Focus. Suddenly the show started with Answers? Questions in a short version. Followed by Anonymus, a new version of House of the king and Focus II.(Not on this disc.) Tranquilizer is not my favorite part of the show, a little bit simple blues thing with a long playing time. My attention slips away before the end is reached. Anyway, most of the time the audience likes it because they know it from the bestseller Eli. There is a beautiful choice of C.U. songs, Jan's last studio recording. Dance the blues away, I'm in the mood and my favorite Slow man belong to the finest songs Jan ever wrote. His own favorite track is Urbanstring, a song with a more funky sound. In 2006 the Paul Weller cover You do something to me came in the set and they still play it. The traditional Focus songs Sylvia and Hocus pocus are the favorites of the audience. In the past there were moments Jan refused to play it. He came with a new song or finished the concert without encore. But the last years there are not many changes in the set. Some songs of C.U. are gone and replaced by songs he also did in the past. Even Tommy entered the show. However, this Live in concert is just like the first one a real fine DVD. There is a good example of typical Akkerman humor with a title as Bluesjam with Jan for all ages. From the members of his band i like especially the bass of Wilbrand Meischke. Jan himself is playing excellent, as usual. I'm thinking about four stars.
Report this review (#275187)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Jan Akkerman - Live in Concert (2008)

A good Jan Akkerman live album/dvd.

This dvd shows the latest tour of Jan Akkerman of 2007, which had a reprise in 2009. I saw the '09 show with my girlfriend and we were both pleasantly surprised: a no non-sense jazz- rock/cool-jazz concert with amazing guitar solo's and a competent band. Jan Akkerman has never been mister accurate, but his prestigious way of playing compensates more than enough! On this show Jan only played the electric guitar.

Though Jan Akkerman has always been very negative about playing Focus's pieces, he did play some Focus tracks on this live show. We get to listen to the Answers Questions jam, an eastern styled rework of the House of the King (now Palace of the King), Hocus Pocus (with great guitar effects instead of yodels) and the melodic Sylvia.

I myself bought the vinyl after the show, so I can't tell that much about the extra's of the dvd. I will tell something about the material played though! The Focus tracks are quite like the original, except for Palace of the King. The other tracks played are Tranquilizer, Slowman, Urban String and You do Something to me. All are jazz-rock and cool-jazz pieces with a modern jazz sound. The band had a professional sound, and the use of some electronic samples is functional. The concert could have been better if Jan Akkerman would have given more space for the other musicians to show their professional musicianship.

The recording of the concert is good, but not perfect. Jan uses digital guitar amplifications nowadays which don't work very good in my opinion and the recording sounds as if it was recorded directly from the mixing table. The liveliness suffers from this, the band sounded much thicker live. Still a professional recording, but not very tasteful.

Conclusion. I can conclude this is a good live album, but nothing too special. It is recommended to fans of guitar-oriented jazz-rock, fans of Focus and people who just want so see a 'normal' jazz-rock band playing a good concert with some nice improvisations. Three stars, and Focus and Jan Akkerman fans can add one star themselves.

Report this review (#291303)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permalink

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